Disruptive and Driven: How to Brainstorm for Innovative Startup Ideas
26 Jul 2021Content
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Brainstorming startup ideas can be a tedious process. There are many brainstorming techniques to help you with this process, but the most important thing is consistency.
It may seem daunting at first, but stick with it and don’t give up! Creativity is quite hard to come by, but it’s easily worked towards.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to brainstorm for innovative startup ideas to create your own business that is both disruptive and driven!
So, whenever you’re ready to tap into a greater side of you, keep reading and get your notes handy.
Where Do Ideas Come From?
But what’s an “idea”? According to one dictionary definition, it’s “the power or process of producing thoughts, plans or other mental activity.” So just about anything is fair game when it comes time to brainstorm new startup ideas.
The origin of any idea is unknown. However, ideas can certainly come from many places. We all have things that inspire us. For example, you may find an interesting article or watch a commercial for something you might use and think, “I could do better than this.”
Sometimes we daydream about what the future might hold. We imagine new technologies coming out of laboratories. These thoughts can lead to startup ideas if we are persistent in realizing them.
Imagination is a powerful thing and can lead to new startup ideas with the right attitude. This may be where your startup idea truly starts, but it’s best not to stop there!
Brainstorming techniques are all about patience and thinking outside of the box. You have to keep going until an innovative idea emerges from this brainstorm session.
The key here is consistency. It may seem daunting at first, but stick with it and don’t give up!
How to Start Brainstorming Startup Ideas?
Ideas for a startup can be as big or small and as expansive or simple as you want them to be. The most important thing is that they’re something you find interesting!
You may start by jotting down quotes from inspirational people in your life and then looking for patterns within those quotes. For example, what’s one word they all use?
How do different words overlap with each other? Which of these are phrases we could see on a t-shirt at some point soon?! These kinds of questions will help generate startup ideas organically.
To make sure your startup idea isn’t already taken, type it into Google (or Bing) before coming up with any more details about it.
It’s important to take a little time to think about the startup idea before you start brainstorming. Consider how much money is involved, what skills are needed, and if it will be profitable in the long run.
Once you have done this, come up with all of the possible startup ideas that may work. This process can help rule out any bad startup ideas immediately, so they don’t needlessly consume your valuable time for no reason!
Write Them Down
One way to do this is by writing down on paper every single potential startup idea that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter how crazy or improbable these new business ideas seem. Just write them down anyway and keep going until your list has at least 20 notes written next to it.
Once you have a huge list of startup ideas, start to eliminate some. You can do this by dividing your notes into two categories: keep and discard/ignore.
Start with the ones that seem most likely to be profitable in the long run. Then, if one idea keeps popping up for whatever reason, highlight it, so you know which ones deserve more attention than others before getting rid of them altogether!
Next, start to eliminate startup ideas that you think are too risky. For example, if the startup idea is not very innovative and nobody else has done it before, it’s probably a good idea to get rid of it.
Finally, when there are only three or four startup ideas left on your list, go over them all one more time in-depth and see which ones seem most feasible for implementation.
Select the single best one as your next business venture!
In this method, highlighting words can help find new startup ideas – and using jotted-down quotes to find patterns in your worldview.
Dividing notes into categories like keep/discard/ignore, highlighting words that could be a startup idea, and using jotted-down quotes to find patterns in your worldview are all brainstorming techniques you may want to employ as you work toward discovering innovative startup ideas for your next business venture.
Go for A Walk
One exercise is simply going for a walk and looking around your neighbourhood for potential startup locations or opportunities that might be perfect for launching something new in the community (e.g., an organic market, bike shop).
Going on walks is great for brainstorming because you’re exploring new places.
This will help you find startup ideas that might not have occurred to you otherwise, and it’s also a great way to clear your head–especially if you’ve been feeling creatively stifled or stuck in an idea rut lately.
Lock Yourself Up
Another brainstorming exercise is giving yourself 15 minutes of total isolation and then free-writing on anything that comes into your mind for the duration of time (that means no checking email, browsing social media sites, talking to colleagues…you get the point).
Afterwards, go back through what you wrote down and use this as inspiration for writing blog posts or taking photos for Instagram feeds.
This technique can be beneficial when dealing with writer’s block because it allows you to focus on a specific goal.
And don’t be afraid of talking about things that seem silly or unrelated to the topic at hand–sometimes those are the ideas with the most potential for new startup ideas in disguise!
Learn From Others
Another possibility would be researching how other businesses have overcome challenges they faced when starting.
For example, what did their initial startup idea look like? How did it change over time? Which of these startups had similar problems as yours but managed to turn them into successes?
These kinds of questions will help bring up startup ideas from the left field so you can avoid feeling stuck in analysis paralysis mode where there’s no solution on the horizon.
