Skydeas assumes that a creativity technique must have certain characteristics. It should be:

  • person-independent
  • independent of area
  • largely independent of prior knowledge
  • easy to use
  • leading to good solutions in a targeted manner
  • independent of chance

Scientific derivation

It follows from the general applicability and domain-independence of creativity techniques that the solution concepts must also be domain-independent, i.e. abstract and universal. Problem solving typically involves transformations, as new ideas are intended to change or transform something. Such actions are expressed by verbs in many languages. Skydeas has therefore put together a selection of particularly general and abstract verbs in a tree structure. These are the most abstract and general 800 verbs from a total of around 14,000 English and German verbs.

Skydeas calls them elementary operations.

They are best suited to evoke systematic associations of high relevance and quality when confronted with the respective problem formulation.

This is in contrast to creativity techniques that generate new ideas through random associations, such as brainstorming or lateral thinking. Skydeas is most closely related to TRIZ, another scientifically based technique that extracts particularly important universal solution principles from successful patents.

Comparison and alternatives

In principle, it is possible to combine Skydeas with other creativity techniques. For example, it may be used as supporting structure in brainstorming sessions or together with TRIZ tools, e.g. in the search for the ideal end result. The contradiction matrix and physical effects of TRIZ can also be used.

Advantages of Skydeas:

  • Simple, therefore intuitive and easy to learn
  • Independent of topic and area
  • Suitable also for complex problems
  • Saves a lot of time, as the entire solution space can be searched systematically and purposefully
  • Offers generally valid solutions that are abstracted from the specific problem