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Universal structure for presenting new ideas

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 20, 2021
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Universal structure for presenting new ideas. Designed to maximize inspiration per time spent reading. The structure boils down to:
  1. High concept summary of the idea
  2. Why it should exist
  3. How it works
  • Maximize inspiration per time spent reading.
  • Deliver new ideas in a way that takes the least amount of the reader's time while providing the most value.
  • Deliver ideas in a way that inspires people to go off on a tangent and begin creating themselves.
  • Don't make people waste their time sifting through your story to extract what your idea achieves.
How it works
  1. As outlined below, when sharing their ideas, people simplify them down to their most fundamental and essential components.
  2. They appreciate the structure's simplicity.
  3. They see this in action on the Brainstorming platform.
  4. They appreciate the high value per reading time.
  5. They appreciate their creativity being stoked by the environment that is created as a result of this universal idea presentation structure.
  6. They appreciate their attention not being manipulated to maximize passive consumption of content.
  7. They reciprocate by sharing their ideas using the same structure.
  8. This inspires other people's creativity and the cycle continues.
  9. The world becomes a better place as some of the resulting ideas get implemented by people world wide.

A basic universal structure for presenting ideas
Consider this:
What is the minimum information people need to know about a new idea? In what order would they like to receive the information?
I propose the following structure:
  • Abstract: What is your idea? Reduce it to a high concept summary.
  • Why?: Why should it exist? List of benefits, solved problems, etc.
  • How it works: Details that make it feasible.
  • Everything else: Whatever the ideator feels is important to mention. A freestyle area, unique to specific ideas.
High signal to noise ratio requirement
Consider the kind of people that will be interested in your idea. Are they thinkers, problem solvers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors? One thing they all have in common: they are busy. Everything around them competes for their attention. Chances are, they have become intolerant of anything that wastes their time. So, whatever you want to say, get straight to the point and keep it brief.
Don’t use attention-grabbing sentences only to disappoint the reader with little substance. Replace all the hooks and baits with good ideas. Don’t worry about losing disinterested readers. If the idea doesn’t get their attention, neither will all the literary trickery. The first paragraph of your document IS the entire idea summarized. Even the busiest person should be able to grasp it at a glance.
We share ideas to inspire others. It’s OK for the reader to stop reading and begin creating. The sooner they’ve gotten what they needed to see, the sooner they can be creative themselves. Write each section as if it was the last section the reader needs to see.
The sections explained
Try to summarize the entire idea within the title. It should be a single sentence that starts with the "what" and ends with the "why". The goal is to let the reader understand the idea from just reading the title alone. Aim to give the “secrets” away without requiring the reader to read the rest.
Please consider not using ALL CAPS or Capitalizing Each First Letter Of The Title. Let’s maintain some standards.
The first paragraph of an idea should be a high concept summary. This is basically an expanded version of the summarised title. It can include important aspects from any other section (a problem it solves, how it works, what’s original about it, etc).
Everyone understands the meaning of “why?”. Any other way of putting it, it might not be universal enough to cover all kinds of ideas, and it could become less explanatory. For example, some alternative names for this section’s title could be: “Why this idea should exist”, “The reason for being”, “Problems the idea solves”, etc. Still, just “Why?” explains it better in my opinion.
If the idea achieves multiple benefits, they could be listed as bullet points.
Identifying the problems your idea solves helps people think of improvements. They might find better ways of going about it.
How it works
In this section, we describe the mechanisms/methods/principles by which the idea works. This is what makes it feasible.
Everything else
This is not necessarily a single section. It’s simply a freestyle continuation of the idea explanation. Here you can add any important info that didn't fit in the previous sections. It could have multiple titles/sections that are unique to the idea.
This google doc contains an expanded version with a few basic concepts explained. Such as:
  • what is an idea
  • how people come up with ideas
  • the difference between invention and innovation
Creative contributions

How to write a good idea title

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 25, 2022
A good idea title should aim to reveal its secret. It should be easy to understand what the idea is just by reading the title.
If possible, it should be a single sentence that starts with the "what" and ends with the "why".
  • A distributed network of sensors to warn people about allergens.
  • Peer-to-peer encrypted messages that get delivered only if something happens to you.
  • Long-term storage of perishable goods to be sold as birthday gifts created on the day someone was born.
  • Contact lists that display the remaining times you will see each person in your life, to help you reevaluate priorities.
I initially had this one in reverse:
  • Improve neuroplasticity in adults by making them re-learn skills by using awkwardly designed tools. I then edited it to: "Make people use awkwardly designed tools to re-learn old skills and thereby improve neuroplasticity in adults"
An idea could have multiple "why's". In which case, just pick the most representative one to feature in the title.
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General comments

Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
Here's what GPT4 says about the proposed "universal structure for presenting new ideas":

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 years ago
Posting this feels like the movie Inception. An Idea about ideas to maximize coming up with new ideas.
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