Creativity and the ideation process with Franky Chanyau

Creativity is an odd thing. The dictionary defines it as a phenomenon that occurs when something new and valuable is created. Many startups now have creative directors, who are essentially people that are good at coming up with fresh ideas, and they sometimes pass their concepts on to those who are better equipped to execute the idea.

To better understand the creative process, we asked Franky Chanyau, the Creative Development Manager at Latch Digital, how he comes up with ideas. Latch Digital is a development company in Auckland that turns good ideas into beautiful apps and websites.

1. What do you do at Latch? Are you involved with the ideation process?

Hi there, I’m Franky the Creative Development Manager and Resident Rapper here at Latch. I’m lucky enough to be in a role that utilizes my talents from early stage ideation and conceptualization all the way through to build and deployment.

2. Where do you think creativity comes from? Can it be learned or is it intrinsic?

I believe that creativity is primarily defined by culture. While there are systems and practices that need to be studied and perfected to utilise creativity in a productive manner, a culture that encourages and empowers everyone to be creative is vital, especially in an ideas-based environment like Latch.

3. How do you approach a project that needs ideas?

It’s a very rare occasion that you can sit down and come up with a ground breaking idea in 5 minutes. All ideas start as seeds which need to be nurtured in the right conditions if they are going to be fruitful. This is where systems and practices come into play. The majority of the projects we have had come through in the past few months have literally started from “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” type of statements. While it would be a lot of fun to jump straight from that simple idea to designing and building a super cool prototype the next day, you need to put every single idea through the same process of conceptualization, wireframing, design etc… to fully realize and take advantage of the potential (I like to call it the gold) of each idea you work on.

4. How do you overcome mental blocks?

It all depends on context, a mental block can be caused by a lot different things so the best place to start is figuring out why you have hit a mental block and what you need to do to get back on your A game.

As much as this is something we wouldn’t want our bosses to know, let’s be honest; our creative ability is for the most part, a slave to our mental and emotional state. Personally, I’m at my best when I have a clear head, so whenever I hit a mental block it’s usually because there’s something in the back of my head that’s stressing me out or keeping me from getting to that place of clarity. Allowing myself to take a 5-­10 minute break to address the underlying cause of my mental block will usually help me get back in the zone.


Latch Digital is an NZE S partner and a terrific company to do business with. A large portion of their client base consists of entrepreneurs and startups. If you have an idea that you think has potential but you lack development or technical skills, we highly recommend you contact them.

You can get in touch with them by emailing hello@latchdigital.co.nz or by filling out the form on their website.
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