Brainstorming and Lightbulb Jokes

August 1, 2007

Marc Andreessen’s quote of the week says brainstorming is a bad idea. David Sloan Wilson addresses the scientific claim that brainstorming is ineffective in his book Evolution for Everyone (Ch 26: How Many Inventors Does it Take to Make a Lightbulb).

Amazingly, the entire scientific literature on brainstorming might have reached a false conclusion about the advantages of thinking in groups by confining itself to mental tasks comparable to changing a lightbulb, as opposed to moving a piano.

In David Sloan Wilson’s research, brainstorming is effective when the mental task is challenging. Moving a piano, for instance, is best done by a group while a simple task like changing a lightbulb is best done by a single individual (or a group of lawyers if humor is your goal). Brainstorming, therefore, is a good idea for non-trivial mental tasks.

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2 Responses to “Brainstorming and Lightbulb Jokes”

  1. Paul Says:

    Hi LeelaI just stumbled upon this now and I soooo tolatly agree with you esp with Pinterest! The business world IS fucking it up and the spamming is overbearing! Although I do have one board, out of like 9, called Biznis it do not have one single thing on it about what I do and what my business is. I just love playing around with it and NOT using it from a business perspective. Good on you for putting it out there!

  2. Salvador Says:

    stenciling on the cookies you will need to oultnie and fill your cookies.a0 Make sure that the cookies are the correct size for your stencil.a0 Bake and ice one extra


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