How do you come up with a new idea?

How do you come up with a new idea?


This is the question that drove me last year to launch a new experiment called "Heureka Labs". The [old] platform aggregated several disconnected projects in writing, reading, and thinking, all wrapped in a warm community blanket. I experimented with several new interests including the Heureka stories podcast project, a YouTube channel focused on computation and discovery, more writing, and was able to connect with like-minded people across the world. Overall, the experiment was a success.

Shortly after starting Heureka Labs, I joined a new initiative at Duke to teach more data science and computation. This first started with teaching students and community members, and then quickly grew into a new center called the Center for Computational Thinking. At the beginning of this calendar year, just as the Heureka labs project was really taking off, the leader for our fledgling center departed for a new university position. Given my computational leanings, and my desire to expand access education (i.e. YouTube), I stepped up to help lead this new university effort. For the past six months, I have spent time building and planning and organizing. This month, the Provost officially named me the Director of this Center, which means I can spend more time 'officially' thinking about these challenges ::happy dance::

So what then for Heureka Labs? A new year, a new platform, and a new experiment, with exciting plans. Heureka labs was first a place for my personal blog to live, incubate, grow; and that will continue. Overtime, many of the old articles will be refreshed and ported over to this new site. Importantly, this new platform allows me to blur the line between articles and newletters, so staying subscribed means you will be emailed when I post new content. If you're here for the data science, I suspect much of the educational effort will live within the Center. But fortunately, I feel strongly about broad access, so plan to make all videos open and freely available. Along side, I plan to use Heureka Labs as the testing ground for some of these videos, which might get a little polish and end up elsewhere. After all: this is an experiment. We also plan to continue the podcast and wrap up our first year of guests and stories. And then are eager to take on new adventures in audio. Finally, the web platform you are reading this on/from will allow additional experiments in learning.

If you were previously a member of the old Heureka Labs site, I have transferred your email over to the new platform. You shouldn't need to 'resubscribe', but might need to reauthenticate; let me know if either of these are required. If at any time you are no longer interested in this content (my ramblings): you can always unsubscribe - seriously, no hard feelings, we're all busy, I get it. But, if you're curious to see where this goes (I am!), then eager to have you along on this journey and hear from you. If you have any questions or suggestions, let me know by replying to this email: I'm always eager to connect.

So back to the first question: how do you come up with a new idea? Like any good experiment, we learned a lot, but don't yet have the answer. So let's continue discovering, and thanks for being a part of this with me.