This post was updated on August 3, 2017.
Following the 10-year anniversary of our online mind mapping tool MindMeister earlier this year, we’ve now reached a second milestone which, even more than the last, puts us in a state of awe: As of July 2017, one billion ideas have been generated with MindMeister.
That’s right: 1,000,000,000 – a thousand million – distinct thoughts have been mapped by our 7 million users. If we were to put all of these ideas next to each other (and assuming that an idea has an average length of about 8 cm), this awe-inspiring idea-chain would run the circumference of the earth – twice!
Could this mean that MindMeister holds the largest online collection of creative ideas? After doing some digging, we’ve found no similar claims made by other platforms.
The ideas generated in MindMeister cover pretty much every topic imaginable.
Our public mind map library contains hundreds of thousands of maps, whose topics range from the best productivity hacks to effective learning strategies and from book summaries to business plan templates. Public maps are often used as collections of thoughts, as knowledge pools, guides or even presentations.
However, the topics in public maps are not necessarily what we have in mind when we think of ideas – those mysterious constructs that form in the mind; the elusive ‘aha moments’ that seem to come out of nowhere and all of a sudden, that let us stop whatever else we’re doing and – with a sense of cautious hope – think:
‘Could this really be as good as I think it is?’
The vast majority of these ideas are contained in those 25 million mind maps that haven’t been made public. The ones that are only shared with a select number of people, and seen only by team members and friends, co-founders, investors and clients.
Helping people around the world come up with new and creative ideas and then turn these ideas into action is our number one priority at MeisterLabs. Virtually all of our own achievements – every new feature, every expansion, every update to our web apps – has originated in a mind map. We know from experience that online brainstorming sessions are more productive than traditional, in-person sessions, and science agrees. As Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic writes in the Harvard Business Review:
“Indeed, studies comparing the performance of matched groups on physical and virtual sessions indicate that the latter generate more high quality ideas and have a higher average of creative ideas per person, as well as resulting in higher levels of satisfaction with the ideas.”
When you provide a platform that enables people to transcribe their thoughts and, quite literally, map their minds onto a canvas, data security is of utmost importance. So, for obvious reasons, we have no way of knowing which remarkable ideas may have been generated by our customers over the years. Some of you were kind enough to share your ideas and projects with us, and you can read about those success stories on our website.
Still, we are curious: Of those 1,000,000,000 ideas generated, which one are you most proud of?