Passion or interest areas – ideas that stem from things you love doing, are highly interested in or have hobbies in this area. How could you leverage this to create new and/or unique businesses?
The first phase of the ideation process is to generate a minimum of 100 potential business ideas. You are not concerned with quality at this point in time, you want to generate as many ideas as possible. The following areas should be the focus of your efforts:
1. Pain points – things that cause you pain or problems that you have that could be solved by a new business/product/service. Pain points can come from personal experience, friends or family, from society or businesses.
2. Passion or interest areas – ideas that stem from things you love doing, are highly interested in or have hobbies in this area. How could you leverage this to create new and/or unique businesses?
3. Reinvention and Recycling – many business ideas result from reinventing something that already exists. It could be a gym bag (Ogio), a shopping cart (IDEO) or a hardware store (Home Depot). Similarly, business ideas can come from “recycling” which is focused on taking something from a different country, culture, region, etc. and tweaking it to your own to adopt it to a new audience (e.g. Starbucks).
4. Observation – many business ideas come from observing our surroundings and giving us insight into potential opportunities that could solve problems, address needs or tap into strong wants or desires of consumers or businesses.
5. Other people’s ideas – much of the technology we take for granted was generated in laboratories and universities. A great deal of unique innovation is generated in these settings but never sees the light of day. You can identify interesting technologies that could potentially be commercialized.