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Creativity tip: repurpose failure

Have you ever come up with a great idea that just didn’t work? No matter how much you try to push it through, it just doesn’t seem to fit. This is especially true when you are trying to come up with a solution to a specific problem and end up a great thought or strategy that doesn’t actually work in this instance.

Lets use Silly Putty as an example. A scientist was looking for a rubber substitute when he accidentally dropped boric acid into silicone oil. His result was an interesting bouncy substance that acted a bit like rubber. When he sent it around for peer review, no one could figure out a practical use for it. But everyone loved playing with it, scientists were even throwing after-hours parties to play with big slabs of it. Finally someone named it Silly Putty, silly being short for silicone, and marketed it as a toy.

When you’re working on something and come up with a great idea that just doesn’t fit, don’t throw it away. Repurpose it! Not every idea is meant for every project and one of the best parts of creation is revision. Slicing out what doesn’t fit makes you look brilliant, but it’s sometimes painful because what you’ve removed is so fantastic.  Save it, recycle it and let it shine in its proper place.

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