Ideas come from places and people in ways that we, as writers, cannot predict.
Tonight I had a fascinating conversation with a cab driver. I didn’t get his name. He was friendly, as taxi drivers tend to be, and talkative. My cab driver (CD) said he was always trying to think up business ideas. CD started to explain to me this idea that he had: a kitchen where different families could come and cook and, possibly, share their meals with one another. I wasn’t sure how that would work so I began asking questions and, alternately, giving business advice. Where would this place be? How big would it have to be? Would people cook there? What about a restaurant and place where people could cook? How would it be decorated; to fit the culture of the people cooking? What ingredients would they have? Would it be possible to bring in ethnic ingredients that are hard to get in the United States? Would that entice people to come in and cook authentic dishes if they could get rare or hard-to-get ingredients? Eventually, the words Community Kitchen came to my mind and CD added the word Boston – Boston Community Kitchen. The idea resonated with both of us. By the time he dropped me off, we were shaking hands and agreeing that the other was person was a ‘good egg’. My last words to him was that I expected to see his face on ‘Chronicle’, a Boston regional TV show that focuses on New England experiences.
The next best thing to coming up with a great idea for yourself is to help someone brainstorm their great idea and hand it off to them, just like a relay racer hands the baton to the next runner. Don’t cling. Keep it going.