Some people get great ideas out of nowhere. They just pop up at the most unusual times and places. Other people can spend weeks looking over the ocean hoping to catch onto something and eventually leave the beach empty handed.
And some people just have a basic fear of the blank sheet of paper – of getting started at all. They need help in order to get the mind juices working.
On that note here is a small idea that might get you started:
One of the things I have often found helpful is to look into different kinds of trends and then try to combine those to see what pops into my mind looking at it.
I call that the ‘triangulating opportunity’. And here is how it works:
You draw three overlapping circles on a blank sheet of paper – Lean Startup style but with a sizable overlapping area for notes.
Then in each circle you write down a trend, you have observed and/or read about – something you know to be true and not just the figment of your imagination. Do so with a headline and small comment on what makes you think the trend is interesting and worth diving into.
Once you have done that for all three circles, you start looking at the overlaps and intersection of all, and then you start thinking about what opportunities could arise from combining the different ones.
Now, it needs to be said that there are no firm rules for which trends go with which trends. It’s all up to you and you need to try and do the combination. In fact, you could argue that the more unusual pairings, you make, the bigger the opportunity to come up with some truly novel idea nobody has thought of before.
What could an example of three trends be?
Fx what would happen if you tried to find opportunities in the intersection between ‘Second hand’, ‘Local’, ‘Instant Delivery’? Could something come out of that? Something that draws on the best elements of all three? I don’t know, but the example is simple and should give you an idea of how this works?
No matter what you get out of it, you get one instant win: You get yourself away from thinking and brooding about something with nothing to show for it. You get an assisted start towards something – potentially – and that’s always better than – well – nothing at all.