Creativity tip – Explain it to grandma

We live in a fast paced world, where new technology is thrown at us daily.
We work on complicated projects, elaborate complex plans and often try to reinvent the wheel.
And sometimes we overdo it.
  • We use acronyms and a high tech language
  • We use complex diagrams to explain our solution
  • We use 100 slides to convince management
  • We talk about us before we listen to our customers


Well, sometimes it is needed of course. We need to go into technical details when we talk to engineers for example.

But think about it.

Is Apple doing the tech talk when they sell their Ipad?
Is the Google search engine crowded with explanations on how to use it?

When I catch myself trying to reinvent the wheel, or thinking about a fancy word to use, I stop.
I breathe.
And I try to think about how I would explain this thing I’m working on to my grandma.

I’m not talking about making the message stupid. Your grandma is not stupid, right? (if she is, pick someone else :-)

I’m talking about making it more simple:

  • simplify your problem as far as you can so that it still makes sense
  • formulate things differently
  • use less words, simpler words
  • delete all acronyms
  • tell a story
  • make a drawing or use images
  • make it low tech (do you really need a computer and powerpoint?)

That puts it all in perspective.

Grandma understands the Ipad and can use Google.
Grandma will understand my pitch to management because I only use images and tell a  story.
Grandma will like a short and simple creativity tip on Sunday (I will need to print it though because she doesn’t have a computer…)

So, next time you’re stuck, try explaining it to grandma.

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