Amidst the clutter of ambitious street performers, dubious tourist-map salesmen and charitable do-gooders who only want a few minutes of your time, there are new types of peddlers in town. But they are not asking for your money or even very much of your time; Kevin Boyle and Rick Horan of IdeasImprov want only your ideas.
“We’re not trying to push or sell anything,” said Kevin Boyle, a native of Rockaway Beach, NY. Boyle and Horan spent the last year taking to the streets to talk to thousands of people from all over the world and the duo records the ideas for their project. The two began IdeasImprov as a hobby, posting the ideas they receive on their YouTube and Podcast channels and website, ideasimprov.com, about a year ago.
From his experience, Boyle said people who are often looked to for innovative concepts, such as businessmen and marketers, are the least creative, while the most interesting ideas have come from artists, engineers or youth. Boyle deems these individuals, “the most creative people in the world.”
IdeasImprov is not just confined to New York. Boyle’s brother Terry, an NYU alumnus, works on IdeasImprov from the sands of Miami, Florida, and friends of Boyle panned pedestrians for ideas in cities as far as Sydney, Australia.
In response to the many questions he receives, Boyle said, “We just want to spread ideas.”
William J. Baumol, a professor of Entrepreneurship at Stern School of Business, believes IdeasImprov is a great idea.
“By definition, there cannot be a standard path to successful innovation,” Baumol said. “The only way that works is [the] encouragement of individuals who are oriented toward thinking for themselves.”
But Gallatin senior Samantha Smith, head of NYU’s Entrepreneurship Festival, said she cannot see the project becoming larger than a clipshow on YouTube. She said more businesslike steps, including planning and incorporation, cannot be skipped.
“Ideas are dime a dozen … at most, [this] will just help people realize that having an idea isn’t enough,” Smith said. “It takes planned action,”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 11 print edition. Andrew Karpan is a contributing writer. Email him at email@example.com.
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