06.Mar.2017

Robert Moore
President & CEO

Galoosh!

That memorable sound that precedes creative genius.

Years ago, at a farm auction, I almost bought a galoosh.

It was some sort of metal contraption—rusted, its International Harvester red faded nearly beige, a bent fender wrapped around a chainless gear suggesting it might have been part of a combine or baler.

“What the heck is that?” someone in the crowd yelled out.

“It’s a galoosh,” the auctioneer responded. “You don’t know what that is? Well, you put it in the back of your pickup, drive over to the Snake River bridge, take it out, lean over the railing, and let go. Galoosh!”

A great concept. An object valued for the sound it makes as it disappears from sight, forever. But fun to watch it fall.

Some brainstorm ideas are like that: intriguing, mysterious, maybe downright genius; but in the end most memorable for the sight and sound they make as they vanish. Brainstorms are based on the power of the galoosh. The chance to grab something ungainly, examine it from all angles, then either make it useful or lift it over the bridge railing and watch it drop.

I’ve often said that a lot of the best ideas in a brainstorm spring directly from the worst ideas—the most offensive remarks or unsightly comparisons. It ain’t a pretty business. But if you don’t raise your hand at the idea auction, you’re missing the chance. Because sometimes, as we stretch wide through all the aspects of the creative problem, we can find in humor or rude suggestions a nugget of truth—unique, compelling, useful—that becomes the basis of the brand expression.

And sometimes not. Galoosh.