What are the top rules of ideation? How do you come up with and qualify the best ideas for a startup business?
Ideation is the process of coming up with and conveying ideas. It’s the basis of any startup, fundraising exercise, and business venture.
So, where do great ideas come from? How do you know if yours is really worth pursuing? How do the most successful entrepreneurs go from wanting to start something to hit businesses?
Consider Multiple Options
When thinking about the top rules of ideation, keep in mind that some entrepreneurs just start out knowing they want to build something from scratch of their own, without really knowing what yet. Others get passionate about a potential idea but are unsure if it is really something they should go all-in on yet.
If you are still looking for a great startup idea, three of the best starting points are:
- To travel
- Talk to like-minded people
- Dig into personal pain points and business issues that frustrate you
These seem to be common catalysts for winning startup ideas.
Even if you think you are onto something and have had a eureka moment, it can be worth evaluating multiple ideas.
Some of the founders who have raised the most during startup fundraising efforts and have built the most valuable companies have purposefully taken months just to explore multiple ideas. This can help you really be confident that your original idea was one that you’ll stick with. Or can reveal something even better.
Practice brainstorming. Imagine everything is possible, and it is just about timing. Then try thinking inside a box and see what innovative ideas come out of thinking in a constrained environment.
You can do this part-time in your spare time until you think you’ve nailed it. Or you can go get some office space, and make it your full-time gig to find and explore ideas for the next six months.
Take Time To Shape Your Idea
A truly great business is a lot like a sculpture inside a piece of marble or the trunk of a tree, or mound of clay. The raw idea often ends up looking a lot different after a good amount of chipping away, molding, and polishing.
One of the best ways to do this is to get out there and talk to others. How does it sound when you try to explain it to others? What can you borrow or eliminate from different business models and industries to bring together the best parts, new innovations, and strip away the inefficiencies of the old?
Especially talk to customers as one of the key parts of the top rules of ideation. Again and again, other founders will tell you the most important time they invested was getting out there and talking to potential customers. What do they think? Verify what you think is the problem and a desirable solution.
Make Sure It Is An Urgent Problem
Nice to have products are much harder to make stick as a new business. There are great luxury brands on the market that have survived for many decades. Though if you want to increase your odds of success and get traction fast, it’s far easier if you are solving urgent hair on fire problems that people are desperately eager to solve.
Run The Financial Models
You may have an idea you are extremely passionate about. You may have even conjured up a solution that others are really interested in. The big question when you are looking into the top rules of ideation is do the numbers work?
Run the financial models. Is there a real business here?
Key questions to ask include:
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