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Alex Osborn, the Father of Brainstorming

Alex Osborn, the “O” in BBDO, is widely acknowledged as the father of brainstorming.

Originally called “Think Up,” the term describes a process by which a group attempts to find a solution for a specific problem by amassing all the ideas spontaneously identified by its members. The rules of such a process include: no criticism of ideas, go for large quantities of ideas, build on each other’s ideas and encourage wild and exaggerated ideas.

The term was invented in 1938 by Alex Osborn and became popularized in his book, “Applied Imagination,” which was published in 1953. It has since gone on to be widely embraced within the marketing and advertising communities.