I remember some years back when I had an awesome business idea which required a huge startup sum. I literally had no such funds to power the projects and I had to look-out for investors. Moreover, I was very particular about financial partnership at least to share the risks involved. I approached a financial expert whom I thought would have a first hand insight into the viability of the project. On presenting the project, he questioned how many times I had experimented a run of the project with varying input parameters. That's where I had a pause and decided to return for some homework.
Many project founders do not understand that innovation ideation doesn't just stop at having a solid research outcome and "nice" ROI and APR computations in paper. Like I had mentioned in my Fundraising series that no investor wants to through his money away.
While Investopedia defines ideation as the process of developing and conveying prescriptive ideas to others, typically in a business setting, a project founder must dig deeper to understand that until data has been validated, it's no useable information for project building. Ideation covers the sequence of thoughts—from the original concept to "implementation".
Broadbent in a Wikipedia document maintains that ideation is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice. The design process here involves covers the specification for the project to a prototype of the product or process.
The need for prototyping a project before communicating to an investor is to allow for iteration which involves the test of input parameters at different levels to see an optimum combination. In the course of the iteration, feedback is obtain which may lead to the exploration of several process routes or a new idea altogether to reach the best combination for profit and effective delivery.
In an new business model iteration, new methods can spring forth from past from the outcomes of tests, external influences, opinions, convictions, or principles. These new methods that crop up may be revolutionary and bring about paradigm shifts.
In the iteration process, the plethora of ideas generated during collaboration stages is then pared down to one prevailing idea that can best drive the future actions of the group. This optimum factor combination discovered is tested against the problem and adjusted as needed. It is then tirelessly reworked, retested and finessed until a potential solution is perfected. The idea must be implemented in the real world, and if it’s deemed successful, the ideation process is concluded. Some styles of ideation include the following:
- Problem solution. This straightforward style where a project investor identifies a problem that he or she subsequently solves. This would require a huge iteration process.
- Derivative idea. This involves making improvements to an existing idea. This basically requires the alternation of factor combinations for the best fit.
- Symbiotic ideas. This ideation style is a collision of several incomplete ideas that combine to create a fully-baked, holistic idea. It also requires a large extent of work in the iteration process.
Steps towards a success Project Ideation
- Identify the primary need;
- Carry pout extensive research;
- Set-up input parameters and create a mock-up;
- Analyse different combinations of the input factors;
- Optimize the combinations taking cognizance of the "big" factor;
- Model with thought experiments
- Receive feedback and relaunch.
Let's share thoughts on how project founders can best maximize Ideation to earn an investor's support.