Generation of Business Ideas: – When it is undertaken for the first time, it is common to believe that it is enough to find “a good business idea” to have success assured. But as we develop our venture, we realize that it takes much more than a good idea or a good product to build a successful business. Next, I want to share a series of reflections and lessons that I have learned in recent years about innovation and business ideas generation.
Lessons of Innovation and Generation of Business Ideas
Below is the list of 21 lessons, which should be in your mind before moving towards different business ideas. Keep them in your mind as entrepreneurs.
- “The best way to have a good idea is to have many ideas”
When you are looking for a “good idea”, you are likely to feel that your mind is blocked. This is because the generation of ideas is a process of thinking divergent; therefore, it is important that your mind is open to all possibilities. When you put your mind to filter ideas while generating them, you are doing a convergent thinking process, that is why your mind is blocked and you do not flow ideas.
The key is to generate all possible ideas and solutions, without thinking if they are good, bad or absurd. Once you have many ideas as raw material, there you can begin to organize, filter, categorize and find the most viable to implement them.
- “Great Ideas Take Time”
Steven Johnson devoted himself to studying the origin of good ideas and concluded that they are almost never coming from a sudden blow. The most important ideas take a long time to evolve. It may be years before an idea develops enough to make itself apparent to you. Usually, you do not have a good idea overnight.
- “Great ideas arise from collision with other ideas”
Another conclusion reached by Steven Johnson is that in the history of innovation you see many cases where someone had only half an idea, so you should look for the right scenarios so that your ideas can collide with other ideas and become something much bigger.
- “You cannot have a creative mind with a loose body”
A loose person will always think of the hard work that will take to put their ideas into action.
Experts recommend about 30 or 40 minutes a day of physical exercise in the morning to activate your body and help oxygenate your brain. With an active and energized body and brain, you will have a more creative mind.
Thinking and acting differently requires physical effort. Everyone has ideas, but very few people have the determination and discipline to take their ideas and execute them.
- “If your environment changes, your ideas change”
If you are immersed in a routine in which you are exposed to the same stimuli every day, it will be very difficult for you to generate different ideas.
If you want to think differently, do different things every day: use your non-dominant hand to brush, change the route to get home, talk to people from different cultures, travel, put the clock on the other arm, try exotic foods, Learn a new language, practice a new dance, change the order of things in your office, etc.
Everything you do to get out of the routine and to see and feel different, will allow your brain to create new neural networks that will help you to creatively solve your problems.
- “Bad ideas are the way to good ideas”
It is easier to have 10 bad ideas, than a good idea; but, interesting of the case is that what seems like a bad idea at first, can become a good idea.
When you want to become a more creative person, you must lose your fear of bad ideas failure. A lot of failure, every mistake will turn into practical learning that will help you to have better ideas every time. In fact, many innovations were born by mistake.
For example, Netflix currently arouses great admiration and is certainly one of the most interesting entrepreneurship cases on the web, but when it was born, in 1997, the idea of offering films and series under a subscription model, was not very interesting. In fact, when Marc Randolph came up with the idea, there was not even the DVD format, so it was discarded. But, later came the DVD and Netflix was born to rent and sell through Internet movies in DVD format. From that initial business model, the company suffered several pivots to become the largest platform on demand content on the web.
The Japanese hold Chindōgu contests, which are creative but absurd inventions. If you search the web, you will find several examples of Chindōgu. Large companies often sponsor such competitions and are inspired by absurd inventions and subsequently create new products that are commercially viable.
- “Creative boundaries and challenges stimulate the production of good ideas”
Make a list of resources at your disposal and make your venture a challenge. Stop thinking about what you needed; think about how you can undertake with those resources that you have at hand. When you challenge your mind, it immediately goes to work on generating solutions.
One tip you can put into practice is to take a sheet of paper and in the center write a challenge that you want to solve with a business idea. Then you put that sheet of paper on the wall and every idea you can think of is written in a Post It. In the end you will have many ideas that will serve as raw material to build your venture.
- “It’s not about finding the business that gives more money, but that business through which we can bring more value”
We are constantly being asked by entrepreneurs asking “What is the business that gives the most money?” Or “What are the most profitable businesses?” And when I ask people “Where can you find business ideas?” The vast majority responds by identifying needs in the environment.
It is true that every business must be linked to a need to meet, a problem to solve or a market trend, however, the fact that there is a need, problem or opportunity, does not mean that I am the best person to solve it.
Before you go out looking for ideas and opportunities out there, find out what’s inside you: What are your dreams, passions, skills and talents?
It’s not about finding “The Business Idea”, but “Your Business Idea”. Where your dreams, talents and passions intersect with the needs, problems and tendencies of the environment, that’s where the business is for you.
- “Winning business ideas arise from experience”
The chart above shows the results of a query that was made to the founders of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States, to know where they got the idea to start their business. The 44% of employers surveyed claimed to have obtained his idea from your experience in your current or previous employment.
This figure tells us two interesting things. First, you are more likely to succeed in those industries where you have already had the opportunity to work. And secondly, if you want to start a business but do not feel completely ready, it makes a lot of sense to get a job in the industry in which you want to start, so you will gain valuable experience to build your company.
