‘In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm’ : The Best Longform.org Story of the Week

Some critics worry that smartphones and tablet computers will ruin our ability to focus on long form material. To fight this trend, we will have the editors of Longform.org pick an essay for your weekend reading pleasure every week.

For this week’s post, editors Aaron Lammer and Max Linsky chose In Pursuit of the Perfect Brainstorm by David Segal in the December 2010 issue of The New York Times Magazine.

Here’s more about the article: “How do corporations stay ahead these days? Increasingly, it’s by outsourcing the tedious task of coming up with new ideas. In this weekend’s annual Year in Ideas issue, Segal takes a look at the emerging industry of “idea entrepreneurs”—hired guns who charge as much as $200,000 per day to help businesses think through challenges. Just don’t call them consultants. “A consultant solves problems,” says one idea peddler. “That is not my role. What I want is for companies to self-diagnose their problems and self-discover their own solutions through my thought leadership.”