Saturday, 28 August 2010

How to take your Idea to the next level?


Since we are doing so much talks around Innovation, Innovation Killers... thought it may make sense to put this one on as well... How to take your Idea to its right destination... Well this blog post is not the bible and may not be really fit it to your Idea or Innovation... but it will definitely give you pointers that will help you to do so....

This also comes with the fact that Raju (one of the dear readers) made the following comment on the blog around Innovation Killers...
When it comes to innovation killers, i would say the individual himself is the first killer. A viable seed will shatter even the hardest rock for survival. Problem is, "Innovation" is not considered as a means of survival unless we are pushed to corners with no options of 'conventional' survival methods.
I certainly agree with this fact.. many times this push to avoid Idea/Innovation comes from the Innovator himself. He waits, He is afraid, He doesn't want to risk, He doesn't care or he doesn't have time... So how does one really take his Idea from an Idea to Innovation? Or simply how do one take the Idea/Innovation to the next level....

1. Ideate / Document
Lot of Ideas die in the journey t takes from the thought itself to paper and then Implementation. The reasons are different... someone during the Adam-Eve era had an Idea of social networking.... it only took 1990's to build a Facebook. Wish those guys had documented the Idea.. they would have build something better by now ;) Not that FB is bad... but by the time it evolves it is going to take a few hundreds of years to make it perfect ;)

Well out of fun part.. the moment you get the Idea.. be it Shower or your bathroom or your bed or while you are doing some shitty work where you don't have ways to document... just pull a reminder and document your idea where you can remember it.

Before you take the next step to promote or share your Idea... make sure that you yourself become passionate about it... Keep the Idea hammer you..

1. have post its and posters around your house and room so you can be reminded.
2. Talk to yourself about it , every time you get time alone.. don't worry what people call you when they see you speaking to yourself.. cause they are going to laugh at you now but later talk about you, when you become an Einstein.
3. Focus , Focus and hammer and hammer your Idea to yourself.

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.- Buddha

2. Share
Your Idea is a dead meat if it is not shared. The first step when you have some Idea in your mind is to share it.. with a small or large forum of people you like , trust. Sharing of Idea is the usual step that gets skipped out in process of Innovation... People fear there Idea will be stolen, or somebody else will take credit for it, or it will be mis used... Ideas are never stolen.. they only evolve....The fear of Idea getting stolen avoids the sharing of Ideas.. hence if you choose a forum that can be your parents, spouse, close friends, Team members that you trust on would be the right way to get feedback...

Every brain that listens to your Idea and speaks a word about it either as a feedback or as a critic is a value add to the Idea..

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats - Howard Aiken

3. Brainstorm

Just sharing the Idea is not enough. It has to be brainstormed. Pros and cons, Issues and uses, UVP(Unique Value Proposition) of the Idea needs to be brainstormed.. Unless this is done the Idea will never take a good shape. This brainstorming can be done with the same group that you shared the Idea or even slightly bigger forum. One or few brainstorming sessions on your Idea can make that Idea one Killer Idea.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas - George Bernard Shaw

4. Find the right Sponsor
Whats the use of having a great Idea, if you don't find the right sources to get it to its destination. If you have a great Idea find your Manager, Team member, colleague or even Yourself. This person is the person who would help you succeed with the Idea. He is the one who is going to invest in your Idea. If you have an Idea about building a Software , or a Feature in your current software.. discuss it with your Product Owner, Manager and get some resource for it. If it is process driven find your Team , colleagues who would help you implement it.. if it is a individual task find free time for yourself so you can have time to implement what you want to Ideate.

A sponsor-less Idea is difficult to get through... find the right people who would finally put there bucks on your Idea..

The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time - Henry Ford

5. Know when to quit
Ideas can be so addictive and mind controlling that they dont let you fail.. the passion towards that Idea never lets you go away from it and the thought that success is next block will keep you going... this is a good sign of passionate behaviour. But if you want to succeed in a right way then you should define on when to stop your effort on your Idea.

A developer wanted to build a framework, he went to the Product Team demanded that he wants to spend his initiative on such framework. The Product team gave him 3 months. Few months post the initial time lines he had planned he was not able to deliver it, he became so passionate and defensive about it that he would not get off it.. Eventually the Team started taking it as a issue and finally decided to call it a quit as similar frameworks in market had already erupted and they would have helped the product without doing any inhouse work.

One has to decide the right time to call it a quit if the Idea is not triggered well... because all things dont end like the Fool's Gold.

New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along! - Arthur Clarke

6. Keep it Alive
If the mother of the child doesnt trust the child, no one would ever... Trust your Idea. Work on it. Keep it alive if it is getting delayed, Keep it alive , Give it oxygen and blood. No matter what happens no matter even if your Idea fails to launch, Even if you have to stop in the middle , even if it has failed to convince other, even if it has failed... Keep it alive.. Evolve it and make a better launchpad for it.