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For several years, my friend and I were using an excel spreadsheet filled with columns of random words and concepts. You would read across the row and try to create an idea by jamming together words that don't really belong together. This was a great way to make wild ideas that I never would have come up with otherwise, so I decided to make a simple web app that displayed each row of the spreadsheet on the screen with buttons to individually randomize each word. I converted each column into an array of strings, and used a simple array[Math.floor(Math.random(array.length))] to randomly select a word from the array and display it to the screen.

This was my first real "web app", and I learned a lot about JS, CSS, and the DOM. I was super proud of my creation at the time, even though it took longer than I'd like to admit lol. It was the seed for the idea that would become ideaisland several months later. In hindsight, before turning it into a larger application, I should have shared this tool with others to see if they found value in it, in which I would have discovered that making ideas without a defined problem was a lousy way to innovate. You live and you learn though right? 🤷‍♂️


Tech Stack

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HTML icon


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p5.js icon



  1. I enjoy making ideas with the combinatorial thinking technique.
  2. P5.js makes for a decent JS "framework" for creating simple websites, although I'd never use it again.
  3. So much practice with DOM manipulation with javascript.
  4. I learned a lot about randomizing arrays of values.
  5. An excel sheet can be upgraded into a simple web app to improve the UX in certain situations.
  6. Although its fun making ideas with this platform, the best way to make innovations that are useful is to find actual problems in the world, then find solutions to them. Making random solutions without first having a real problem is a recipe for disaster.