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How to generate new winning business ideas

by Edison Ade 5 months ago in how to
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How do you generate a winning, thought-provoking, disruptive and solution-oriented idea?

How to generate new winning business ideas
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

My mind is regularly busy, moving across various spectrum joggling different images of past happenings, fears, present-day realities, forging assumptions of future realities and constantly creating new theories. Sometimes my mind slips into the future and I start to imagine an idea that may not come to fruition. Then I have to stop myself and bring my mind back to the present.

I feel like I have burdened myself with so many ideas many of which have gone through various stages of experimentation and implementation, some however could not see the light of day. But I enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with generating new ideas. Ideas are how we make improvements or solve problems.

How do you generate a winning, thought-provoking, disruptive and solution-oriented idea?

Ideas are the sparks of a flame that help us light our way through life. Ideas are a necessary part of human progress.

  • Come up with questions. What is the product or service going to do?. At this stage, you just want to have a bird’s eye view and not necessarily about the nitty-gritty details. Idea generation and collection stage.
  • Find out what others have done. Explore what your potential competitors are doing, learn about best practices. Exploring the ideas already thought of can lead you to a better solution. It's not necessary to reinvent the wheel, again and again, just look at what others have done, find out which is the easiest way that could make your product in the most optimal way, understand why they had chosen this approach and what're its pros/cons.
  • Review your idea and come up with a concept. A concept is a set of initial thoughts about a new project. It describes the what, why and how of an idea for a product or project. A concept is not a plan, but it can become one in later stages of development. Never go into battle without a concept of what you're doing. Make sure you clearly understand what you are trying to achieve;
  • Start sketching on paper. Sketches are a quick and cheap way to start implementing/testing the validity of the idea. Draw, write, dream. Boxes, circles, maps, lines. anything really. The goal here is to convert concepts into rough interface designs. This step is all about experimentation. There are no wrong answers. People rarely sketch because they believe it is incompatible with highly refined technical design and execution. This is not true: good sketches have high fidelity and are easily implemented.

Some tools to help with out-of-the-box thinking

Opposite Thinking

Opposite/reverse thinking is a technique that can help you question long-held assumptions related to your business. It’s a useful tool to consider if you feel your team is stuck with the conventional mindset and coming up with those “out-of-the-box ideas” seems to be difficult.

Often, finding the best solutions aren’t found through a linear thought process. Although our brains are wired that way, opposite thinking can help us question the norm.

With this type of thinking, you consider the exact opposite of what’s normal. You can even think backwards to find unconventional solutions.

Analogy Thinking

Analogy thinking is a technique for using information from one source to solve a problem in another context. Often one solution to a problem or opportunity can be used to solve another problem.

Analogy thinking can, for example, be used for analyzing a successful business, identifying what makes it great, and then applying those same principles for your business. This is an effortless method for coming up with new ideas that are pre-validated.

You’ve probably heard of the countless start-ups that are the “Uber for [insert industry here]“. This is exactly the method every one of those companies has used. However, although this is such an easy and intuitive tool to use, the obvious combinations are likely to be very competitive.

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About the author

Edison Ade

Business Strategist, Building Products for companies using Web and Mobile technologies. Fractional CMO.

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