Over dinner a couple months ago, one of my friends said he needed some help coming up with a name for a new website. He told me a bit about the site and asked if I could help think of something over dinner. He also asked my other friends to join in so we could get a whole bunch of ideas on the table and choose the best one.

From my experience working at an agency, as a designer, and at [my company] ooomf, coming up with ideas from a single brainstorming session like this one is usually not the most effective way. Many people I’ve come across, including the most creative ones, need individual time to let ideas marinate before the best concept reveals itself (even if it’s something that seems as simple as naming a website).

I encouraged my friend to take some time to do the same — to play with his concept a bit more before bringing it to anyone for more input. After this experience, I wondered why the group brainstorming session is often the default choice when we’re pressed to find that perfect idea.

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