FAQs

Sebir Basics

What exactly is a Sebir?

Thought you'd never ask

When someone exclaims "That's a great idea!" they usually mean that something unusually beneficial has happened, out of proportion to what would have normally been expected in the circumstances.

A Sebir is an innovative idea that has this quality. A Sebir is innovative because the beneficial value it generates greatly exceeds the cost of the effort employed to implement the idea.

The term 'Sebir' is a loose acronym for the description 'Small effort: big result'. It is a label attached to any idea where it is obvious that the investment of a relatively small amount of effort has generated a disproportionately beneficial result'.

"I once knew a chap who had a system of just hanging a baby on the clothes line to dry and he was greatly admired by his fellow citizens for having discovered a wonderful innovation on changing a diaper." Damon Runyon 1880-1946, Newspaperman and Author
How can Sebirs help my business or activity?

Whatever you are involved in, Sebirs can help you when you need innovative ideas (i.e. Sebirs) to:

  • Save Money.
  • Make Money.

Often, we cannot come up with such ideas easily for three main reasons:

  • We don't know where to find an innovative idea or how to develop one.
  • We do know that coming up with an innovative idea – usually by trial and error – can be time consuming.
  • We do know that an innovative idea (if we find or develop one) will probably be costly.
"There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world; and that is an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo 1802-1885, Poet, Novelist, Statesman

Sebirs can help you by providing:

  • A simple method whereby you can use your natural creativity to breed innovative ideas (Sebirs).

And because you borrowed the essence of those innovative ideas from Sebirs that have been successfully proven elsewhere, you are well placed to:

  • Breed a Sebir relatively quickly.
  • Breed a Sebir at minimal cost relative to the anticipated benefit.
How is Sebir pronounced?
"Sebir" is pronounced 'Seebur'
How does the Sebir website work?

The Sebir website enables you to breed innovative ideas for the purposes of making money and saving money. It does this by guiding you through three main areas:

How the Sebir website works

Here is some more detail about what you will encounter in each area:

Understanding how Sebirs are created

  • Great Sebirs in History Page.
    This highlights how Sebirs have led to the breeding of famous products and services.
  • Sebir Demonstrator Pages.
    These identify a common thread in the way those Sebirs were bred – the 'association' of two previously unrelated thoughts, experiences or ideas. By reviewing some of these Sebirs, it is possible to gain an understanding of how we all breed such ideas 'by association'.

Select a relevant Sebir

  • Sebir Selector Question Pages.
    By describing your particular circumstances and need via the Sebir Selector, discover relevant Sebirs. Your responses to five simple questions form your 'Sebir Signature', your 'sign-off' on what you are looking for.

'Associate' and Breed Your Own Sebir

  • Individual 'Selected' Sebir Pages.
    Following submission of your Sebir Signature, you will be presented with three Sebirs in descending order of relevance. You scrutinise each of the three presented Sebirs and, utilising knowledge gained from the Sebir Demonstrator about how innovative ideas can be bred from something that is similar, you aim to adapt that Sebir to your circumstances.

    The two 'Hints' that are provided with each Sebir are designed to help your 'breeding'.

    You can select a cluster of three Sebirs as many times as you like.

Sebir Demonstrator

What is the Sebir Demonstrator?

The Sebir Demonstrator displays a collection of well-known innovative ideas (Sebirs) which resulted from the combination of two previously unrelated experiences to breed something new and valuable. Often the inspiration for the novel combination occurred completely by accident when the fortuitous 'association' of two previously unconnected thoughts in someone's mind suggested the ultimate outcome. Basically an accidental, lightbulb moment occurred.

This sort of innovative thinking, while it is usually accidental, is quite common and the mental process involved is referred to as having ideas 'by association' or 'associational thinking'.

How does the Sebir Demonstrator work?

The Sebir Demonstrator operates through illustrating the well-known (but not so well-understood) technique of having ideas 'by association'.

"The starting point is the notion of the associative memory. Information in the human mind is not stacked neatly in files and folders the way it's organised inside a computer. Rather the ideas are organised by association". Chris Crawford, Game Designer

By way of a quick, non-technical explanation, having ideas 'by association' occurs because typically the mind organises information into categories. One of these categories can link to something else through some principle in such a way that a completely new thought is formed, even though the two thoughts are not necessarily connected with each other.

"Creativity is connecting things". Steve Jobs 1955-2011, Entrepreneur

The Sebir Demonstrator illustrates a number of well-known Sebirs that were bred in this fashion and describes them in such a way that insight and understanding can be gained into the process that lies behind breeding ideas 'by association'.

The heroes in the Demonstrator examples happened to observe something being accomplished in a particular situation – a capability – that they recognised could also work in another situation that was on their minds.

In essence, they needed two things to happen:

  • They needed to enjoy some serendipity. By accident, they luckily happened upon a situation that they could draw upon to resolve a latent need or issue, perhaps something they had been mulling over.
  • They had to employ an act of the imagination to recognise that the capability at work which they were witnessing could be applied to that unresolved issue latent in their minds. All they had to do was to apply it more broadly.

