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How to Think Like Einstein

By Scott Thorne
How to Think Like Einstein:

  • Find the right problem
    • Answers need questions, so ask them
    • Write it down (lists are good)
    • Create an enabling problem – don’t pick something that’s impossible (like
      launching a product in a week) or you will fail
      • Identify the real issues
      • Ignore limitations
      • Eliminate old answers
      • Simplify
    • Motivation – have a reason for sticking with it
      • Re-size the problem – if you lack motivation, it may be too big or too
      • Evaluate your motivation
        • Do you believe it can be solved
        • Can you solve it
        • Would you enjoy solving it?
    • Have a new attitude – find the right mask to hide behind. literally, you can
      create an alter ego that allows you to break through walls
    • Focus – define your problem and maintain focus on it through
  • There are no bad ideas
    • Don’t abandon new ideas
    • Record your ideas
    • More ideas are better
  • Break the pattern
    • Embrace seed ideas – it should have little relation to the problem you want
      to solve, but it allows you to ask questions and think outside logical confines.
      Kids are great for providing seed ideas
    • Use humor
    • Use visualization
    • Break down the seed idea into components and say why reasons will or won’t
      work (write it down)
    • Application – now use the seed idea as the solution
    • Metaphors – Combinations
    • Just basically start thinking outside convention
  • Seed ideas to use:
    • Use random nouns
    • Talk to someone with a different world view from yours
    • Use random verbs
    • Watch TV and look for something
    • Talk to a friend and drape a handkerchief over an object. Tell him it’s the
      solution. Ask him to guess what it is.
    • Call in reinforcements
  • Breaking rules
    • Intentionally violate rule and see the consequences
    • Circumvent the rule
  • Grow the solution
    • Suspend judgment
    • Ignore inconvenient facts
    • Challenging the experts
    • Mistakes are milestones to solutions
  • Avoid martyrdom
    • Understand why there’s resistance
      • Persistent bad ideas
    • People can be right without benefit
    • Avoid heresy
      • Give someone else the idea and credit
      • Create a benefit for the powerful
      • Allow an outsider to break the news
    • Claim your due
    • Be generous