Generating and Evaluating Ideas

Enterprising Capability CFEE11.29.18

Generating Ideas

Armed with a good opportunity, you also need a good idea. Most entrepreneurs start with finding a good opportunity. Then they look to develop a good idea. How can you look for, find, and create ideas? Here are some tips for generating, and evaluating, ideas.

  • Believe you are creative and don’t be afraid of being wrong.
  • Listen, really listen, to what others have to say.
  • Listen to, accept, and think about criticisms you receive from others.
  • Break with your habits and routine. Force yourself into something new to gain a new perspective.
  • Role play. Pretend you are someone, or something, other than who you are.
  • Relax. Have fun. Kid around. Humour and fun allow the mind to venture down new, previously untraveled pathways.
  • Practice coming up with ideas for every problem, challenge, etc., you see, hear about, or come up against.
  • Daydream. Let your mind wander and see where it ends up.
  • Look at two things that are totally unrelated. Can you link them together in a new, innovative way?
  • Ask lots of questions – and then listen to the answers.
  • Ask new and different questions – ones that are unexpected, perhaps illogical, perhaps a little crazy – perhaps ones that will make you think.
  • Try to come at a problem from an entirely new perspective. 13. Write all your ideas down. Don’t let them get away.

Evaluating Ideas

Once you have an idea, or a bunch of ideas, you have to evaluate or assess them – just as you would evaluate an opportunity. The following are some suggestions for evaluating the ideas you are able to generate.

  • What do others think of the idea? 8. Is the idea directly related to an opportunity?
  • Has the idea been tried before?
  • If not, why not?
  • If so, with what success? Can you improve on that?
  • What information was used to generate the idea? Was it accurate, dependable, reliable information? Was it sufficient?
  • How confident do you feel about the idea?
  • What are the risks associated with the idea? Are they controllable? Specifically define the opportunity.
  • Is there a“user-market“ for the idea? Define it. How large is it?
  • Will there be much resistance to the idea? From where? Why? Can such resistance be overcome?
  • Is much money necessary to finance the idea? Will it likely be available?
  • Have you made any questionable assumptions in formulating your idea?
  • Is there a better idea available?

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