This is the first in a series of reviews of smartphone apps that relate to creativity and innovation.
What It Is : Roger Von Oech, author of the creativity classics “A Whack on the Side of the Head” and “A Kick In the Seat of the Pants,” has developed an electronic version of his card set designed to stimulate innovative thought.
How It Works: The app features the 64 cards offered in the physical deck – divided into 4 suits: Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior. Each card features a whimsical drawing by Von Oech and a snappy yet detailed explanation of the concept behind the card. For the app, Von Oech has also added 20 cards that illuminate the wisdom of the Greek sage Heraclitus, whom Von Oech refers to as “the world’s first creativity teacher.”
Options: Users can access the cards in at least 3 ways …
1) Give Me A Whack – provides a card at random – sort of like shuffling the deck and pulling out a card.
2) Card of the Day – A new card is offered in this category every 24 hours.
3) Workshops – Users describe a problem they’re seeking guidance on and the app provides 4 cards to advise the seeker. This option reminds me of doing a Tarot reading in the way that it can induce cross-pollination from the various cards.
- Index of all cards – easy to find and explore new cards
- Detail level of suggestions
- Note-taking and bookmark options
- Sounds on the app = silly
- Hard to scroll to read the text on each card without flipping the card back to its cover image
The Take-Away: The Whack Pack is a great tool for establishing innovative thinking as a daily habit or for pulling fresh ideas out of one’s subconscious.