Brainstorming for Digital Goods

Recently, Viximo, a cutting-edge start up company, invited MSLK to participate in a unique think-tank format which gathered what the organizers described as visual “rock stars” and “Digital DaVincis“: prominent designers, animators, programmers, and artists.

The W Hotel in San Francisco set the tone for a funky sophistication as we gathered in the plush surroundings of the meeting hall. The purpose was to brainstorm new ideas for “virtual goods,” an emerging, very lucrative market which the hosts sought to capitalize on.

Clearly, there’s an emerging trend of companies who see the value of looking outside for fresh ideas to spur innovation from within, and finding new ways to do it.

The day lived up to its promise of being fun and creative — a welcomed change from the stale day-erase board and post-it note sessions I’ve endured on more than a few occasions. Instead we were given inspirational mini-presentations from graffiti artists and digital animators, along with funky coloring books, hip Japanese toys and incentive prizes (such as futuristic video cameras) for best ideas… mixed-in with a little hard-sell from our hosts, too. All in an effort to get our creativity flowing and generate new ideas.

When it came time for us to work in teams to brainstorm our own ideas, the ideas were as free-flowing as the complimentary top-shelf liquor. The resulting brainstorming sessions yielded some great new ideas (which I’m afraid are proprietary, sorry folks)  — mostly apps for iPhones which fully utilize the phone’s built-in GPS and accelerometer , although some people had really great ideas for “flirts” which are little animated digital images you can send to friends for nominal fees.

I’m all for new ways of idea generation, and was glad to be a part of it. MSLK certainly has plenty to say on all things at the intersection of technology and design. Anything with the element of fun is a nice touch, too.