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How To Brainstorm Like Steve Jobs (Or Elon Musk)

Have you ever wondered how geniuses and innovators like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk come up with new ideas that make them successful? Nobody really knows the answer, except Steve and Elon themselves. However, we can always speculate. 

If you research these geniuses and creative minds, you will find that they have unique ways of thinking and brainstorming ideas. Some of them (like Elon Musk), have idea algorithms that stem from an intense ambition to change the world, while others stick to doing simple things that matter the most. 

In addition to the different brainstorming tips (link to article on brainstorming tips) you may already be utilizing, below are examples of how Steve Jobs and Elon Musk brainstorm that you can adopt.

  • Tip To Brainstorm Like Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was a firm believer that one of the major keys to productivity was knowing when to say ‘NO.’ According to him, “focusing on brainstorming is all about being able to say no.” What Steve means is that, focus means saying no to the hundred other good ideas. So, you have to decide what it makes sense to spend energy and time on, and what doesn’t. 

Another very innovative mind, Warren Buffet agrees with Steve’s mindset. He once said, “the difference between successful people and really successful people is that the really successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.” 

The Apple co-founder believed that the use of storytelling to make a vision more compelling is the way forward. He claims that having a powerful vision is essential for every entrepreneur, and that to achieve success, stakeholders have to buy into the vision. According to Steve, this is where most people fail. 

  • Tip To Brainstorm Like Elon Musk 

For Elon, being able to brainstorm well and stay productive involves starting his day with his most critical schedules, and work the rest of his day based on priority. According to Elon, “we need to focus on signal over noise, and not waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better.” 

In other to achieve this – brainstorm properly and continue being productive, Elon tries to eliminate as many meetings as he can. According to him, “Excessive meetings are one of the problems plaguing big companies and almost always get worse over time. We have to get rid of these frequent meetings, unless we are dealing with an extremely urgent matter.” 

Elon says, “If we must have a meeting, we have to be certain that values are being provided to the whole audience.” He also advises his employees to “drop off a call or walkout, as soon as it is obvious that they are not adding value.” He believes that it is not rude to leave meetings that are not providing any value.

  • Brainstorming Tips From Other Geniuses

Other successful people like; Jeff Bezos of Amazon tries to make decisions as quickly as possible; Jack Dorsey of Twitter attends meetings with Google Docs; while Bill Gates sharpens his focus through meditation.  

Whichever one of these brainstorming techniques you plan to adopt, a 10Ideas Creativity Journal will come handy for putting down your ideas. You can get a free worksheet here or order the complete journal here.