Interview with Tony Buzan

Ich freue mich sehr, Tony Buzan, den Erfinder des Mind Mapping für ein Interview gewonnen zu haben. Nachdem Tony Buzan Mind Mapping weltweit als Denktechnik bekannt gemacht hat, hat er kürzlich die Software iMindMap gestartet, über die ich bereits mehrmals berichtet habe.

Florian Rustler: Mr. Buzan, can you summarize very briefly what Mind Mapping is and what are its advantages?

Tony Buzan: Dear Florian, thank you for your very considered questions. A Mind Map is a powerful graphic technique which provides a universal key to unlock the potential of the brain. It harnesses the full range of cortical skills – word, image, number, logic, rhythm, colour and spatial awareness – in a single, uniquely powerful manner. In so doing, it gives you the freedom to roam the infinite expanses of your brain. The Mind Map can be applied to every aspect of life where improved learning and clearer thinking will enhance human performance. I have spent my lifetime researching the brain, learning, memory and creativity and the Mind Map is the culmination of my work.


Florian Rustler:
In recent years there are a lot of computer generated Maps and other visualizations that don’t stick to the Mind Mapping rules sometimes don’t even look like Mind Maps but are announced as „Mind Maps“. People also increasingly associate Mind Mapping with Software only and not with the technique as invented by you. How do you feel about this?

Tony Buzan: This is a very good question. Over the last two decades I have worked closely with many software companies in the aim to help them produce a computer program that can fully duplicate the infinite visual variety and brain friendliness of hand drawn Mind Maps. Unfortunately, none managed to achieve this, and I therefore considered them ‘proto-mind maps.’ This was why I set out to find a team that could replicate a true Mind Map process on a computer. The result was iMindMap.

Florian Rustler: Where do you see the major difference between hand drawn Mind Maps and computer generated Mind Maps (that stick to the Mind Mapping rules, as for example Mind Map created with iMindMap)?

Tony Buzan: A Mind Map is a Mind Map, whether drawn on paper or on a computer. Paper based Mind Mapping is always available – we don’t need anything but coloured pens. Whilst, computers do allow us to link to more information, to modify and to share more easily, it is actually the Mind Mapping process that is of most importance.

Florian Rustler: End of last year you launched your new Mind Mapping Software: iMindMap. What was you motivation for doing so?

Tony Buzan: iMindMap was launched as an Early Adopter / Beta product in January 2007 and was released officially in August 07. The motivation was the need to find a way to ‘bridge the gap’ between the human and computer brain. Mind Mapping is about freedom. I wanted software that enabled you to create truly organic personal Mind Maps which are stimulating to the brain.

Florian Rustler: Why should people use iMindMap instead of existing software like for example Mindjet’s MindManager?

Tony Buzan: Whilst I would not comment on other software tools, I am happy to explain why iMindMap is so powerful and unique. It is the only computer software that duplicates the non-linear thinking process of natural human thought. iMindMap is a thinking tool that can help with any thinking task. It uses the correct ‘thinking formula’ in both use and appearance. It is a tool where the software does not ‘get in the way’ of the process – leading to good ‘radiant thinking’. iMindMap is software that is the‘whole brain’ alternative to linear thinking when using a computer.

Florian Rustler: Many businesses are so used to the rigid Map of MindManager. iMindMap is different and the Mind Maps created with it look different. Do you see any difficulties introducing iMindMap in a business environment?

Tony Buzan: A simple answer – no. We already have thousands of business users across the globe using iMindMap and in such a very short space of time. These include some of the world’s most powerful business leaders. iMindMap is a thinking tool for any thinking task. We are what we think and if we think better we achieve more. Good business leaders understand this and realise that good thinking, creativity, and problem solving skills are vitally important for them and their teams. In today’s fast paced environment it is the innovators that get ahead and therefore tools that can help them think creativity, such as iMindMap, are of the utmost importance.

Florian Rustler: What are future plans do you have for iMindMap? What new features can we expect?

Tony Buzan: Why spoil a surprise. iMindMap is still a young and developing child. We are working on a multitude of new and exciting features and product enhancements. We have an aggressive upgrade schedule that will see new features integrated on an ongoing and regular basis. Watch this space…

Florian Rustler: How do you see the future of Mind Mapping? What will happen in the area of computer generated Mind Maps, in the area of online Mind Mapping tools? Will people in a few years still use a simple piece of paper and a pen to mindmap?

Tony Buzan: More and more individuals, organisations, governments and businesses are adopting Mind Mapping as an effective note taking and thinking solution. We are now working on projects that impact across entire countries. It is estimated that every second, someone, somewhere, is creating a Mind Map. Advances in software will allow us to harness the power of the Mind Map with the power of the computer. Will people continue to use a simple piece of paper and pen to Mind Map – absolutely. Whether we Mind Map on a computer, or paper, the result will be the same – better thinking.

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