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There are various ways to quickly generate ideas. The most spoken about are what I would call the engineering approach and the out of the blue approach.

In the engineering approach you have a set of variables and desires and work your way through it and generate an end product: the idea. Often you come to incremental improvements or changes with this approach. This is like playing a game or solving a puzzle and the more you do this the better skilled you become.

The out of the blue approach is to get the idea come to you and this could happen after you have been thinking about it a lot and go for a walk in the forest, suddenly the idea pops into your mind. This requires you to take time and trust your intuition, you should let thoughts come and not judge them instantly.

Engineering approach

How to use these practically? Let start with the engineering one. Collect the main categories that influences your product. In the case of a new smart phone we could think of for example:

  • technology
  • people
  • money
  • brand and image
  • functionality
  • ..

And then mix that with your wishes:

  • faster
  • 3d
  • most liked

Make combinations of for example

  • technology + faster → R&D
  • people + most liked → branding
  • functionality + 3d → UX & R&D

Is anything happening? Is here something I can use to make next steps? New or other combinations?

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