Portland, OR (PressExposure) July 27, 2008 -- John Nydam (stage name: Johnny Dam) is searching for something... an association. "Balance, parallel, equilibrium... Librium. Got it! Librium! Wasn't that a drug used to sedate people in the '60s... like a Stepford Wives kind of thing? That's it - that's the punch line!"
Johnny's using a product called ThoughtOffice. Like other types of brainstorming software, more and more frequently it's finding an essential spot in the toolkits of both comics and corporate managers.
ThoughtOffice, like its predecessor IdeaFisher, is powerful but easy to use software that's been proven to access both short and long-term memory efficiently, resulting in creative breakthroughs, and allowing users to generate the highest quality material.
"I understood that a top comic and his writers were using it. That's when it occurred to me that the difference between his work and mine could very well be a few keystrokes on the right software," Johnny admits.
ThoughtOffice presents a seemingly simple interface that conceals complex, patented database and search engines at its heart. When launched, the program offers the user two options: is there a word you have in mind, or do you have a problem to solve using an expert line of questioning? By merely typing a word or phrase, the program's unique, near-AI process instantly serves up tens to hundreds of associations, all related to your initial search term. The single word "red" might lead to "fire hydrant", "Ferrari", "stop sign", or "flame".
"Awesome ideas are an alloy of thoughts and associations. If we can prompt you to look at your world in new ways, you will tend to find solutions in unexpected places," says Mark Alan Effinger, serial entrepreneur and founder of ThoughtOffice Corporation. "If you need to solve problems by brainstorming, you can't just put 5 guys in a room, each with similar education and experience, and expect significant breakthroughs. So we give you access to more than 200 of the sharpest, most diverse and influential minds we could find, so you can collaborate with them whenever the mood strikes. That's the power of ThoughtOffice."
Assuming that associations provide the answers, where do the questions come from? The intelligence mentioned by Mr. Effinger resides in ThoughtOffice's 16 "eXpertTopic Modules" - professionally crafted collections of 250 to 2000 questions, which are intended to define the problem and guide the user to one or more solutions.
"Asking the right questions is an ideal way to solve problems quickly," explains David Lockman, Product Specialist for the company. "When you ask the right questions, the answers flow naturally as a result of the process. You grasp the problem, examine it from all sides, use all five of your senses - it still amazes me to watch how this method reduces complicated problems down to a clearly-defined process, with answers that are sometimes kind of surprising. Sometimes hundreds of answers. You have a broad choice of solutions. And this kind of choice translates very easily to the originality that successful comics need."
ThoughtOffice users vary - they are not only comedy writers, but home schoolers and students. They are also giants of industry, including Microsoft, 3M, Apple, and Stanford University. Land's Endâ¢ purchased the software to better understand the mindset of their customers, and help predict when the next big retail upturn might occur.
"I can't stress this enough - ThoughtOffice can't replace the human mind," emphasizes Mr. Effinger. "It represents only a sampling of the hundreds of minds that helped develop the content. And we're convinced that, by creating this dialog between the user and these hundreds of experts, we can immediately improve both the quality and quantity of the resulting solutions."
ThoughtOffice Brainstorming Software and its plugin eXpertTopic modules are currently available for Windows XP / Vista and Macintosh OS X. The program can be purchased ala carte, with the user's selection of plugins, or as 7 discounted, pre-configured bundles. It also includes the 7,691,000 word association search engine. Discounts are available for corporate sites, distributors, dealers and academic users. Similar discounts are offered to users of IdeaFisher, eXpertSystem, and other brainstorming programs. An affiliate program is also available to reseller partners.
Prices begin at $29 for individual modules, and range from $97 to $497 for complete software suites. A free 15-day trial is available for download from the company's web site, http://www.thoughtoffice.com.
About ThoughtOffice Based in Vancouver, WA, ThoughtOffice Corporation develops and markets tools that empower individuals and organizations to create effective solutions and improve productivity through creativity. Founded in 2006, the company produces brainstorming, writing and creativity software, and provides business & PR services to fast-growth companies and high-tech startups (http://www.richcontent.com). The company can be reached at http://www.thoughtoffice.com or by calling 360-609-9272.