P.S. Thanks to Ivy Xu for some of the points below from her podcast.
- Pay attention to your own problems – this is by far the bulk of the ideas on this page. Whenever you see a problem in the world, note it down and then brainstorm around what a solution might be.
- Niche down – think of an existing industry where you might be able to identify a niche. For example, food delivery apps but for Seniors, or Fitness tracking apps for HIIT enthusiasts, or Travel tips app for Japanese students learning English
- Old problem / New problem / Old solution / New solution – Map each of these on a 2×2 matrix and then use it to brainstorm. The one to avoid is old problem / old solution. You can come up with lots of great ideas with this matrix.
- Productize an existing service that’s normally customized – for example building websites is often a “custom quote”. Find a way to package it into products people can buy.
- Bundling/Unbundling – think about ways to bundle stuff together. For example with bundling, bed and breakfast (house + food), all-inclusive travel packages (air, hotel, taxi, food), all-inclusive website (building, hosting, security, reports) and more. Unbundling examples could be with mobile – you can buy a phone without a plan, or sell individual MP3s vs the whole album. More about this concept here.
- “Not Not test” – Adopted from Merrick Furst, ideate by asking the question: what would our potential target market say to themselves “I cannot not buy this!”. So for example with shopping online, a service that ships nearly anything to you for free for a monthly free. Sound familiar? Yep, that’s Amazon Prime.
How to use these ideation frameworks:
- List a target market that you care about – preferably one you are part of
- Note down all the problems they are experiencing, INDEPENDENT of existing solutions. Think more generally vs specifically.
- Go through each of the frameworks described above and ideate
Need more help? I encourage you to listen to Ivy Xu for more inspiration here or here