Exploring Ideas Through Stimulus

Photography is the art of taking billions of scattered photons and creating an ordered image that tells a story, evokes emotion—or is just plain pleasing to the eye. In the same way, idea generation at Ideas To Go is the high energy art of taking the chaotic cloud of ideas in any organization, and refining them into a strategy with a clear purpose and feasible next steps. In this blog series (check out Part 1 & Part 2) I’ll delve into this photography-inspired metaphor as a practical and helpful way to think about the innovation process.

Shutter Speed: How much do you let in?

Shutter Speed is the speed at which the shutter covering the camera’s light sensor opens, regulating the amount of light that hits the sensor for a given photograph. Shutter speed can vary greatly depending on the desired effect, lighting conditions, and other camera settings.

A slow shutter speed lets in more light, making it useful for scenes that have many details, or are dimly lit. The majority of impressive night shots employ a low shutter speed. However, if the ISO and aperture are set incorrectly, the picture can appear washed out—making it too bright, and lacking in shadows and dark colors.

A fast shutter speed is ideal for capturing a moving target, or a highly detailed photo close-in to the subject. But if the shutter speed is too fast, the image can appear dark or unresolved.

Application: Project Stimulus & Setting Criteria

Time is at a premium during ideation—and Creative Consumers® associates and other stim panels can generate a huge amount of content. Letting in too much stimulus can make a project lose focus with a myriad of directions. But letting in too little may cause you to miss out on all the possibilities you wished to explore.

At Ideas To Go, we make sure clients have the final say on content—how much, how broad and how varied. During ideation, the client decides when they have gotten enough—letting Facilitators know they are satisfied with the number of possibilities—whether it’s generated by Creative Consumers® associates or by their own team. During convergence, it is also up to the client to decide how many ideas are worth pursuing, as well as how the final concepts will be developed.

Check out the whole Innovation as a Camera series:

©2012 Ideas To Go, Inc. All rights reserved.

Greg Cobb

Greg Cobb is a Creative Process Designer and Facilitator as well as the creator of Ideas To Go’s Inspire® visual survey platform. Greg has a BA in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to joining Ideas To Go in 2011, Greg led the US consumer division at a leading global market research firm.  Facilitating innovation sessions and moderating consumer interviews and groups since 2007, Greg has worked extensively in most consumer categories as well as pharma, B2B, and automotive.