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Learn to ideate creatively, build a distinctive brand and craft great products
—  500+ Value Creators
Hi, I'm Arjun
The Founder/Voice of DisplayZen
DisplayZen is where I share my journey as
a product & user focused creator

And insights into ↓

- Product Creation (psychology, design & strategy)
- Branding
- Ideation
Digital Authority (Free Guide)

15000-Word Ultimate Guide that will help you ideate, brand yourself, and craft great products.

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Creative Alignment (Free Guide)

Ultimate Guide that helps you generate high-signal ideas and create work that is unique.

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Magnetic Ideation (MasterClass)

The DZ Letter
14 min
Today's Snapshot

> Introduction of magnetic ideation

> Awareness

> The two extremes

> Intrinsic drivers

> Creative Exercises

Read time: 14 min

Hey there, Arjun here.

Here's how you can generate high-signal ideas and create work that is unique.

You probably have heard a lot of things about idea generation.

Which is why I decided to cover idea generation from a different light. From a philosophical viewpoint.

You’ll be reading about creative inlet, outlet, intrinsic drivers, curiosity as a catalyst and much more.

Before I go more into this guide, I would like you to read a passage by Rick Rubin from The Creative Act:

An explosion of information arrives in inspired moments. How can we avoid becoming fixated on these bolts of lightning? Some artists live as storm chasers awaiting spontaneous strikes, longing for the thrill.

A more constructive strategy is to focus less on the lightning bolt and more on the spaces surrounding it. The space before, because lightning does not strike unless the right preconditions are met, and the space after, because the electricity dissipates if you do not capture it and use it. When we are struck by an epiphany, our experience of what’s possible has been expanded. In that instant, we are broken open. We’ve entered a new reality. Even when we leave that heightened state, the experience sometimes remains in us. Other times it’s fleeting.

If lightning should strike, and this information is channeled through the aether to us, what follows is a great deal of practical work. While we can’t command a lightning bolt’s arrival, we can control the space around it. We accomplish this by preparing beforehand and honoring our obligation to it afterward.

Our ideas come in 2 ways.

1 is through conscious effort and 2 is through unconscious effort.

Conscious effort is when you are deeply immersed in your work.

Unconscious effort is when you are completely detached from your work.

Unconscious effort works because your subconscious mind is actively looking for intersections and connections.

I’m not an expert in creative thinking.

But this email outlines the method I used to:

  • get over 8000+ customers over 3 different niches
  • build connections with top creators
  • generate great ideas that help fulfill my vision

Introduction of magnetic ideation

Creativity is the conduit for the activities that take place in a one-person business.

To grow your brand, you need content.

(Remember success in the digital economy depends on how well you can build a brand and monetize it)

To make good content, you need good ideas.

To get ideas, you need curiosity + creativity →

You may have seen a visual similar to this one below:

Creative Inlet plays hand in hand with creative input but there are differences.

Input is the act of putting something into something.

So inputting information into your mind is considered an input (which is primarily a verb).

Let’s take an analogy:

Take a box. The act of putting things into the box is considered input. The hole that allows the things to be put inside the box is the inlet.

Now coming back to your mind.

Your creative inlet has a filter at which the information is being transmitted.

So you might get high-quality information, but your brain might not be able to actually make use of it properly.

Which means that you are unable to convey the words you hear into words you can use in your writing.

This is the filter. So yes, the quality of the input definitely matters.. a lot. But I’d argue that the quality of your creative inlet is more important.

You may hear a lot of good things. But try putting what you hear into actual words you can use in your brand.

The information you hear/read will change when you try to use them in your brand.

The way they change (either good or bad) depends on the quality of your creative inlet.

The quality of the inlet at which you perceive information will dictate the quality of the outlet. Thus, directly affecting the work output.

An idea is altered through its mistranslation into words.

Then it’s refiltered again through your audience’s lens and redistributed.

It’s an ongoing cycle.

Improving the quality of input is very easy. Just learn from higher-quality people.

Improving the quality of your creative inlet is something that can be taught.

Why? Because it’s a skill.

So, how do you improve your creative inlet?

This email will help you get started.

You can read the full version here.

And improving your creative inlet will allow you to be more clear of your thoughts, get better ideas which in turn allows you to craft better products and build a better, more recognisable brand.


Raising awareness goes hand in hand with consciousness.

Mixing awareness and consciousness with creativity involves cultivating a mindful and present state of mind while engaging in the creative process.

Here are 2 ways to integrate these elements:

Cultivate self-awareness + Practice open-mindedness

Develop a deep understanding of yourself, your strengths, and your preferences. Recognize your biases and assumptions and how they influence your creative process.

This self-awareness enables you to leverage your strengths and challenge your limitations. Cultivate an open mind and suspend judgment when exploring new ideas. Allow yourself to embrace uncertainty and diverse perspectives.

By opening yourself up to different possibilities, you expand your creative horizons and generate more innovative ideas.

Self-awareness involves developing a deep understanding of oneself, including one's thoughts, emotions, values, strengths, and limitations.

In the digital age, where we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions, self-awareness allows us to filter through the noise and focus on what truly matters to us.

By understanding your unique perspectives, biases, and preferences, you can navigate the digital landscape with intention and align your creative efforts with your authentic selves.

The only "real-time" you have is the present moment.

The past is over and have faith that your future self will put the future to good use.

This shifts your attention to the present.

This integration allows you to approach the digital economy and creative endeavors with a balanced mindset, helping us generate innovative solutions.

