IdeaGen. (Entrepreneur: Days 9, 10 & 11)

Not a whole lot of progress over the past two days, basically refining strategic partner and investor pitches as well as getting access to credit and operating cash. There has been a huge breakthrough but I’m not yet prepared to share it.

But I can share this… Someone said to me over the weekend “Why don’t you start generating more ideas?” Well, for one, I don’t have a problem coming up with a lot of ideas. I need to focus on the one’s I’m passionate about and get those done first. But this discussion did remind me that a lot of people do have issues generating ideas. By accident I also saw’s posting of Idea Generation and Execution.

I’ve had a number of discussions with my business partners that revolved around the difference in thought patterns between corporate people and entrepreneurs. It’s very hard for many to understand why someone would not or could not be a little more open minded, a little more creative. I’d written a post a few months ago about Innovators and Operators and how they approach the management of a business very differently. One through aggressive creation and the other through aggressive optimization. Both sides have their strengths and both have their weaknesses. But trying to get each group to change their perspective. This interview is from 1999 and shows how IDEO goes about looking at things differently. If you’ve used IDEO’s Method Cards then you’ll immediately see some similarities in their process and how the cards being to walk you through analyzing how things are used on a daily basis. Here’s a hint – take any established player in a market that has a low cost of entry (in other words it’s not pharma). Take one or two of their products and use the Camera Journal card to start your research. You will find a weakness in the product if you look hard enough. Do this several times with different companies and different products. At some point you’re going come to the realization that you could do better. It’s likely that you’ve found a new product.

Good luck.

By the way, here’s a link to the transcript of the interview.