Innovation ideas are the ideas that have perceived value and that can result in an innovative product, service or solution for yourself or your stakeholders.
We all need ideas at some stage in our lives; whether it’s to help solve a problem that has been burning away at the back of your mind, to improve business processes and help advance your organization or career or simply to add some excitement to an otherwise dull day. Ideas motivate us, particularly when they are closely linked to something that we are passionate about.
As humans, we have an ability that no other animals that we share this planet with have, an ability to imagine. Imagination enables us to come up with new ideas. Right now you can conjure up and picture in your mind’s eye anything that you so desire.
James Webb Young has a great definition of what an idea is, he defines an idea as:
“Nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.”
Applying This Definition
Taking this definition from a practical perspective we can use our imagination so as to formulate an idea in our minds. We can do this by combining information with other information so as to form new concepts or relationships.
You can experiment with this now by taking a couple of random words that you can get from a random word generator tool and then trying to combine them to come up with a new idea. For example, the tool above generated the words “security” and “pie” for me. My mind then started thinking of a secure pie that could be locked to prevent others from eating it.
The problem with this idea is that there isn’t much value in having a secure pie – why would anyone want to lock a pie up? So this is just an idea, not an innovation idea and therefore should probably be dismissed.
As stated earlier for an idea to be innovative, once implemented it must add some form of perceived value to its user.
At some point someone put fire and food together though and thought of cooking as an idea – that’s definitely innovative!
Levi Hutchins put an alarm together with a clock and got the idea of an alarm clock.
A Numbers Game
Innovation is often seen as a numbers game. Take a problem which you would like to solve or find a better solution to than that which currently exists. Then generate as many ideas to solve that problem as you possibly can. The more ideas, the better. Then once you have a big collection of ideas you then need to begin the process of narrowing them down to the one that you think will work the best.
Other Peoples Innovation Ideas
You might want to check out the New Product Ideas From History section of this site where I showcase a number of innovative ideas put forward by people back in the 1950s and the 1960s.
Another great source for researching other peoples ideas is by looking at the patents that people have submitted. You can view Patents by using the Google Patent Search Engine.