A really useful guide: “The Content Fuel Framework” by Melanie Deziel

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Sometimes you pick up a book and immediately think, “This is so useful, how is it possible that nobody has written it before?” Melanie Deziel’s The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas is such a book. If you have or aspire to have an audience of any kind, this book is for … Continued

How to work on an idea: write a treatment

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It’s on the tip of your brain. An idea. You think you’re onto something. You’ve figured something out that nobody else realizes. What should you do next? Write an idea treatment. I’ll explain how. I hear from people who say they have ideas all the time. They say stuff like this: “I think I want to … Continued

The 6 benefits of thinking like a mathematician

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When I was young, I was certain I would be a mathematician. I still think like one. You should, too — and you don’t have to learn math to do it. A little background: I was an outstanding math student in high school and college, won an NSF Fellowship, and entered the math Ph.D. program at … Continued

The 4 qualities of powerful ideas

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What makes an idea powerful? That’s a question I’ve been pondering for the last five years. Powerful ideas have to be right, new, and big. But they have to be simple, too — or at least simple to express. The realm of pure ideas is Darwinian. Some spread, some die. If you have an idea, you need … Continued

How I develop ideas

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Ideas just happen. Or do they? As I’ve set myself ambitious goals for content, I need a process that generates ideas reliably. It fascinates me how my process requires both structure and randomness to work. I honed these techniques as SVP of idea development for Forrester Research, and now I use them constantly. Perhaps you … Continued

The 4 kinds of pushback that generate more powerful ideas

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Being hard on ideas makes them better. Great ideas are clear, brief, and not boring. Don’t stop until you get there. For my last 8 years at Forrester — at least since I started working on my first book — I’ve had a sort of smartass attitude towards the world. If you ask people what I was like … Continued