Imagine It!
May 7, 2008 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Teams of student entrepreneurs around the world had six days to add value to a stack of Post-It notes as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The results are documented in Imagine It!, which aims to promote creative thinking.

Some of the projects generated from the Post-It notes are a fundraising fast-food service that uses Post-It notes for orders; an elementary school class on entrepreneurship; a collection of notes and wisdom from top minds around Stanford University; awareness-building systems for disabilities, pedestrian crosswalks, and the Thai Constitution; mass fundraising for Kiva microlending; an open-source factorial music program; and some comedy based on organizing girlfriends.

The video also features interviews from Guy Kawasaki, John Hennessy (president of Stanford), Richard Caruso (Entrepreneur of the Year), and other people in academia, business, and social entreprise.
posted by divabat (20 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the website of one of the projects: What's Your Post-It?
posted by divabat at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2008

I'm sorry, but could the editing of the video at the "Imagine It!" link be any more insulting and annoying? They have edited it like a reality show.... teasing out 30 seconds' worth of information over several minutes.

What's more, I'm really sick of groups and companies who are "all about encouraging creativity." Oh, puke.
posted by autodidact at 3:30 PM on May 7, 2008

...and here I was wondering how they were going to fold/stick/write on Post-Its to generate revenue.
posted by clearly at 3:49 PM on May 7, 2008

What could possibly have more value than a post it Mario?
(The previous FPP would have been posted in Projects if it existed back then)
posted by pantsrobot at 4:39 PM on May 7, 2008

What could possibly have more value than a post it Mario?

a papier-mache plate made from post-it notes, stacked high with pancakes?

or bacon, depending on your taste.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:49 PM on May 7, 2008

Ideas without context are worth almost nothing, which is why going to some company and telling them that you have an idea to sell them will net you a pittance, if anything. When you go to a bank for a loan to start a business, you have to convince them that you have more than just an idea before they give you any money.

Innovation is the recognition and transformation of an idea into a specific benefit. That whole sentence is important, because innovation is not an invention, and it's not the same thing as "creative thinking." The coolest new technology in the world isn't going to get you very far in the market if you can't articulate (to your boss, or a bank) how the tech is going to add value to a product or service that a consumer is willing to pay a premium for. Innovation is not just about making new stuff, it's about making old stuff more economically tenable.

That's why real innovation is hard, and lots of industries tend to be heavy on buzzwords. It's easy to talk about upping the gee-whiz factor and promoting free-spirited entrepreneuralism, but when it comes down to the numbers, it's about understanding your customer's needs, meeting the ones they're willing to pay for, and leaving the ones they aren't alone.
posted by anifinder at 4:58 PM on May 7, 2008

Spotting the words "value" and "add" next to each other anywhere is pretty much a guaranteed sign that the thing in question is going to suck horribly, unless you're teaching kids addition.
posted by blacklite at 5:08 PM on May 7, 2008

unless you're teaching kids abortion.

Holy crap, this guy has some very distinct political views...!

*looks again*:

unless you're teaching kids addition.

Scratch that, I just have problems reading properly...
posted by surenoproblem at 5:24 PM on May 7, 2008

man, that's how I read it too. how fuckin' weird.
posted by unSane at 6:02 PM on May 7, 2008

I read addiction.
posted by tighttrousers at 6:15 PM on May 7, 2008

Awesome! I've been waiting weeks for the chance to use "smarmy" on metafilter!
posted by GoingToShopping at 9:29 PM on May 7, 2008

Every few weeks you might even get to take "snarky" and "self-referential" out for a spin!
posted by freebird at 11:27 PM on May 7, 2008

which aims to promote creative thinking...

...and skirt child labor laws nationwide by providing a captive population of able-bodied Ad-men. Awesome. Hey, could I farm out some creative work to the country's children, too?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:50 PM on May 7, 2008

Hey, could I farm out some creative work to the country's children, too?

That kind of approach is happening all over the place these days.

My local indie-hipster radio station, for example, is constantly shilling these 'competitions' on behalf of big corporations, for youngsters to design a website or make an animation or write a jingle or take photographs or whatever creative thing they do.

The prize might be something like a multimedia course or a short internship somewhere, but the end result is usually that MegaCorp gets its creative work done for free (from within the same fickle market whose tastes are notoriously difficult for them to predict & penetrate) and also wins itself a captive audience - visiting the competition website to see others' submissions, check the rules etc.

Advertising cynically dressed up as a creative competition. Exploitative and only marginally ethical, at best.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:30 AM on May 8, 2008

I'm getting a bit tired of business trying to associate itself with creativity and like ubu mentions above, the rip offs disguised as competitions - anyone that thinks a group of creative people should be competing against each other lacks understanding.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:48 AM on May 8, 2008

wait, they have blue post-its?
posted by snofoam at 4:31 AM on May 8, 2008

This is quite different from company-sponsored competitions. For one thing, this was part of an Entrepreneurship Week, and the competition was hosted by Stanford. The Post-Its were Stanford's choice; they weren't actually sponsored by 3M.
posted by divabat at 4:42 AM on May 8, 2008

Also, if those of you criticizing the idea actually watched the video, you'll realize that (aside from the Indian comedy group, who called the product a "stickpad", and one group that went to 3M to get more pads), none of them actually promoted 3M nor any specific function of Post-Its. It was just a tool for their wider use.
posted by divabat at 5:46 AM on May 8, 2008

Are we supposed to actually read links & watch videos now? When did this change occur?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 AM on May 8, 2008

hello, i'm richard caruso, entreprenuer of the year, can i buy you a drink ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:27 AM on May 8, 2008

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