The takeaway from the experience of each of these innovators demonstrates that anyone can breed Sebirs if the circumstances are right.

Such insight and understanding can be employed to breed new and useful Sebirs by means of the Sebir Selector.

What is the Breeding Mountain?

Each Sebir that is described in the Sebir Demonstrator is also accompanied by a graphic representation of how it was bred.

Although the mental processes that the innovators in the Sebir Demonstrator went through obviously cannot be described with precision, it is possible to illustrate in general terms what happened.

The breeding process is like climbing up one side of a mountain, pausing, and then travelling down the other side.

In going up the left-hand side of the mountain, the innovators climbed from experience to understanding to recognising the specific capability involved. From there, they 'associated' more broadly and identified the general capability at work.

Travelling down the other side of the mountain, they moved from the general to a comparable specific capability, and then applied it more narrowly in a different setting to achieve a satisfying and valuable innovative outcome.

The essence of breeding a Sebir is to generalise from a specific experience that has been recognised and then, having identified the general capability that is at work on the mountain top, specialising down from that general capability to apply it in a narrower, different setting.


Sebir Selector

What is the Sebir Selector?

The Sebir Selector is built upon the mental foundation of breeding ideas 'by association' in that it describes Sebirs that can potentially breed other Sebirs if they stimulate analogous or parallel thoughts. It seeks to tap into your natural creativity. In the words of neuroscientist Dr Barry Gordon, it is just a matter of joining the dots.

"The dots are pieces or ideas, the lines between them are your connections or associations. ...That's what happens when ideas or concepts 'pop' into your mind." Dr Barry Gordon, Neuroscientist

Usually, Sebirs produced 'by association' have the major disadvantage of occurring by accident. The Sebir Selector aims to reduce or eliminate this accidental aspect by using your Sebir Signature – your specification of your need – to locate a proven Sebir that is likely to be relevant to your circumstances. This greatly increases the likelihood that you will be able to breed a new Sebir that meets your need by 'associating' from the observed Sebirs. The Sebir Selector 'selects' from thousands of Sebirs that have been successfully employed around the world.

The Sebir Selector is the vault where a steadily increasing number of Sebirs are stored. When you complete and submit your Sebir Signature via the Sebir Selector, it searches to locate Sebirs that are most relevant to the explicit circumstances you have specified.

Once identified as a genuine Sebir, each Sebir is dissected and subjected to a proprietary Analysis Algorithm before it is added to the Sebir Selector. The key details of the Sebir's anatomy that drive its effectiveness are classified and a proprietary Rating Algorithm is applied to this analysis. The objective is to ensure that the analysis and rating of each Sebir is optimised so that the Sebir always responds when its unique Sebir Signature is submitted.

Each presented Sebir reflects such treatment. In addition to the appropriate descriptive text, its 'Relevancy Match' is also clearly displayed. The Relevancy Match is a percentage measure of how closely a Sebir matches the Sebir Signature that has been submitted. The higher the percentage (max. 100), the better the match between the two.

How does the Sebir Selector work?

The Sebir Selector reduces or eliminates the main weakness with the mental process of breeding ideas 'by association' or 'associational thinking', i.e. the reliance on luck or fortunate accident. It does this by asking you a series of questions about the need you have for a proven Sebir and then presents you with three Sebirs from which you can breed.

Using natural language entry in the Search Box, you initiate and then select your preferred response in each case from the suggestions presented. These suggestions fall under the following areas:

  • the business or activity you are involved in.
  • your type of organisation, product or service.
  • what you want to do (your goal).
  • the problem blocking your goal.
  • the people or things that need to respond for you to achieve your goal.

The answers you select form your 'Sebir Signature' for the Sebir you require. The Sebir Selector uses this Sebir Signature to find a Sebir that appears to be the closest match to the circumstances you specify.

The Sebir Signature you submit dramatically increases the likelihood that the Sebirs that are presented are relevant and can therefore be bred from and used successfully to resolve your need.

More specifically this is what happens:

  • The Sebir Selector puts you in the path of serendipity i.e. it eliminates the need for a happy accident. By entering your Sebir Signature, you specify your business or activity, your goal and why you cannot currently achieve it. By specifying the sort of Sebir required, you automatically remove the accidental or fortuitous element.
  • The Sebir Selector assists your imagination by presenting three Sebirs that have successfully resolved a need very similar to the one being specified via your Sebir Signature.
  • Finally, in addition to the presented Sebirs themselves, two Breeding Hints drawn from the underlying proprietary Sebir Technology are offered for each Sebir to nudge your imagination along.

A potential accidental experience is replaced with an actual situation that you engineer and discover when you submit your Sebir Signature. Through breeding, you are then able to bring about a favourable convergence of your need and potential solutions.

Although natural language entry and autosuggestion are expected to be the preferred means of discovering relevant Sebirs, the option of full browsing of traditional Dropdown Menus is also available.

A video of instructions for full browsing use of the Dropdown Menus appears below:

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats". Howard Aiken 1900-1973, Mathematician and Computer Engineer
What is my Sebir Signature?

