Forced Connection and Digital Halloween

By Linh PMP

Have we taken for granted that Halloween means pumpkins, candies, witches, black cats, etc? Let’s try this mind-provoking practice to refresh these iconic items.

Luke Williams, the author of “Disrupt“, has led various group brainstorming sessions of all sizes, and conclude that people usually run out of ideas after 20 minutes. In these cases, “force connection” is a wonderful technique that helps expand the creative thinking pool.

Forced connection is a brainstorming practice of linking some irrelevant objects with the orignial object in order to make a solution or a conclusion.

Let’s play a game! I have two boxes of objects:

  • Halloween box: a pumpkin, a candy, a witch, a broom, a black cat
  • Digital box: a smartphone, a tablet, a fitbit, a camera, a laptop, an eticket

Choose one or more objects in the Halloween box as the original objects, one or more objects in the Digital box as the irrelevant objects. What is the relating feature between two groups of objects you have chosen? How many relating features can you find? How does each relating feature make sense?

Advanced Qs: Does the connection bring a new opportunity?  Who may care about it? Can you build a prototype for it?

Example 1: Witch + Tablet

Relating feature: reading ebook

Connection: A witch with an Ipad of spells! One of the accessories to go with a witch costume!

I-SPELLS: “Slide to open”

Other relating features: surfing internet, checking emails, watching videos, etc.

Example 2: Pumpkin + Candy + Smartphone

Relating feature: playing games

Connection: An augmented-reality smartphone app that allows you to capture the magical things when taking a picture of a pumpkin or a candy in the Halloween store.

Pum-Can-mon Go!

Other relating features: taking photos, facebook, snapchat, messaging, alarm clock, etc.

Example 3: Candy + Fitbit

Relating feature: checking health

Connection: Based on your health log, the fitbit should recommend how many candies you can eat during Halloween and maybe also what types of candies.

Other relating features: logging food, checking sleep, checking GPS, looking cool, etc.

Bonus: Pumpkin + Smartphone (from IDEO lab)

You can try connecting other objects, other relating features, or changing the mix into Halloween and Fitness, or Halloween and Climate Change, or Breakfast and President, etc.

Hold on, Breakfast and President- isn’t it the idea that helped Airbnb survive in 2008?

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