Students have always admired creative people and wondered how they came up with all cool stuff they create. Truth is that most people who have been called creative or have invented some of most popular and used products did so accidentally. Slinky and Play Doh are examples of accidental creations which creators have made billions from as almost 1 billion units of these items have been sold since their creation in 1940 and 1955 respectively. Penicillin, Microwave, fireworks, Pacemaker as well as Post it Notes are other examples of accidental inventions. All inventions that I just mentioned have impacted our daily lives and quite frankly some of us would be hard pressed to admit that we are not glad that someone stumbled upon them.
Question is though, can students intentionally come up with something creative that can have a worldwide impact or are we relegated to inventing based on pure luck. The simplest answer is ‘yes'. Most large companies invest millions in Research and Development (R & D) Departments set aside for purpose of creating items that they hope will make such an impression with customers, that there already fat pockets will get fatter. R & D Managers wanted to remain nameless, who they depend on for creativity and they unanimously said that they depend on young people, specifically those under age of 35 years old but they said no, reason why they use younger people is that their researches have led them to believe that creativity in mankind generally reduces after age of 35. There are undoubtedly exceptions to rule shown with great innovators like Albert Einstein; however they said that they generally get more creative products from their younger members of staff. They use experience of older members of their staff as voice of reason, to bring ideas back to reality as they put it, as younger members of staff tend to take too many risks. Interesting thing was speaking with managers who were well over age of 50. Apart from age however, there are a number of other characteristics of a creative mind.
Most important characteristic of a creative person is someone who does not allow reason to hinder his or her creative ability. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that most of ideas you have come up with are not within reason and in some cases do not seem plausible. Most will scoff at your idea because it seems ridiculous; however, creativity comes out of a mind that is not bound by reason. You should take all your ideas to extremes, ignoring reason initially. You have to ignore doubt and naysayers and push limits of possibility and think outside box society has set for you.
Many will say that students have to infuse reason into creativity at all points of concept creation stage, as it is time consuming to develop a concept and then when reason is applied student needs to start from scratch. Foregoing may be true, however, it would prefer to not to limit creativity with reason and spend more time creating unique things. Which leads to other character of a creative person? Students need to have lots of patient. Creative concepts that can work are rarely developed overnight.
Students also need to read a lot and know technologies that are already available. Some technologies may actually assist students in their creative process, as it will not have to reinvent wheel. So, where research has been done in area students are interested in, they may need to keep abreast of results of research already done.
Good inventors are very thick skinned, that is, they never allow what others say to discourage their creativity or to deter them from carrying a concept to its full development. If students are going to be creative they will come upon naysayers who are not as courageous in themselves to try something new. Never let them get down. Never leave an idea undone. Great inventors carry through concepts to end of creation process. Get everything from idea, as this will protect you from others coming up with ideas based on concepts you failed to consider.
An inventor knows how to keep a secret. Never tell anyone about your creation. Keep it to yourself until you can patent it. There are too many sad stories about big companies stealing ideas and making millions from creators had work. Never let pride get best of you. It may be very tempting to bang your chest like a Guerrilla to display power and especially their superiority in innovation but be careful because as they beat their chest in victory student is seeking to piggy back off their idea.
Students must be willing to take a risk. Inventions will take funding which is difficult to come by especially in present financial crisis. However, you will need to spend more than you can afford to lose. You may or may not be successful in your task; however you will have to take a risk if you want to invent something that has never been tried.
Finally, inventors have always sacrificed their time to achieve their goals as innovators. Development of new concepts and ideas will require long hours of hard work. There is a need for good time management. Students will need to sacrifice time they spend on less important things like watching TV and other forms of entertainment. Time is critical, as students cannot count number of times they have come up with an idea also use your time wisely.