As entrepreneurs, many of us get "stuck" coming up with creative and original solutions to nagging problems. In the book Made to Stick, the Heath brothers reference a study of brainstorming. Groups were supposed to create the marketing ideas for a product.
Group 1... just started creating ideas
Group 2... was given two hours of training in brainstorming methods
Group 3... was given two hours of training in the six most successful
templates for ads.
All ads were evaluated by a marketing director and tested on customers.
Group 1 results: ads were considered annoying by customers.
Group 2 results: ads were considered less annoying but no more creative.
Group 3 results: ads were considered 50% more creative and generated a
55% better response from customers.
In other words, brainstorming is useless unless you know what you're looking for or already have a template for success. Now, go ideate correctly because the world needs your breakthrough ideas ;)