Research‎ > ‎Design Thinking‎ > ‎


Imagine and conceive as many solutions as you can

Exercise: Find what is really cool

Before you start generating ideas based on your design criteria, you might want to split your group and each do some desk-research to come up with the six coolest ideas in your industry

Put the ideas together, see who came up with the same ideas. Analyse those ideas for contributing to solving your defined problem or adhering to your design criteria. It's no shame to build your success on the success of others. It's OK to be inspired by others, but it's not OK to just copy a concept and add no value to it.
This part is the most fun. Most 
entrepreneurial courses start with this part of the design cycle, but that's pretty much useless if you haven't done the proper prepping. Here we will start with the design criteria from the previous step. Let the individual design criteria inspire you to come up with possible solutions.  When you'r brainstorming there is no place for objections. Everyone can come up with ideas. Write the ideas on sticky notes and put them on the back of your Business Model Canvas poster. After your finished generation ideas: 
  • try to group the ideas in natural groups based on "nature of the solution";
  • see whether you can combine part-solutions into more broader solutions;
  • categorize and rate solutions based on "covering design criteria". 
  • prioritize and rate design criteria based on importance for your "business concept";
  • make a short-list of the "Best Ideas" and pick a winner;
You might want to use the following matrix: (open spreadsheet)
Criterion 1Criterion 2Criterion 3Criterion 4Criterion 5Criterion 6Total Points
Idea 1 score102010
Idea 2 score010201
Idea 3 score112210
Idea 4 score120021
Idea 5 score002100
Idea 6 score101021
Idea 7 score102110
In this example idea 4 is the best idea

When you have picked this idea as the winner, write argumentation "Why" this idea is the winner and why other ideas are not as good. When this argumentation is based on assumptions, try to check those assumptions and turn them into facts before you go on to the next stage.

When you have described your customer groups, the problem you want to solve and the best solution to that problem; you can formulate "The Big Idea" behind you business.

At the end of the Ideate Phase you'll have clarity on:

  • A list of ideas that might provide a solution to your defined problem:
    • a matrix that rates ideas according to the design criteria they cover;
  • The solution you want to pursue further:
    • argumentation why this is the best solution;
    • assumptions and fact on which your argumentation is based;
  • Your Big Idea (first pitch).
More interesting insights:
Steve Blank on MVPs
A minimal viable product is not a product, its a process (ycombinator)
The MVP id dead, long live the RAT

Research process and methods:

  • PLAN:
    • Orientation: formulate required outcome of this design phase
      • brainstorm
        • Strategy: formulate creative strategy
          • choose methodology
          • substantiate choices
          • plan activities
        • Idea generation
          • desk research: investigate cool ideas in your industry
          • brainstorm: generate new ideas
        • Prioritizing
          • analyse ideas
          • prioritize ideas
          • find assumptions
        • Test assumptions
          • desk research
          • interviews
        • Adjust ideas when necessary and test again
          • assess information
          • apply critical thinking
          • determine actual outcome of the creative process
        • Review the creative process
          • review
          • reflect
          • act to adjust general creative strategy

      ndw 2014