Cheap way of getting new ideas. : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread

I have been a professional industrial innovator for over 20 years and I absolutely love what I do and make a great living doing it. I could write a hymnbook about what original thinking is, or isn't. Junkyard Wars is an interesting program based not only on the contestant's creative abilities, but upon the creative ability of the show's managers. The show will never run out of contestants who are up for the challenge, however the show may exhaust it's ability to provide the novelty that viewers crave, so its paramount that they develop a stream of new and interesting ideas.

There are two basic ways to get great ideas: 1.) Through the probability of 1000 average thinkers wanting to prove themselves, or; 2.) Through the ability of one gifted thinker. Both methods work, although the second choice will cost a lot of money since great thinkers seldom work for nothing. The JYW discussion board is a great invention itself and may in fact be the most important idea of the entire program.

So before all you great thinkers out there take the bait and become a statistic for a corporate charity, think about what you're doing. You may get more satisfaction from going over all the 100s of ideas people submit for months and discover that none of them thought of yours!

James L Paris, Paris Innovation

-- James L Paris (, February 08, 2001


Wow...what an honor to have such a great individual contributing!

-- Dan (, February 08, 2001.

I would rather see a light shine than live in the dark.

-- Rob.Fitterling (, February 08, 2001.

It's a sad world when we start getting so stingy that we don't even want to contribute to a show that brings us joy. I mean who cares if I don't get paid for contributing the idea of say a fire boat. I'd feel great just seeing them build the thing. There is a time and place for everything....Yes some great inventions or ideas should be protected so that someone else doesn't cash in on it. But to say I'm not gonna suggest an idea to have built on JYW. sad

-- JunkMan (, February 09, 2001.

Dear Junk Man,

Thank you for your thoughtful response. Allow me to explain my attitude in a more meaningful way.

When I am consulting with various corporations, I get to rub shoulders with their personnel. The most common complaint I hear, by far, is "lack of recognition." Our country was made great by creative thought, not hard work as many surmise. However, many corporations create an absolutely inimical environment for this process. The JYW discussion board is a perfect example of how to "stymie" creativity, not promote it. --- Here are its basic principles:

1.) To make sure you only get the most common ideas from the most naive people, set up an "arm's length" discussion board so the contributors can not submit their ideas directly to the producers of the show. --- This guarantees that no recognition will follow.

2.) Allow this "arm's length" discussion board to be dominated by a gauntlet of previously "disenfranchised" and angry contributors whose only hope for recognition is to be the "most creative" at ridiculing the next naive contributor.

I have watched a few JYW programs because its a unique, intriguing, and educational concept. However, I have lost my respect for the producers of the show because of their inconsiderate, insensitive, and parisitical approach to picking the brains of the public. Because the producers of JYW "don't know spit" about building a truly productive interface with the public, their capability of surviving very long is compromised. Many other good programs have disappeared for the same reasons.

I believe in people. Treat them right, make them feel good, complement even the most banal contribution because that person will go back an try again; feeling worthwhile, they will also encourage the next person and so on. During corporate meetings, I always seem to trigger an avalanche of innovative thought because people sense that I am protective of the process, the scowling boss or tittering associate also sense it and keep quiet. --- Then we make breakthroughs.

Best regards, James L Paris Paris Innovation

-- James L Paris (, February 10, 2001.

If you believe in "not using people", stop using this forum to advertise your business.

I have a portfolio of accomplishments also, just as many others here...

There are times to have fun...What does it hurt if a "ditch digger" episode comes up and a few dozen (or hundred) fans think, "Hey, maybe they read MY suggestion!" The chance of getting a direct connection to something on TV is limited..this way a lot of people can have their own "15 minutes of fame"...

-- Dan Denney (, February 10, 2001.

yes....i am one of those who identify a problem or condition at work that could be addressed with little or no expense to my employer, unlike virtually all others at work, i also offer a workable,realistic solution as well. one of my philosophys is there is always room for improvment!...thus im also labeled somewhat of a troublemaker due to my repeated suggestions......but i will continue to do so here, as at work........just because once in a hwile one of thos esuggestions actually takes root!......lending to my credibility! thus i have made a difference twards the positive somewhere!

-- tim (, February 11, 2001.

Dear Mr. Denny,

Once in a while things happen perfectly, you try to explain a concept, and up pops a great example.

After my last posting, I received 3 private emails, so far, from people basically saying that they don't post because of the gauntlet of ridicule. They all hope for a better system.

Your message personifies the problem. ---You're angry because you've posted your ideas and didn't receive the recognition you deserved, not even a simple "thank you." Instead, you were forced to "lay yourself bare" in front of others previously made "feckless." Such a system breeds the jealousy and animosity that is apparent in your message to me.

I am greatful that you provided another opportunity for me to explain this pervasive problem to unsuspecting others, and I also hope that I've left you better than I found you.

Best regards, James L Paris Paris innovation

-- James L Paris (, February 11, 2001.

