Idea Connecting Between Industry and Function

by seharris

How do you come up with a winning idea?

The most obvious way is to recognize a problem and postulate solutions for it.  These type of ideas are great, but often after researching the market, many of the great solutions I come up with already exist or there isn’t enough of a market to launch them into a full-scale business. In other words, they aren’t “winning” ideas.

So how can you find an idea that is more substantial if you can’t find one that works with identifying  a pressing problem?

Transformative ideas are sometimes spontaneous ‘aha’ moments, but more often than not I believe they are the result of connecting common practices and ideas used in disparate industries and functions and applying them to new industries and functions..  You may have all the ingredients for an idea right in front of you.  Can you see it? The key is connect disparate ingredients to solve problems.

To find these ideas you’ll need to look at how something in one industry works and see if applying it in another industry or function makes sense.  An idea for one industry rarely fits perfectly in another industry. But you have an advantage…

The first advantage you have is a good case study of the working idea in action to reference.   The second advantage you need to have is the knowledge of other industries and functions.  You can find the sweet spot where tweaking an idea will meet the different needs of another industry.  You still need to know if there is a market for your idea and you can do this by adding or minimizing aspects of your idea and testing it until you confirm it is easily adopted in the new target market.

So, get out there and look at processes and ask yourself if that process could be used in another industry.  If not, ask if it could be used after some incremental improvement.

What idea can you connect from one industry or function with a problem another industry or function?