“BRAINSTORMING” WAS COINED BY THE MAD-MEN OF ADVERTISING, AS A WAY TO GENERATE BUSINESS FOR THEMSELVES
The term “brainstorm” itself comes from 1939. Alex Osborn, one of the partners at the ad agency BBDO, began holding “group-thinking” sessions to come up with ideas for advertising clients.
The goal of these sessions, he wrote, was to generate a large quantity of ideas by combining brainpower and withholding judgment. “The villainess is a gal called Prudence,” he quotes.
Ten years later, brainstorming and Osborn exploded in popularity with the publication of the book Your Creative Power. In it, Osborn defined brainstorming as “using the brain to storm a creative problem—and to do so in commando fashion, with each stormer attacking the same objective.”