Idea, Concept, Product

Earlier today I went to the release seminar of a new book on creativity and idea development called Slagkraft – Håndbok i idéutvikling by Erik Lerdahl. In his introduction, Erik Lerdahl stressed the importance of creativity not being something that happens by random, but rather that it is a “muscle” that can be trained. Nice metaphor.

What I found most interesting during the seminar was the talk by Ragnar Johansen, the marketing director from Stabburet, a Norwegian food producer. His approach to creativity and design, he told, was very much focused on the business value. His take on the chain from idea to product was like this:

  • An idea has no value if it does not lead to a clear concept.
  • A concept is a development of an idea into something that gives value.
  • Translating a concept into a product is the hardest part.

He exemplified this through the process leading up to the launch a new sauce tube. However, this very practical and business-oriented approach sounded quite similar to how we are working when developing solutions for a music performance. There are always lots of ideas that have to be massaged into more concrete concepts, and then we have to face a number of technical and practical challenges when developing the final product.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.