- “The only real test of a business idea is its performance in the market”
No business is good or bad on paper. If you want to know the true potential of your idea, you must have the courage to launch it. Build a viable minimum product and salt it to interact with real customers.
Peter Drucker says: “The test of an innovation is not its novelty, nor its scientific content, nor the ingenuity of the idea … it is its success in the market”.
- “Your idea will change once you start it”
No matter how great your idea sounds, be sure that it will change drastically once you start executing it, so it is important that you are open to change and learn to listen to criticism with intelligence.
As you begin to interact with customers, they will give you valuable feedback that will help you improve and consolidate your ideas and products.
- “The true genius consists in making the complicated simple”
Face fears another big mistake common in entrepreneurs is to start adding features and more features to their products in order to “create a perfect product”. In the end, they end up with products full of Costs Aggregates that are unviable from the commercial point of view.
Define what the most important feature of your product is and focus on it. Start with something simple and effective that your customers love. Later, you can add features and features as you interact with your customers.
- “Customers care about their problems, not your solutions”
Customers do not want products or services; they want solutions.
Clayton Christensen introduced in his book “The Solution of Innovators” the concept of knowing the task or job to perform “jobs to be done “, as the starting point for the search for innovation.
Make a list of all the tasks that your client must perform to solve the problem for which you have created your product. It identifies the points of the process in which the client feels frustration and determines which elements would make the process simpler and more enjoyable for him. Build your products in a way that simplifies the process of solving the problem, while reducing customer frustration and increasing your satisfaction.
Quite a challenge, right? With the help of Value Proposition Canvas you can build products and services that really solve your customer’s life.
- “Fall in love with the problem, not the solution”
When you fall in love with the idea, you can fall into the mistake of building products that customers do not want or need.
By focusing on the problem you solve and not the solution, you have a much broader perspective on the business model you are going to build.
- “Having a good idea is not the same as having a good business”
There is a big difference between having a good idea and having a good product. And there is an even greater stretch between having a good product and having a good business.
To convert your idea into a business there are different elements that you must define, and for this you can use the Lienzo to generate Business Models, a visual tool that summarizes the 9 key elements of the operation of a company, presented by Alexander Osterwalder in His book “Business Model Generation”.
Your company does not compete in the market with products, but with business models.
- “Ideas are strengthened when shared”
Fear paralyzes us. When the fear of being robbed by our idea is very strong, we prefer to leave it in our head before even mentioning it in front of someone else. But, as we saw previously, it has historically been shown that ideas grow when they collide with other ideas.
Ideas need to see the light of day to grow into big projects. Share them and take advantage of the feedback and opinions to give them shape. Surround yourself with experts and enterprising people who give you their opinions and other project perspectives that you have in mind. You will see that in this way you can obtain really valuable information to consolidate your enterprise. Nothing dies faster than an idea in a closed mind.
- “If you are not part of your idea, then it is not your idea”
If anyone can take your idea and execute it as you have in mind, then that idea really is not yours.
You as an entrepreneur must add value to your idea. Your experience, your vision, your strengths, your way of understanding the world, your talents, etc. They are also part of your idea. Remember that you can steal your ideas, but the talent never.
- “Being happy makes you more creative”
When you enjoy what you do, it is much easier for creative ideas to flow. Make sure that the business you have chosen is passionate and challenging enough to spend all the time thinking about how to surprise your customers. If your work does not motivate you, every time you do it you will secrete cortical and you will feel stressed, blocking the flow of ideas.
- “Big companies do not come from good ideas, but from great teams”
Personally I think this is the most valuable lesson you can learn about how to build successful businesses. The ideas and products change all the time and moments of uncertainty will always be present, so it is important to surround yourself with passionate and committed people, willing to fight tirelessly to build a sustainable enterprise.
The vast majority of people who undertake for the first time obsess about finding a “great idea”, mistakenly believing that if they find it they will have success assured. Worry more about building a great team.
- “Innovation is more persistence than genius”
I do not want to detract from the genius and innate creative ability of many people, but the reality is that we all have a huge creative capacity, but very few people believe enough in their ideas to invest time, resources, effort and energy.
Great entrepreneurs of our time like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, etc. Evidently have been great visionaries, but behind their histories they hide years of tireless work and persistence.
- “There are no good or bad ideas, only ideas are more developed than others”
Although throughout this article I have mentioned several times the concepts of “good idea” and “bad idea”, a final reflection that I want to share is that ideas are always in the process of development and depend a lot on the context. What today seems like a “bad idea” could only be a very crude idea for this moment.
Think of the first person who came up with the idea of transporting people a huge vehicle that would fly through the heavens great distances at a great speed. It was probably a no-brainer idea, but today it’s perfectly normal for us to get on planes all the time without even thinking about how they work. In fact, it’s a great idea … and very cost-effective.
The final invitation is to write all your ideas, no matter what sounds absurd, and paste them using post it’s on your own wall of ideas or the consignments in a notebook. Be sure that in that wall will be great opportunities to undertake.