To make sure that you can locate a Sebir that you can use, you have to be able to specify what you are looking for. You do this by entering your 'Sebir Signature' into the Sebir Selector. Your Sebir Signature consists of the decisions you make in response to the five questions posed in the Sebir Selector. These questions ask you about:

  • the business or activity you are involved in.
  • your type of organisation, product or service.
  • what you want to do (your goal).
  • the problem blocking your goal.
  • the people or things that need to respond for you to achieve your goal.

The natural language entry and autosuggestion built-in to the Search Box of the Sebir Selector mean that the responses required from you are guided and therefore undemanding. They are captured however and the full composition of your Sebir Signature is accumulated and displayed for you following the third presented Sebir.

A typical Sebir Signature looks like this

Your full Sebir Signature is very useful, because it can be manipulated with just one or two keystrokes and re-submitted to locate and present a fresh cluster of three Sebirs.

How is a selected Sebir presented?

Each Sebir discovered and selected is described in no more than 200 words and is presented in a Standard Template:

  • Snapshot – gives a brief summary of what the Sebir does and for whom.
  • Goal – confirms what goal is being pursued.
  • Problem – pinpoints what's blocking achievement of the goal.
  • Sebir – contains a succinct description of how the Sebir overcomes the problem and delivers on the goal.
  • Breeding Hint 1 – suggests how the initiative as described in the Sebir can be applied to similar situations.
  • Breeding Hint 2 – suggests how the target for the initiative described in the Sebir can be broadened to influence many more possible people groups or things.

The Sebir that is most relevant to your Sebir Signature is presented first and is followed by other Sebirs that have the same Sebir Signature, but have a lower Relevancy Match. The Relevancy Match is a percentage measure of how closely a presented Sebir matches the Sebir Signature you have entered. The higher the % (max. 100), the better the match.

The Relevancy Match is constructed from the classification of each fully-described Sebir against more than 600 criteria. Each Sebir is scored in terms of its 'breeding potential' against each classification criterion. The combined total of its scores i.e. its potential to be 'bred from', is its Relevancy Match.

When each Sebir is presented, its Relevancy Match is also displayed prominently.

Why is the Sebir Selector better than a Google Search?

Although the ability of a 'Google Search' to retrieve information is most impressive in its reach, there are at least three significant shortcomings in the search for a solution to a specific problem they might have:

  • The results returned are of widely varying length and quality. This can make searching for information that is specifically useful very time consuming. Often review of initially promising material can lead to nowhere of real value
  • The results presented can come from virtually anywhere and inevitably this can affect the integrity of that information. Commonly, the initiators of the information have commercial gain in mind and are not impartial or objective
  • Google tends to treat a search request as a search for relevant information or knowledge and is not primarily seeking to provide a solution to a problem
  • Google does not recognise anything about who is requesting information and the responses provided therefore are inevitably generic

The Sebir Selector overcomes these shortcomings in the following ways:

  • By guiding you through five steps, it compels a precise specification of what you are looking for. This prescription ensures pre-emptive control over quality by mandating a precise structure driven by algorithms in both questions and answers
  • Presented Sebirs are described in a pre-determined format that illustrates their key features, including suggestions of how they can be adapted to your need. This will always be done succinctly, in no more than 200 words each time.
  • The text provided is not just information; it is a solution to a need that exists. And, those solutions are factually based i.e. every Sebir is a proven business initiative that has been successfully implemented by someone to solve a problem analogous to the one you specify. But in fact, they go further than that. They are solutions that are inherently rewarding because they are characterised by a 'Small effort: big result'
  • Each Sebir presented is 'customised' to your declared business or activity and, even more helpfully, tailored to what you want to do. The descriptions of the presented Sebirs are recognise you and your goal
Why does the Sebir Selector present some Sebirs that are very simple and obvious?

There are three main reasons for this:

  • Although we know things, we don't necessarily remember them when it would be helpful to do so. Let's give the psychologists the floor for ten seconds. They refer to this tendency as the Recency Effect – the principle that the things or experiences you encountered most recently, you will most likely remember best. The earlier periods are often forgotten, at least until some happening brings them back to you.

    For this reason, Sebirs are included irrespective of their substance, from the most simple to the most complex. The key criterion is relevance. If a Sebir is relevant to the Sebir Signature you have submitted to the Sebir Selector, it will be presented to you. You may know it once you see it – or it may strike you as very obvious once you see it – but, without prompting, it is quite possible that you would not have thought of it.

"There are lots of things, just lying on the beach as it were, that we don't see until someone else picks one of them up. Then we all see that one." Julia Robinson 1919-1985, American Mathematician
  • The potential for breeding a Sebir from another Sebir has absolutely nothing to do with how clever or complex the source Sebir is. What matters is its essence – the initiative or action that releases the value and the principle that makes it work. Very often, the simplest principle can be adapted to other circumstances, and often with impressive effect.
  • It is also worth remembering that it is often the simplest and most obvious ideas that are the best ... at least that's what we usually conclude once we notice them. There is an economy of effort that is so elegant that it is sometimes barely noticeable.
"When you innovate, you've got to be prepared for everyone telling you you're nuts". Larry Ellison, American Businessman














?