Has Your Great Idea Stalled?

David Moskal Innovation


It can be a defeating feeling when you are passionate about your idea but the people you are sharing it with just don’t see the value in it. Or maybe you have an existing product/service or internal system that that is sliding down the backside of the curve.

This leaves you with three options:

1. Push the idea ahead as it is (not recommended)
2. Reinvent the idea
3. Kill the idea

The rest of this blog post is going to guide you through what you could do to reinvent your idea/product/service/system. It will be written from the perspective of an ‘idea’ but the method very much applies to products, services and systems as well.

To reinvent your idea, here is what I suggest:

Step one is to map out all the features or attributes of your idea.

Come up with as many features or attributes as you can. Dig into the details of all the moving parts of your idea. How does the idea really work? What makes it work?

I find that mind mapping helps to think of all the parts of an idea but if you prefer lists, that will work fine as well.

Step two would be to use a create tool to reinvent your idea. I would suggest a tool called the Osborn’s Checklist.

Here you will run your listed attributes through the different prompts of the Osborn’s Checklist.

Osborn’s Checklist

Other uses? As it is?… If modified?
Adapt? Is there anything else like this? What does this tell you? Is the past comparable?
Modify? Give it a new angle? Alter the colour, sound, odour, meaning, motion, and shape?
Magnify? Can anything be added, time, frequency, height, strength? Can it be duplicated or exaggerated?
Minify? Can anything be taken away? Made smaller? Lowered?
Shortened? Lightened? Omitted? Broken up?
Substitute? Different ingredients used? Other material? Other processes? Other place? Someone else?
Rearrange? Swap components? Alter the pattern or layout? Change the schedule? Transpose cause and effect?
Reverse? Opposites? Backwards? Reverse roles? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Transpose ‘+/-‘?
Combine? Combine units, purposes, appeals or ideas? A blend, alloy, or an ensemble? 5.
Advanced? Bio? Digital? Internet? Micro? Nano? Social Network? YouTube? Facebook? Twitter?
Feel? Love? Excitement? Wow? Warmth? Surprise? Romance?

Choose your first attribute. How can you put it to other uses? How can you adapt it? And so on.

Do this with all the attributes of your idea. The key here is to go wild and crazy with your new ideas. The more ideas you can come up with the better. Not all of them will be practical or even possible but they all serve as great stimulus when you are reinventing your idea.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, you should have numerous new directions to take your idea.

Step three will be exploring which of those new versions is best for your customer.

Pitch reinvented versions of the idea directly to your customer and get their feedback. This can be fast and cheap and will give you a good indication of how ‘meaningfully unique’ your reinvented idea is.

This exercise can be repeated over and over to drive success.

Interested in taking this further?

Book a free innovative problem-solving session with us.