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Mind Games

ThoughtPath

While IdeaFisher enhances the mind's organizing mechanism, ThoughtPath (Inventive Logic Inc.; Mac, $99; Windows, $295) sees the mechanism as a potential obstacle. This program's goal is to apply divergent areas of the brain to problems in ways you'd never think of.

ThoughtPath begins a task by having you describe the problem and its background. Then it asks you to make a wish. The logic behind this? Wishing uncovers repressed and "unthinkable" notions you can use to make connections.

Next, the program has you generate ideas for each wish and solutions for each idea. At each step, it offers triggers to spur novel thinking; the process aids creativity by letting you examine thoughts without censoring yourself.

Suppose your problem is not getting enough done at the office. One wish might be, "I wish I could work all the time." That might lead to ideas such as "work at home" or "work on the train." In turn, these might elicit the solution "buy a laptop computer."

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Mind Games.

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