Incorporate introspection

Set aside dedicated time for introspection and self-reflection. Allow your thoughts and ideas to simmer and percolate in your mind. Create space for quiet contemplation, journaling, or creative solitude.

This is a crucial aspect in anyone's creative workflow.

It provides you with an opportunity to disconnect from external distractions, engage in deep thinking, and cultivate a mindful awareness of your own thoughts and experiences.

Introspection allows you to access your own internal wisdom and intuition.

It's a process of diving beneath the surface-level thinking and tapping into your subconscious mind.

By turning your attention inward, you are able to tap into your unique perspectives, personal experiences, and emotions.

Which helps you to be perceived as authentic.

It helps you understand the underlying drivers of your creative pursuits and align them with your authentic selves.

Practically, incorporating introspection into the creative process can take many forms.

It can involve journaling, meditation, mindfulness practices, taking walks in nature, or engaging in artistic expression such as designing.

I personally really like staring out towards the ocean, sky or anything that seems endless (but that that doesn't require a conscious effort).

This heightened state of consciousness allows you to tap into new insights, expand your creativity, and generate more impactful and meaningful ideas.

The final aim is achieving 3 things — which I call The 3Fs

F - Freedom of Choice (Autonomy)

F - Freedom of Time

F - Fulfilment

Whatever you want to achieve will first fall into these 3 here.

Let’s now move on to idea generation — specifically great ideas.

Great ideas come from the two extremes.

1 - This is the extreme where you are deeply focused on your work

2 - The other side of the extreme is when you are completely detached from your work

These 2 extremes breed creativity.

Because this is where you make connections that you otherwise won’t.

Connections that you make when you are fully focused.

Connections you make between two seemingly unrelated fields.

But going to these extremes is not easy.

Being completely immersed in your work means you have to be free of distractions and other thoughts.

Being undetached means you have to be completely immersed in something unrelated.

The connections you form give birth to creative ideas that manifest in your products, content, and life.

Intrinsic Drivers

Ideas can also be looked up on messengers that need to be released through us.

The better we are at being aware, the more ideas we can thus put out in the world.

To be self-aware is to be aware of how we notice the world and thus be able to attach yourself to things you choose - controlled consciousness.

Being multi-passionate

Being multi-passionate is similar to idea of combining multiple topics to generate new ideas.

The idea is simple.

Multi-passionate = More interests = More idea potential

When you're interested in and knowledgeable about several different topics, you can draw connections between them, allowing you to generate unique ideas that might not have emerged if you were focused on only one subject.

The cross-pollination of ideas from different domains can spark creativity and lead to the development of fresh concepts, solutions, and approaches.

For example, a person interested in psychology and design could generate new ideas for user-friendly interfaces that enhance the user experience based on psychological principles.

By embracing your diverse interests and letting them intersect, you can tap into a broader range of experiences and knowledge, which can significantly enhance your ability to generate novel and creative ideas.

Curiosity as a catalyst

Embracing curiosity is a fundamental aspect of the human experience and a driving force behind intellectual growth.‍

Approach the world with an inquisitive mind and a willingness to question and explore.

‍Knowledge is not a static, fixed entity, but rather a dynamic and evolving pursuit.

It is through curiosity that we challenge existing beliefs, assumptions, and viewpoints, seeking a deeper understanding of the world and our place within it.

3 Creative Exercises

Here are 3 creative exercises you can do to improve idea generation.

Keep in mind that creativity is a way of life. These creative exercises do not replace that. They just provide the starting point.

1 - The Combinatorial Approach

Combining unrelated concepts is a powerful approach to generating innovative and unique ideas.

Philosophy recognizes that the boundaries between disciplines, ideas, and concepts are often artificial and arbitrary.

By merging ideas or concepts from different domains, you transcend conventional thinking and create something new and innovative.

You might have heard of the concept of mixing multiple interests together to craft your own unique niche. This is similar, but instead of crafting a niche, you are crafting ideas.

Different domains of knowledge can inform and enrich each other, leading to novel perspectives.


S - Substitute

C - Combine

A - Adapt

M - Modify

P - Put to another use

E - Eliminate

R - Reverse

SCAMPER is a technique used to turn one idea into 100 new ideas.

S - Which part of the idea can we replace? And what can we replace it with?

C - Can you combine multiple ideas into on?

A - What can you change in your idea to make it more aligned to your brand?

M - How can you modify the existing idea to make it better?

P - Can you use this idea somewhere else? (repurposing)

E - What can you eliminate from this idea?

R - Can you reverse the idea? ( A → Z becomes Z → A)

3 - Deconstruct and Reform

Take a product, service, or concept from one of your interests.

Then, consider how you could reverse engineer it to create something entirely new and unexpected.

Understand how that idea was made.

One way that helped me understand (mostly) how other people got ideas was to read a lot of books. That was when I realised that the top creators were able to mix multiple ideas from a book to create their own ones.

Which means, nothing is truly original. And it also helped to reframe my thinking from “We are creators” to “We are distributors” — but it is important to note, then we (creators) distribute after we take an idea and make it more aligned to our brand/add our own perspectives to it.

Try it out.

Here are 3 of my favourite quotes related to creativity ↓

Creativity is just connecting things — Steve Jobs
Creativity is intelligence having fun — Albert Einstein
Those who do not think outside the box are easily contained — Nicolas Manetta

This is the end of this email — but if you found any part of this interesting and useful, I’d highly suggest you download my free guide on creativity — Creative Alignment

Remember, creativity is a way of life. It needs to be explored and applied.