Mental Mash Up

A mental mash up is something I do to get new ideas — to see things in a different way.

I collect “potatoes” over time. A potato can be a wise saying, an interesting blog post, a concept that keeps popping up in various places, or maybe something funny someone said at work.

After I’ve amassed some number of potatoes, I pile a bunch together and mentally mash them. I try to combine two or three, to see if some new thought comes out of it. I refer to these new thoughts as “tater tots” — small edible bites that are reconstituted bits of multiple potatoes.

For example, if you mash together Facebook and the concept of Six Degrees of Separation, you might come up with the concept of LinkedIn.