Innovative Thinking – Key to Developing a Product

May 8, 2017

Management

Innovation starts with a problem. It’s not about having that one great idea or the desire to work with cool technologies, it’s about finding a problem that you are passionate about solving. Actively start looking for trouble and you are bound to find a few problems that you would love to solve. Don’t ask your friends, colleagues, partners or customers about problems they would like solved but listen in on them complaining about stuff at parties, events or any other gathering of people. (We Dutch are very good at complaining which might be the reason why we are number 4 on the 2015 global innovation index.)

Second step is about urgency. Ask yourself if the problem that you are trying to solve is worth solving? This one is a bit harder to answer but generally you will want to look for proof that your idea is relevant and your timing is right for your target audience. Getting confirmation about the same problem from different walks of life? Great! But if you are talking to your target audience and they are constantly talking about some other problem, then maybe you need to refocus your energy as you will have a hard time getting your idea across.

Starting off with a bad idea

I have noticed the process of getting ideas is kind-off weird. You cannot simply sit down and try to have a great idea. Ideas are formed in increments through collaboration with other people. How often did you have the an idea almost simultaneously with one of your colleagues or friends. Is this a coincident or is it caused by some form of (subconscious) collaboration? I don’t subscribe to the idea that creative geniuses like Steve Jobs can single handedly come up with things like the iPhone. Even the theory of general relativity cannot be attributed to Albert Einstein alone. You need other people to be able to look beyond your own personal experiences.

For me to be able to work on an idea, I really need to be able to clear my mind. If you lead a busy life, I would suggest you adopt something like the GTD methodology by Paul Allen. A clear mind is essential for the thought processes needed to deeply analyze the problem at hand and being able to look at the problem from different angles. These moment where I don’t have anything on my mind except the problem I want to solve, are very rare and precious but these are the moments where bad ideas slowly turn into acceptable ideas that are worth talking to other people about.

Getting started on a solution

I am in a great position within my company. I get to act on ideas and I love that. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something being born from nothing and seeing ideas come to life. This is where my friends at Xplicity come in. They help me get started on a solution, challenge my ideas and continuously keep me focused on the highest priority. Proving that something works is sometimes more important having an esthetically pleasing user interface right?

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