Brainstorming versus Braindumping

It’s three in the afternoon. You’re huddled with your co-founders trying to brainstorm the next steps for launching your new company. 

You ping pong back and forth on each other’s ideas, building on them, trying to come up with creative ways to get attention for your new business.

One idea finally breaks through and everybody is excited about it. At the end of the meeting, you feel a sense of accomplishment, a new direction, and a newfound passion for your startup.

As you’re putting your things away, you check with one co-founder to see if she can forward all of the notes from the brainstorming session to the group so that you guys can start dividing and conquering. She looks at your other co-founder and says, “I thought you were the one taking notes, right?” He stares blankly at her and looks to you, because he thought you were the one taking notes. You look at them, they both look back at you, and you all realize that you’ve brainstormed tons of great ideas but have neglected to actually write them down.

When you’re in the startup phase, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of new ideas and forget to document what you came up with. Especially when ideas morph, turn into new ideas and then even newer ideas as multiple people give their input from different perspectives.

There’s a simple solution to this very real and very troubling problem: braindump instead of brainstorm.

Entrepreneurs brainstorm all the time. But if you forget to take notes during a brainstorm session, the creative energy in the room disappears like a helium balloon let loose.

Braindumping is simply brainstorming written down. Ideas are literally dumped onto a piece of paper, computer, or smart device that can be referenced later and acted upon. 

Before the creative juices start flowing in a group of entrepreneurs or co-founders, make sure to  identify who is the designated note-taker so that the brainstorming session is a braindumping session.  Whiteboards are also great tools, but they are better for working out ideas as they develop, as they are harder to take home. Make sure to write things down somewhere other than the whiteboard or remember to take a picture of it afterwards.

There’s an old adage that if you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll never get there. Similarly, if you don’t write down the ideas that you come up with in a creative brainstorming session, those ideas will never come to fruition.

After a good brainstorming session, people feel energized and motivated, but they’ll only remember a few of the ideas that came up, and some really great ideas are bound to be lost. If you lose your good ideas to thin air, then things won’t move as quickly as you want.  

Become a braindumper. Make it a habit to translate your creative ideas onto paper or the computer, and thus, braindumping will help you turn those ideas into success.