In the beginning of this site, I thought that maybe I shouldn't suggest ideas because, dammit! they should pay for these. Then I realized that they have a whole crew of people who've probably come up with just about everything under the sun in the many brainstorming sessions they've have. So maybe they want to see how many times their suggestions get repeated by other people so they can show builds that everyone will like. It's definetely a sampling device for the show. On top of that. Do you realize how many people go to their graves with ideas that they've kept under their hats for one reason or another. That's the real tragedy....

-- John Gap (, February 11, 2001.

What the hell are you talking about? I'm talking about a GAME SHOW. What kind of anger could anyone have toward that?

-- Dan Denney (, February 11, 2001.

I'm laughing over this whole thing. I could care less if they take my idea and use it on the show. Even More so I could care less if they acknowladge the idea came from me. I willingly offer my ideas to be used(if I have any) The show isn't taking advantage of anyone. They asked if anyone has any ideas to submitt them. No one is forcing people to submit ideas, no one is stealing them. They offer nothing in return so we know we get nothing except the joy of seeing them build it. IT would be a different story if they said...we'll reward you...then they use your idea and you get squat. but since that isn't the case.....who cares.

-- JunkMan (, February 12, 2001. would be real difficult to attribute a particular idea to any one person......given the absolute deluge of the same ideas......even the very few that are actually workable ideas! i try just to contribute to the variety and longevity of the program seeing as its the only one of about 2 or 3 shows that is actually interesting!!

-- tim (, February 12, 2001.

Hey Dan, It sounds like James wants to psycholigize you.....innovatively....

-- John Gap (, February 12, 2001.

I have never looked at a postal worker the same. I mean they used to be such harmless weird sorts. But now you never know when you walk into the post office, is this the day one of them will snap?

Lets face it, we aren't very nice to each other, certainly not in my country. As self serving as James L Paris might have sounded to some, I can not ever argue with one who sides with civility.

Although the comment about 1000 average thinkers and one gifted thinker was way over the edge there James. You sure put all of us in place there and made us feel awfully good about our selves.

I take shots at ideas for fun and who knows one of them just might become part of something on a show someday, and that would be fun too.

-- Richard James Retey (, February 12, 2001.

Dear Guys,

OK, let me try this one more time, then scary Mr. Paris will go away. Fortunately, the last collective spate of desperation contained some potentially didactic stuff, just waiting to be unfurled for our use here.

One of you,(sounds like a nice guy), works for an employer that tends to ignore the creativity he often presents. Only through surviving continuing indifference and pessimistic peril does this fine employee ever get his creativity begrudgingly recognized. This is not an example of innovation, it is an example of "evolution."

The metaphor of 1000 average thinkers was used to illustrate the method that solipsistic organizations often use to get ideas for nothing. By eliminating the "thank you" phase of the process, they train people to "believe" they are average, long before I come along.

The post office analogy was truly a gold nugget chinking the tip of a digging spade. A few years ago, I actually consulted for a regional division of the Post Office about the grievious personnel problems. Interestingly, the Post Office uses the same "blind box" approach to employee feedback. For very human reasons, "blind" suggestions are overwhelmingly negative, whereas "responsive" suggestions are mostly positive. Changing to responsive feedback has noticeably improved morale. ---I might add that one of you, (I'm not naming names) actually demonstrates "postal" behavior, gully-jumping every new kid in the neighborhood, a demonstration of accumulating resentment.

The JYW producers practice "first order logic," i.e.; "If I don't change the oil in my car, I'll save $20.00." Sponsers spend millions to carry the JYW program, yet there's not even one t-shirt, hat, or mug to recognize the 100s of hours that you selfless gentlemen spend in this very "uncreative" environment to guarantee their existence. --- I rest my case.

Good luck gentlemen, James L Paris Paris Innovation

-- James L Paris (, February 13, 2001.

I sent a challenge directly to the producers at the RDF Media website. If I can help the only decent thing on TV to continue and prosper from my FREE advice then I am satisfied. I for one am sick of focus group tested crap like temptation island and survivor. These shows play to the lowest common denominator. JYW is MY show and I see no reason not to volunteer my time to make it work.

-- Stephen A. Binion (, February 13, 2001.

Only *one* of us?

-- Eric (, February 13, 2001.

I wonder who that could be...

-- Dan Denney (, February 13, 2001.

I think that Mr. Paris has missed a large point of this Discussion Group. Yes, people like making suggestions in it, but that is only a part of the function. If RDF stated that they would not accept any suggestions from the board, I expect that it would keep going for a while. It has developed into an on-line community, something that does happen, usually around a theme, but not limited to it. We discuss shows, talk about our experiences with bodging, and, yes, chat about making some ideas work for the show.

I don't think that RDF is using this to save money, I just think that they have set up a forum where people can voluntarily suggest their ideas and participate in a community that is benificial to everyone involved.

I think there are some very smart people here who use their wisdom to promote a show that they feel they "own" part of. Not all of us subscribe to the idea that greed is everything: that people owe me for everything that I do to help them. Interdependance works in real life, and in this on-line community. RDF gets some ideas from this board, the board participants get great TV.

-- Michael (Canadian P.Eng.) (, February 14, 2001.

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