First things first: having new ideas. This does mean to have a look on what does exist, what would be interesting to add, to combine and to modify. New ideas rarely come from nowhere. You need a great mix of experience, knowledge and of course, vision.
Remember the presentation of the iPhone by Steve Jobs in 2007 at Macworld 2007 (extract). It really illustrates what I mean above. Taking old ideas, improving them, mixing them and obtain new ones.
The discovery of new ideas is a process that mainly sources itself into old ones.
The second step is probably one of the most difficult. You have found a bunch of great new ideas. You believe in them. They will change the way people work, collaborate, live, or whatever. And you have to select few of them (let’s say three) on which to focus your effort.
This process is a heart-breaking one as it means that you will leave apart many great ideas you had and potentially THE ONE. So you have to be very clever here and as objective as possible.
For my part, I use as a basic tool a two columns table on which each idea is evaluated for its usage added-value (does it brings something valuable for the end-user?) and its innovative value (is it something new, that nobody has built before?). In order to introduce some objectiveness in the process, I ask some trusted friends to provide me their own evaluations, and I take the average of all. Once this done, I put all these annotation in a graphic on which axes are “usage added-value” and “innovative value” and in which each idea is represented by a point. I can then select the three points which are the farthest from the centre.
I am then ready for the second step.
Three ideas to work on is a very high challenge. So the next step is to choose the very first one you will build.
If the different ideas you selected on the previous step are quite complementary, then bingo! You just have to work on your product roadmap to aggregate these ideas one after the other. If not, then chose one and only one.
I do not know any method at this step (If I had, I would be richer… But I am interested by your suggestions). The ultimate selection may be rationalized, or not. I believe that feelings are highly important at this stage in order to be in line with market expectation. Any input may help at this stage I believe: artistic, cultural, industrial or whatever. The main word here should be: “be inspired”.
Then do it…
You have your idea: the great one. It is now time to convert it in a reality. This has to become your obsession. Put all your strengths on it. The rest is a matter of flair and at the end… of luck.
- 5 Ways To Reframe Your Thinking To Be More Like Elon Musk (fastcompany.com)
- Required Reading: The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton Christensen (biztelevision.wordpress.com)
- How to be innovative? Get out of your office! (hiscox.co.uk)
- Make the Perfect Presentation: 5 Lessons From Steve Jobs's Innovative Use of Imagery (shutterstock.com)