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Ideas for Ideas for the Entrepreneur
David J Dunworth The Over-Caffeinated Entrepreneur
With a market already jammed with products and services, how can an entrepreneur generate enough new ideas for products and services that the marketplace will embrace? How can someone come up with ideas for ideas?
Is that even a possible concept? Isn’t just stating the topic a redundancy?
I thought I would let you in on a secret I use to dream up ideas for activities, party games, book themes or other stuff. I’ve created a business out of this very concept by offering it as a presentation on Innovations in Communications consortium. You can use this system to identify new business concepts, new products, or whatever. It’s not difficult, can be a group activity or even a competition. Want to write fiction and need a concept that is out of the norm? This could be the answer to writer’s block. It could be used to define a brand-new pre-school activity program that can be offered all across the city on a for-profit basis. It may even be a way for an event planner to generate new business ideas for her clients. There is literally no limit to what this exercise can develop.
Tools You’ll need:
Ability to Laugh, be creative and think outside the box
Make a list of 20 Nouns on the left side of a piece of note paper. On the right side of the page, make a list of 20 verbs. This is where the paper and pencil come in.
Ready? Set? Go!
1. Ice Cubes 1. Run
2. Golf Ball 2. Paint
3. Goblet 3. Fry
4. Truck 4. Chop
5. Pizza 5. Write
6. Knife 6. Screw
7. Shoes 7. Listen
8. Jacket 8. Cry
9. Television 9. Predict
10. Windows 10. Harness
11. Computer 11. Drink
12. Dogs 12. Pretend
NOTE: I got tired, but you get the idea.
Here’s where playing cards come in, ready? Pull out cards ace through 10 of both hearts and spades, and set the remainder of the deck aside. Shuffle the 20 selected cards well, and begin to turn them over one at a time. The first round of card turning will be for the column of nouns, column on the left. Note the card next to the noun in order, like: 3 of hearts for Ice Cubes, 5 of spades for Golf Ball, and so on.
For the right column of verbs, repeat the process, using the cards reshuffled and turned over one at a time. Next, match up the corresponding cards to form your idea. Example; Jacket Drink each have a 9 of spades. Therefore, your word combination is determined.
What your responsibility is simple; make these two words into something. How can we use Drink and Jacket into something? Using your creative juices (don’t drink them) you should be able to come up with several, but it might take a bit of effort.
It is a fun project to have multiple groups go through the same exercise concurrently, and then have a contest to identify the best use of the word combos. There will always be at least one pair in the 20 that will turn out to be a great activity, or some other use of them.