“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw
A lot of people usually ask the question “How did you ever think of this concept?” or sometimes you are the one wondering “I wonder what the guys who created YOUtube were thinking about?”. These are very good questions to be asking, in fact if you are part of a group of people asking questions like this you are already well ahead of most of the population. The reason being, that you are beginning to question the world around you. I feel this was a major breakthrough for me, when I started questioning things and not just accepting them for what they were.
All ideas usually address a certain customer need or add value to a certain process to make it better. This is how I remember starting up my first business in university. I had a friend who was part of the student union and talking about a tender which he needed to get quotes for. It was for the basic printing of name cards. My partner and I decided that if we could get the basic machinery necessary we could provide a much greater value added service. This led to the launch of our first design and print company. In the years to come we helped them with a range of projects and being physically on campus we started to get orders from a lot of other student-based organizations. If you have identified a customer which has a current need you can fill and add extra value to it, you are well on your way to developing something which has great potential.
Open your eyes to the world around and be on the constant look out as to where there is a need and value can be created. Once you have got a vague idea that is the part which separates the doers from the talkers. This week I am going to take your through my thought process of how you can take a simple concept and rigorously test it to see if it can be made into reality. The process which I use is a mix of experience and lots of helpful tips I have got from books such as Innovation – Curtis Carlson, Purpose – Nikos Mourkagiannis and Execution – Bossidy Charan and Burk.
However the most important part of the process is the one discussed in this post. Identification of the idea and a deep commitment with enthusiasm about it is a defining part of this process. Without it I feel the spark is not there, so if you have come up with an idea then you should seek to discuss with as many people as possible. Talking with individuals with experience in that industry gets you insight which is priceless. Enthusiasm, passion & a constant interaction with others about this idea is vital to its success.If you are asked to join a team and be part of developing a concept then do as much research into the idea as possible. Think about different angles and permutations that it could work in. You have to be excited enough and get your blood flowing, then get your team together and………………now you are ready!