So what next?

The next step in the innovation process is evaluation of the ideas by others in the group. Our ideas will eventually be analyzed and criticized to determine their viability or economic impact. This is a separate and distinct process, and should occur only after the ideas are generated and not during the brainstorming period. Here are some suggestions:

  • Ideas are cheap so don’t get too hung up on them
  • An idea may not be an invention and an invention may not be good business
  • Break the whole process with a time limit and be disciplined about time
  • Generate as many ideas as possible and forget about the constraints first
  • Select the three best ideas from the list and identify the best one by elimination and debate
  • With the best idea, start imposing constraints by asking the following questions:
    • What is the product, service or idea involving the industry?
    • Who are the paying and non-paying customers?
    • How do you market the product?
    • How do you charge for the product?
    • When do you know that the product fails?
  • Once you have worked that out, test the idea by creating a prototype and testing it.
You will fail if:
  • You keep harping on about whether you will get a grant
  • You don’t even think about creating a prototype to test the market
  • You don’t listen to feedback when you let the market respond to you

You should quit and start again if the idea really has no market traction.

Finally - good luck!