Tze and Michael started an idea to pair-write together and this kicks off a series of experiments to select a topic from our story map and interview each other. For our first post, Tze examines Michael’s anatomy of an idea 💡.
What’s an idea? An idea is just a new thought to solve a problem.
A hypothesis. “Good ideas don’t just appear by themselves,” good ideas are motivated…
Michael first heard of this concept from Fredrik Haren when he was at Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).
Fredrik had created a formula to create ideas:
Person * Knowledge + Information = an idea!
Here’s a power tip – find a good way to catalogue your ideas. Capture them when they occur. Keep writing them down. You’d never know when you’d need to revisit and old idea to create new ones.
Ideas occur to Michael at random places and times, when he is taking a long walk, at night and is usually when he sees a problem they are usually small ideas and when he collects a few small problems that collectively solve a larger problem, he’ll take action on them by putting them in his work backlog.
Michael maintains a catalogue in two different places, a folder with notes and uses the following structure:
Title: App for anniversary reminders
Problem: I had forgotten my wedding anniversary in the early days of my marriage and a friend asked what we were doing in front of my wife!
Description: You’re reminded of important days and recommendation of gifts of activities (e.g. flowers, dinner)
Question: Would people pay for this? Who might benefit from this?
Over the last 15 years, Michael has collected numerous ideas. When he looks back, most are bad ideas, however a few turned out to be good idea. Looking through his idea backlog, there is see an idea from his online real estate days to solve the problem of how we could we increase the speed of finding roommates easily. Today, it takes a really long time to find roommates, waiting around for messages to be traded and it leads to a really poor performance. This problem exists in multiple domains today and is essentially a queuing problem. What are the natural queues that exist today that lead to poor user experience? How might we and where might we want to fix these?
With this we hope that you’ll start writing your ideas small, launch something small and learn from it!
Failing gives you more knowledge.
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