Have you ever heard of the 100:10:1 method of generating ideas? It’s really simple.

  1. Quick as you can, preferably within one day, write down 100 ideas. Quality/feasibility/sense don’t matter at this point. Just write.
  2. Choose the top 10 ideas and develop them
  3. Then pick the 1 best idea from those 10 and develop it fully.

The end


I decided to do this to generate ideas for crocheted goodies to sell in my shop. I numbered a couple of pages in my notebook 1 to 100 and then spent a few minutes staring at that number thinking “I’ll never get that many!” But you have to try, don’t you.

It was halting at first. 1-5 done, think for a few minutes, 6, 7, 8, think for a few more minutes. 9. 10.  It was tough and I really thought I wouldn’t manage, but then I hit 36 and the floodgates opened – my brain was supplying ideas quicker than I could write, and right now I have 112 ideas sitting on the page.

The difficulty is in narrowing it down to 10. Some are obviously ridiculous and can be crossed off immediately e.g. cable ties, beards. But the rest…it’s difficult to choose.

A general idea I have for the shop is that I want to sell useful things, not just dust-collectors. That means pretty much all of the clothing options could go into the top 10. Bags are also useful, as are tea cosies, bookmarks, coasters, door stops. But I like pretty things too, so I could also add necklaces, earrings, hair slides and badges.

On the other hand, some of the not-so-useful things really appeal to me on a nerdy level: pokeballs, Nintendo characters, the feminism symbol, cuddly bacteria, Mjölnir.

How to narrow it down?

If I put on my practical head for a minute (it must be around here somewhere) and consider the fact that I’ve already spent almost £100 on this shop without making a single penny back yet, I should go for things that I can make with materials I already have. So badges and earrings are out.

Also things that wouldn’t cost too much to post out, so no doorstops. Preferably quite quick to make so I can get stocked up asap.

How about this:

  1. Hats
  2. Gloves
  3. Scarves
  4. Door mufflers
  6. Necklaces/chokers
  7. Bags
  8. Slippers
  9. Coasters
  10. Nintendo goodies (I just can’t resist!)

Of coursre, I’ll probably end up making most or all of these for the shop at some point, but for the point of the exercise the one idea I’m going to focus on is the first one; hats.

I’ve bookmarked a few patterns for different kinds of hat, beanies, floppy brim, tulip hat etc. I’m also fairly confident I can work out a pattern for a simple hat myself, so you can look forward to posts about that in the near future.

Has anyone used this method for generating ideas before? Think you might give it a go now? Let me know in the comments!