WeTransfer’s global survey reveals the perfect recipe for great ideas

10,000 creatives from more than 140 countries explain how, where and when they get creative ideas.

Amsterdam, November 29, 2018 – Today, WeTransfer released its first ever Ideas Report, with more than 10,000 creatives in 143 countries revealing how they get their best ideas. The report, which is available for download here, asked WeTransfer users a series of questions about when, where, and how inspiration strikes.

The key findings included:

  • People find offline stimuli much more useful than online spaces – talking with friends, books and magazines, nature and travel all scored highly.

  • 65% creatives said they need quiet or silence to get good ideas

  • The highest scoring place to get good ideas was surprisingly everyday – at people’s desk or in their studio (but nearly one in four people said they have their best ideas in bed!)

  • 40% of creatives prefer to record their ideas on pen and paper; only 17% record ideas on their phones

As part of the project, a group of scientific experts reacted to some of the key findings. They are Maryanne Wolf (cognitive scientist at Tufts University), Pam Mueller (social psychologist and Princeton PhD), Lu Chen (neuroscientist at Stanford University) and Dr Catherine Loveday (principal lecturer in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster).

75% of WeTransfer’s 42+ million monthly users identify as creatives and the company has long believed that creative thinking changes the world for the better. This has seen WeTransfer grow from the simplest way to send big files around the world to a set of beautifully obvious tools that assist in every step of the creative process -- from initial spark with content platform WePresent to final delivery via WeTransfer.   

As a trusted ally for millions of creatives - the platform famously donates 30% of its advertising space to showcase art, illustration, and music - WeTransfer is uniquely positioned to understand both the creative process and the value of great ideas.

Rob Alderson, Vice President of Content for WeTransfer, noted:

“There’s lots of talk about ideas and inspiration but it seems like the conversation is often very one-way. By asking more than 10,000 WeTransfer users about their experiences, we’ve painted an interesting portrait of how ideas work in 2018. From what we see, an early morning conversation with friends at your desk is the perfect recipe for a great creative idea! It’s fascinating to see the results and they will feed into lots of the work we do over the next 12 months, from the stories we tell on WePresent to the ways in which we think about our products.”

For more information on the Ideas Report and insights from experts across scientific and creative fields, visit WeTransfer Ideas Report 2018

For creative development of the WeTransfer Ideas Report 2018, WeTransfer teamed up with TCO London, the media company behind youth culture brand Huck and film magazine Little White Lies.


Go to we.tl/ideasreport to access the online version of the WeTransfer Ideas Report

Go to we.tl/ideasreportessay to read the Medium piece “Why we need to talk about ideas” by Rob Alderson, VP of Content at WeTransfer.

Go to we.tl/ideasreportdownload to download a PDF version of the report

Go to we.tl/ideasreportmethod to the methodology behind the report

Go to https://we.tl/t-IGynNsFRpb to download a press package including the visuals below