KIT Entrepreneurship Talks – “Banana software” and other quirks of IT startups with Ludwig Neer

CAS2_220x220The KIT Entrepreneurship Talks began the year with Ludwig Neer of CAS Software AG. Prospective IT founders and interested people gathered on January 22, 2015 in the Tulla Lecture Hall. Entrepreneur Neer founded CAS as early as 1986 together with Martin Hubschneider, building the company to become today’s market leader for CRM solutions. In his current position on the board for research and technology, Neer continuously works on the development of the company.

Since the startup of CAS about 30 years ago, the IT industry has rapidly changed. Neer witnessed this development and, at the talk, drew personal conclusions about what is different and important for IT startups today. Many changes have to do with the digitalization, the fast pace, and the large competition in the IT sector.

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Part 2: Intuitive creativity techniques – Three examples

My last blog entry began with a brief introduction into the world of creativity techniques. At this point, I would like to present three different intuitive creativity methods.

Bisociation

In 1964, Austro-Hungarian author Arthur Koestler mentioned the theory of bisociation for the first time in his work “The Act of Creation” The meaning is derived from the term “association”. However, it isn’t the linear mental abstraction or link that is in the foreground but rather the connection of aspects of different domains. More specifically, this means that problems are solved by observing two thought dimensions.

In the first stage, participants must (as often happens) become aware of what problem prevails such as a specific issue in product development. Subsequently, a second, completely independent domain, for instance from nature, is determined. From this basis, an association phase begins with the help of stimulus images. This is intended to evoke thoughts, ideas, or feelings in participants. In doing so, it is important to write down the results of the associations. After this, the results are reviewed for analogies that may manifest themselves in the form of joint principles and realizations between the original problem and the association phase. In the end, the analogies must be evaluated and the original domain adapted.

The creativity technique of bisociation is especially useful for problems in the advertising and marketing areas. However, using them also makes sense for technical problems. Strangely enough, humorists also pays attention to bisociation, as a certain comedy may develop through the analogy of two different and independent areas. However, you should schedule a lot of time for the application of the method in both cases.

For further information about the bisociation methodology, visit: http://www.ideenfindung.de/start_english_version.html

Headstand technique

The headstand technique promises a lot of good solutions, because it makes use of a human characteristic: the contradiction of statements! For our intellect, it is easier to find negative aspects for something than to find positive ones. This is where the creativity technique sets in.

You formulate a problem as a question and then make it the opposite. For instance, an automotive manufacturer will ask, “Why are the sales figures of vans decreasing on the home market?” Now turn the question around and ask, “How can I decrease the sales figures of vans on the home market?” You will realize that you will come up with a lot more answers. Possible answers may be (1) higher gasoline consumption, (2) less space, (3) inferior comfort… Then you just turn the answers around: (1) lower gasoline consumption, (2) more space, (3) high-class comfort… and the answers fit to the initial question perfectly.

If you want to find out more about the headstand technique, you can read more here:  http://www.ideenfindung.de/start_english_version.html

6-3-5-method

In the 6-3-5 method, the name says it all. 6 participants must note down 3 ideas, each on a sheet of paper with 3 columns and 6 rows, and pass it on 5 times.

To begin with, each of the six participants jots down three ideas for a problem on a sheet of paper. Then the sheet of paper is passed around to the next person who writes down three new ideas in addition to those of the previous writer and, thus, further develops these ideas. This process is repeated five times so that each of the six participants has noted down three initial ideas and fifteen ideas for development by the end. Calculating this procedure to 30 minutes, you get a maximum of 108 ideas.

This method is similar to the brainwriting technique. However, the quality of the ideas is usually better due to the continuous development. The 6-3-5 method is simple and uncomplicated. It also doesn’t require a mediator.

A detailed description (incl. worksheet) of the 6-5-3 method can be found here:  http://www.ideenfindung.de/6-3-5-Methode-Kreativit%C3%A4tstechnik-Brainstorming-Ideenfindung.html

A brief introduction to creativity techniques

Not only images, movies, or poems can be creative, but also people, behaviors, and businesses. Just what exactly is creative and what is not? Unlike in art, the degree of creativity in companies is judged not by society but creativity is reflected in unconventional solutions to complex problems or issues. Whenever known methods do not lead to success, rethinking is needed. To get a bit closer to this goal, you can make use of different creativity techniques in the business world. In the first step, therefore, it is advisable to get an overview of the existing methods. Creativity methods can be divided into two categories -the intuitive and discursive methods. Continue reading