Zombies + The Beatles = a great idea.

January 29, 2010 — Leave a comment

An idea is nothing more than a new combination of existing things.

So says James Webb Young in his fantastic (and short) A Technique for Producing Ideas. For exemplo, if you combined zombies with The Beatles, you’d get a great idea for a band – The Zombeatles.

My pal Steve from The Gomers did just that. It’s a Gomers offshoot band that he’s built into quite a phenomena. Rob Zombie discovered the Hard Day’s Night of the Living Dead video on YouTube as their first-ever guest editor, and it’s since gotten over 1.2 million views. Doug Gordon of Wisconsin Public Radio has had a lot of great fun with the idea. And there have been Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and now Chicago (February 6th at The Abbey Pub) Zombiepalooza appearances.

And now a mention in the New Yorker, which has got to represent some kind of Great American Cultural Litmus Test.

So – combining things can make an idea, but what makes an idea great? When people can run with it, and do new things to it, and have it go on and on, with people continually responding positively. That’s the sign of a great idea.

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