Remaster Good Ideas
When all else fails, you can always start with an idea you know is good and brainstorm how to make it better.
One way to do this would be by looking at what’s worked for other startup ideas, then figuring out how yours could be even more successful in those areas:
- Is there a certain area of your startup with potential but isn’t getting enough attention or resources?
- What about customers who are already interested in your product line but want something new?
Once you’ve got these thoughts down on paper – no matter how outlandish they may seem – go ahead and take action! Try implementing them as soon as possible, so you don’t have time to guess yourself second.
Another way to brainstorm is to use mind mapping. Mind mapping is a great way to get a handle on complex startup ideas.
It’s beneficial to brainstorm connections between different startup ideas and see how they all relate to your main idea – the one you want others to buy into.
One of my favourite tools out there is IdeaPaint (IdeaPaint).
IdeaPaint allows you to map out startup ideas intuitively and visually, making it easy for anyone from executives down to interns who may not know CAD software like AutoCAD or SketchUp!
Fix a Problem
Another great way to innovate on existing ideas is to find a problem and create a solution. Fixing problems often result in the best possible innovations. Problems can be fixed by either fixing the problem itself or by making something more efficient.
This is a great way to innovate on existing ideas and stay ahead of the competition in your industry. But, of course, you can also use this technique for startup ideas as well!
One good example would be Microsoft’s Bing search engine which uses advanced algorithms that continually update with new results.
Another example would be Uber – they have taken one thing and made it easier than ever before: getting a ride from point A to B. This is an idea that became a mobile app.
Next, you can try to use an idea matrix. There are many forms for this type of brainstorming. The most common is a matrix with four quadrants:
– Solutions (new ideas)
– Reality of the idea now and in the future
– Benefits to competition or society at large.
Then you begin to brainstorm and write your ideas into the quadrants. Finally, when something seems to fit all four categories, it might be a great idea to act on it in the present moment.
Whereas other ideas might not fit the current landscape of reality. They can be put off for the future as a means to achieve greater heights of possibility.
Common Startup Idea Examples
One example is a startup that helps people find new homes by matching them up with an agent who has similar goals for their life.
This would be great for those looking to move out of state but who don’t have time to research independently. With this startup, they can receive personalized feedback from a pro in town!
The startup provides benefits to both parties – it’s convenient for customers and allows agents who need more business some much-needed assistance. Although there are challenges currently, such as finding enough quality agents available, if successful the startup would be a unique new way to find the perfect home.
Another startup idea is for those looking to invest in stocks but who doesn’t have time to do it themselves! It could offer an all-inclusive package that invests your money and monitors it for you, so there’s no worry of making mistakes or investing too much into one company.
There would also be benefits such as getting notifications about when the best times are to buy specific stocks based on recent market trends, which can save a lot of time if done manually.
The startup has challenges currently like finding enough interested investors willing to pay monthly fees without any guarantee they will make back their investment over time; however, if successful, this startup could provide peace of mind for many people who don’t have time for day-to-day investing.
Many startup ideas can be successful, and sometimes they may not even require a lot of funding to start up! A startup idea like this could provide peace of mind for those who don’t have the time or knowledge to invest in stocks themselves.
The startup idea would be beneficial to those who might not have the time or knowledge to invest in stocks independently, but it also has a downside because of how risky startup ideas can be.
The startup’s current challenge is finding investors willing to pay monthly fees without getting any guarantee that they will make back their investment over time. If successful, this startup could provide peace of mind for many people who don’t have the time for day-to-day investing.
Put Yourself in a Creative Position
Last but not least, the most important thing you can do is put yourself in an environment and state of mind that brews creativity. Without belonging to these factors, you are left to the indecisive mind of reactivity.
Creative productivity is hard to come by, but it’s an easy thing to reach for. As long as you persist continually, you will be able to tap into a bigger stream of consciousness than you. That’s when really great ideas start to come in.
To achieve a creative state of mind, you need to be in an environment conducive to creativity. This could be a coffee shop, your kitchen table, or even the middle of nowhere (as long as you’re not distracted).
The best creative state of mind happens when you are simultaneously productive but relaxed enough so that distractions don’t derail progress towards your goals.
Your Creativity and Our Productivity
Now that you understand the principles of coming up with startup ideas, you are well on your way to begin. When you get to the point when you have an overflowing list of ideas, you might want to start acting on them.
However, this is the point at which many people stumble in their own footsteps. Some are great at coming up with ideas but not so much at executing them.
Start your app development journey now
“We’re very happy with the results of EB Pearls’ work. Since its launch, the app has had over 7,000 downloads, with around 6,000 users completing the signup process in the first 6 weeks. ”
— Founder at Intro Dating