Circle #2: Formulating the Idea

Warning: This chapter may be a bit tough for the left-brained, process-driven people. We completely understand. Hang in there. If you do, you will be amply rewarded.

Circle #2 is the easiest of the three circles to implement. But that doesn’t mean you want to give it short shrift. We opened Chapter 3 by saying ideas are easy (and that the need should be determined first) and we stand by that statement. We don’t care what you do for a living, we bet you could come up with 10 ideas for a new product or service within the hour, if you really had to. Remember, though, we aren’t just trying to generate random concepts. We’re trying to deliver ideas against the need(s)/insights we discover.

As we discussed in the last chapter, in order to be successful you must be creating something that a clearly defined, emotionally charged part of the market wants and, indeed, has been clamoring for. Without a specific target to aim for, your odds of success are only slightly better than winning the lottery.

Creativity increases when you have a boundary. Just ask an artist. In his later period, when he was confined to bed, Matisse could not hold a brush. He said that the constraint of not being able to paint led to even greater creativity, which can be seen in one of his most famous works, “Icarus,” created from a model made of cut-and-paste color papers which were then printed using a technique similar to stenciling.

Creativity increases when you have a ...

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