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Newsletter #801: The “Great Ideas Are Everywhere” Issue

Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Great ideas and amazing work don’t just come from the marketing team. They come from other employees, from other companies, and from outside fans. A few ideas on how to find them:

1> For design
2> For entrepreneurs
3> For viral videos
4> Check it out: Google Sightseeing

1> For design

Creativity doesn’t have to be regulated to the creative team. Ohio’s Oberlin College doesn’t have a design department — instead, their students design the shirts and hoodies the bookstore sells. Kids with majors like math, neuroscience, and music come together to create apparel inspired by Oberlin’s unique campus culture. Students love the designs, and each incoming freshman class is mailed a student-created shirt as their first piece of official Oberlin apparel.

The lesson: The next time you need a fresh surge of creativity, try looking past the marketing team. You never know what creative talent you may have hiding in accounting, HR, customer service, shipping, etc.

Learn more: The New York Times

2> For entrepreneurs

Every company — big or small — could benefit from the entrepreneurial spirit. Pepsi’s PepsiCo10 Summit brings together promising start-ups in tech, media, and communications. It’s all part of their innovation program where talented entrepreneurs get guidance, support, and resources from Pepsi, and Pepsi in turn gets introduced to these smart individuals, their ideas, and the first looks at new industry trends. This year alone, more than 500 entrepreneurs submitted ideas in hopes of being selected for the program.

The lesson: Hungry entrepreneurs are always a source for big ideas that you too could benefit from. Regardless of your industry or line of business, you’ve got opportunities to work with and support these innovators.

Learn more: Beverage World

3> For viral videos

Whenever an idea takes off, there’s always room for a clever “fast-follower” to join in on the success. When Old Spice did their insanely popular video response project, Cisco followed it with their own version with “Ted from Accounting.” Ted’s videos are decidedly more geeky (he references ASR 9000s and the metric system) and may lack a little of the polish of Old Spice’s, but they’re funny, on-brand, and full of personality.

The lesson: You don’t always have to come up with the great idea to benefit from it. There’s always plenty of love left over for clever follow-ups and spoofs.

Learn more: Cisco’s Blog

4> Check it out: Google Sightseeing

Their tagline says it all: “Why bother seeing the world for real?” Each day, the folks at Google Sightseeing bring you to some amazing place in the world — all thanks to Google’s satellite and Street View images.

Check it out: Google Sightseeing

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