Alan Dix - research and innovation techniques
[silly ideas home] [what do I mean by a bad idea?] [thinking about bad ideas] [the groups] [silly ideas and 'solutions']

turning bad ideas into good ideas

Thinking about bad ideas is part brainstorming, but more important about learning to think about any idea, new good ideas you have yourself, other people's existing ideas and products.

I'll illustrate some of the points with the 'inflatable dart board' and 'Ian;s chocolate blow-torch nozzle'.

For this session I asked for bad ideas in general, you can d the same thing asking about bad ideas in a particular domain: a bad idea in computer networking, a bad door handle etc.

why bad ideas

any idea

For any idea/product/system, you can ask the following two (obvious) questions.

What = component/aspect/use
In answering the 'what' question you may naturally focus on particular components (e.g. chocolate nozzle could be eaten'), but often particular aspects that are not isolated in components are more important (e.g. floating is quite diffuse). Alternatively, you may find your self saying "it would be really useful if..."

Why ... context ...
As you think of the 'why' questions you will almost certainly find yourself using aspects of context - being able to deflate a dartboard would be good if you wanted to pack it into a suitcase.

as it is

Before modifying your bad idea to turn it into a good one, stop a second to see how it is good in its own right.
Here's two questions to ask yourself (also good t uncover 'what's good' above)

make it a good idea

OK now's the time to make money (or at least fame and publications).