Sometimes a small idea you came up with and then follow up just because you’re bored on an evening can turn into something really fun. Recently I had one of those, which ended up as Bright Futures Generator, and I’m kinda surprised how much positive reaction it received.
It all started with me reading a Twitter conversation started by Scott Smith’s this meme post. While reading the replies, I first learned about how there are real people who call themselves “keynote futurists” and then saw this reply from Tim Maughan:
At first I replied with “Brb, making a generator for this one.” as a joke. But then the idea of making a real generator got stuck in my head. I don’t know enough coding to call myself a coder or a developer but just enough to find an already written code and edit it to work in the way I want.
Then after looking for different Glitch projects to remix, I found the one I can understand well enough. Then I started collecting terms to fill the generator. I should thank Gartner hype cycles and trend charts for giving me a lot of material for the project.
I think it took about couple hours in total to make everything work good enough. Finally, the Bright Futures Generator was ready for public.
Then I shared it on Twitter and it simply blew up for my Twitter standards. I was surprised mostly by the attention it received from people in or around this field, who I value their opinions and work. Something I made just because I decided to make a fun project mostly because I couldn’t focus on the work I had to do.
Another thing I enjoy about this small project is how useful it actually can be. Yes, it started as a joke and a fun little web tool but it can be quite provocative and useful with its generated sentences at times. Paris Marx’s example is a good one and I’m sure there are many others people coming up with too. I feel like it can be a good practice tool for times when you need some really wild ideas to think about or how far you can take some scenarios you’re working on.
That’s probably why while making this one I also remembered the game/generator Johannes Klingebiel made in 2019, called “Futures of Media Tarot”. Small online tools like these (or physical ones like Superflux’s Instant Archetypes) can be really useful when you need some creative provocations. I hope my Bright Futures Generator will have the same effect.
I’m planning to keep Bright Futures Generator online as long as possible and also want to keep it updated. If you have any ideas or recommendations (about the list, code or the design) feel free to comment to this post, send me an email or reach me out on Twitter.
If you’re curious about the code or want to make a remix of it yourselves, you can find it all in here. Since I made it on Glitch, all the code and materials available for everyone and can be easily modified or copied. Enjoy!