by Super Admin 10 February, 2024 0 Comment Strategic Planning
How to Brainstorm a Disruptive Product in a Stale Industry
Entrepreneurship is all about innovation. It’s all about coming up with new exciting ideas and using them in order to shift paradigms and make money. We’d all love to have that ‘big idea’ that makes us rich. In this article, we're going to dive deep into a couple of steps you can take to brainstorm and form an idea for a disruptive product for your industry.
Imagine if you were the person who invented Velcro, or post‐it notes. With a simple mechanical solution, you could change your life while also making life easier for millions of people around the world. Not only would your own day‐to‐day life become much happier and easier (millions of dollars will do that), but you’d get to enjoy the incredible sense of accomplishment that only comes from ‘doing it on your own’.
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t easily have new ideas? Or what if you’re in an industry where everything already seems to have been done? Can you ‘force’ an idea to come? How do you encourage that spark of inspiration? Well, there’s no way to guarantee that you’re going to have exciting new ideas. But what we certainly can do, is to increase the likelihood of that eureka moment happening. And often, this comes down to asking the right questions.
How to Ask the Right Questions for Innovating a Stale Industry
Step One: Brainstorming
The first step to consider, is just how new ideas come about to begin with. In business, most ideas essentially consist of finding a need and then fulfilling it. This makes your job a little easier – you are trying to find a new need and/or meet it in a new way.
One way to do this is to ask yourself is a service you offer could be automated. This is called ‘productizing’ a service and it’s how many ‘Software As Service’ businesses are born. Another option is to ask yourself what could be done better. This is what many business people refer to as ‘scratching your own itch’. In other words, you’re looking for the ‘pain points’ – the daily frustrations you experience when you use certain products or services.
Think about the things that frustrate you. In business, this is called a ‘process fix’. It involves looking at the routine activities of that organization and then seeing where that routine could be improved upon. The thing is, you can also apply the notion of the process fix to real life. That might mean making it easier to open cans, making toothbrushes last longer or defrosting the car more efficiently.
In other words: ask yourself what you find to be regularly frustrating and then challenge yourself to come up with a solution in product form. Is there a way that you could do this better? How could you ensure that others don’t have to experience this same frustration? Chances are that if you could benefit from it, so too could other people.
Step 2: Improve Existing Ideas
If you're having difficulty finding frustrations, consider your target demographic and what their needs and pain points might be. It’s a mistake to lump your entire audience into a single category. Instead, think about them as individuals and as groups and ask yourself whether any cross section of that demographic might have unique needs.
For example, you’re already providing a great product or service – but how does someone who travels use that service? Is there a way that you could make your service better for them in light of that? Or what about someone who’s disabled? By focusing on this group and by offering them a product that is built around their needs, you can come up with something new and hopefully be very successful.
If that doesn't work, why not try the age old technique? Take two products or services and then combine them into a single one! They say that there is no such thing as a completely novel idea – that instead the closest thing is to combine two existing ideas into something new. Well, why not embrace that reality by simply combining two ideas you like into one new idea? You see tons of inventions that work this way and serve a dual purpose, thereby removing the need to order two separate items – and they’re often very successful.
Final Words: Building the Next Best Thing.
Many of us dream of products we wish existed but which we know are impossible to make. Often, a good way to come up with a great idea is to look at those ideas and then try to make them more realistic. How can you take an idea that’s impossible and create the ‘next best thing’ using the realistic resources you have available to you?
There’s no way to guarantee that you’re going to have the next best idea. But what you certainly can do, is to increase the likelihood of that idea being successful. By asking the right questions, often what you’ll find is that you can get much closer to building a disruptive product than you probably expected! Join our strategic growth network using the form below, for weekly tips and strategies on how to brainstorm a disruptive product in a stale industry. Or, join our hands-on workshop to get started on your disruptive product.