Ideas
Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Newsletter
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Dashboard
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Assessment
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Plans
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Contact
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
FAQ
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Community
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Team
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Jobs
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
News
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Join
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Advertising
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Portfolio
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Settings
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 500,000 cutting edge ideas.

Stimulating Creativity in Business (INTERVIEW)

Ben Dermer, VP of Inventor Relations at Spin Master
Taylor Keefe
August 4th, 2012
As Vice President of Inventor Relations at Spin Master, Ben Dermer must sort through thousands of toy concepts in order to bring something new and exciting to market. His role requires him to test, refine and essentially play with toys and toy ideas to determine which one will be the next big hit. In a recent conversation with Dermer, he outlined how the motivation to innovate comes from a stimulating environment and building great external partnerships.

3 Questions with Ben Dermer

1. How do you motivate your team to come up with good ideas?

Well, it's a bit different for us because our job is to find and evaluate great ideas rather than just trying to come up with them on our own. That being said, when your job requires you to play with toys it's not hard to motivate people. A great new toy idea is a great motivator in itself. It's what gets us out of bed in the morning. In this type of environment ideas are realized very literally -- you get to actually see the thing you worked on in the hands of kids or on the shelf in a retailer. There's a real sense of pride and ownership in that.

2. What resources does your team use to spot trends?

We're a bit unique in the sense that our whole day to day life focuses on discovering new innovations. Our primary source is interfacing with designers and inventors directly. We get over 400 inventors pitching us over 3,000 ideas each year, so when you're immersed in that environment it's like being immersed in a well of innovation. It's a bit “meta” because we're seeing what everyone is seeing. Still, my team's pretty much on top of things in their own right, whether it's blogs, trade shows or publications. On top of that we have our own internal innovation research and a company-wide, open-source innovation program. There are a lot of ideas around here -- lots of ideas.

3. How do you create a culture of innovation?

In my opinion the most valuable step towards a culture of innovation is to foster a culture of openness and partnership. One of our core corporate values is just that -- being open to partnerships, with anyone and anywhere. We're really flexible in that sense. When you do that, it opens you up to everything in the world. There's really no one we won't meet with, talk to or do business with, and I would say nearly every breakthrough has come from some form of partnership and being open to new ideas.
References: linkedin, spinmaster