How often are you being asked "any idea" and then you go about scratching your head for a good answer? But ideas requires you to have deep imaginations - and an almost cultist nature of having great visionary and a futurist at heart. Albert Einstein once said "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." This is not only the trait of the most famouse mathematician in our modern lives but it should be our calling as well for us to go forward in this very fast moving world.
Let us nail down what we mean by ideation. Ideation is a creative process where you start to build whatever you are assigned. Let us take an example – suppose someone ask you to build an addition to the house like an extension to a house where you can store up your food. So what you need to do is to visualize an extension to the house – perhaps an additional space next to the kitchen. You will need to make some measurements like how big your extension will need to be – and how high. Just like a traditional house you will need to start with a brick – and where to put it. Then it is from there that you will need to add additional bricks to build the space you want – and a roof and door. So your ideation starts with a brick as well as to how to build it up.
Well, it is often new ideas that make the world go round. As for old ideas, just do a spin on it and you have a new idea but in order to begin with ideation, you will need to feed us on perhaps a vague idea of what you want to ideate. That is why we have the Ideation Factory which is led by a team of inventors/innovators whom will be able to help you generate ideas that you can use. Also, we do not use machine algorithm to generate ideas as it won't be unique and novel - it is just plain silly to think that machines can be commanded to churn out ideas! "Does your idea work" is another often encountered keyword at home and workplace. In order not to waste time pondering reading over those tips that you get from experts, we will help you to generate ideas that inventors are attuned to. No guessing, just plain working idea - either of the hardware kind or the software type! That is our unique proposition and it is a third party suggestion so it will surely surprise your team. And finally, it is not a algorithm churned thing which you can get from others in the ideation business. We however will first of all do a patent and innovation analysis of it before we go further moulding it into something that you can use - say like something you can buy off the shelf.
The Ideation Factory that will help change the intellectual property landscape and also how you live.
Ideation Factory is our purposely designed ideation engine that will help us to spark new ideas and working models for work or patenting. Ideation Factory will first of all being assisted by an Artificial Intelligence Module that is able to separate out those that are irrelevant to the topic such that we will be able to focus faster on those that might help us in our patent analysis or in our creation. The Ideation Factory is structured to focus on working models be it in hardware form or information technology form. It is made to skew towards innovations and models that have a tinge of novelty in it. A large part of ideation is based on a capability of visioning; a capability to think away from the ordinary.
Ideation Factory has a data base that is updated with all those public publications that is discovered by our search engines. However we do not use those data that had been published and known but we use the published to filter out the ideas that are generated via a combination of an analytic discourse and human inputs. You will see here that the human inputs are the most important as it normally carries the tinge of novelty and newness. In other words it is new and it does not bother us whether it is illogical at a first glance. Unique ideas are termed unique because it will normally surprise people. However, unique ideas cannot be used as it is as it will need to be reshaped and evolve into something more practical. Reshaping and evolvements will require a lot of virtual visioning and it could only be done by our unique team who are inventors/innovators by profession.
The best part of our Ideation Factory is that it is alive. It is first of all alive to the present trend; trends that businessmen is talking about at the moment and not something that have passed like those beautiful pie charts and info graphics. Second, it is alive to the political scene. Much as we might not want, politics does play a large part in our lives - just see what trade wars can bring about! And most certainly you will not see such trends in your everyday algorithms - churned from big data of all things! Politics make our world turn and we will need to extrapolate as to which direction the business world will go; in short we will need to make an intelligent forecast. Here at Patentagentip we do constant engagement with politicians to hear where the wind is blowing. You will not get this future scene from all the analytics that is done using algorithms. Machines don't churn out novelties, just statistics that is available for anyone with the cash to pay.
To some people, ideas are easy to create and they will tell you that ideas are a dime a dozen. But really, is it that easy to create idea, an idea that works and not only that the idea must be new and is saleable. Furthermore the idea must fit into the realm of things that is they must have a benefit - which is sad to say is not a dime a dozen thing. And if we were to take a mechanical thing, you will find that there is just only a few ways you can spin it because it has to obey the laws of physics and moreover it has to bring about efficiency. Just take the case of solar panels which have been with us for decades and yet we could only make it that efficient when we talk about its efficiency in converting the sunlight to electricity – just below thirty per cent and the engineers have to sweat on it. So ideation is best left to the professionals as they could cut the time taken to make it viable for the market.
In our fast moving world, we all want to be the one who came up with that 'disruptive idea' because we want to be famous – or is it? No, it is not that we want to be famous because like any idea, we would not be able to perceive it as disruptive at first sight. Just take the idea of the digital camera for example – when Kodak engineers came up with the way of recording images in digital form. And the directors of Kodak had no inkling that the digital format could change the whole film industry until it was too late to make amends – they did tossed out the new technology as they were very comfortable with what they have in hand. Thus it is often noted that the people who came up with disruptive technology do not know what they have done until when it was adopted, commercialised and not spend a fortune marketing it. We would like to assure you that we would put first on our agenda to create havoc with the market in helping you to create that disruptive idea that everyone would wished they had done. We hope to be surprised by you adopting that idea and making it to the market – so yah, disruption!
Although we may wish to ideate a disruptive idea for our first try, we may not achieve it – because disruptive idea only comes once in a while. So we go for the next best of the breed, to the one that is more attune with the industry. Ideas if given time will evolve into something that is easier for us to market and that is what we do. Evolving ideas is more of an art and is very much depending on the knowledge that we have about how things or process work in the marketplace. Ideals might not work at the time when it was espouse as there is a time for everything. Experts often like to rely on empathy to spark off ideas but we would rather prefer to go beyond that in trying to up the trend and then work backward. We must first go for the out of this world thing by psyching our self to be naughty – we must be naughty enough to want to disrupt the marketplace. We are a bit different from the rest, so to say.
An interesting thing about fantasising – not the pervert kind though. Most people would have no problem about fantasising about the people around them or they would fantasise about them being a rich guy – and all the good things that come with being rich. However, fantasising about how things work is another ball game all together; you will need to have knowledge of how things work whether they are of mechanical or digital in nature. One of the best ways to lean on fantasising is to watch videos – the technical kind like how a combustion engine works. Unfortunately if you are not technically inclined then this will not work. Still, there will be some benefit in learning how the diesel engine works without having a sparking plug. Is fantasising the same with day dreaming? Yes, but for a good course; just ask Walt Disney.
If all your efforts to ideate fail – then go and pose the problem to the kids. You might be surprised at their solution but that doesn’t matter because you will use it to spark new ideas. First solution in most probability doesn’t pass the test – you will need to tweak it and evolve it to suit the situation and the market. Children all over the world have a set of thinking that is different from the adults and the way they react to a problem is always different – it might seem silly at first but that is the way to solve a problem. Even for artificial intelligence, it would be best that they are linked to children groups, say primary school children – remember the children of our time are brought up with a heavy dose of animations. And they don’t discriminate between logical or illogical which might be a good first start if you are going to ideate.
Being a contrarian - and able to boss over it!
A guy who thinks in a contrarian way is always not the best of our friends - people are afriad to talk with contrarians because they do not want to accept ideas that are not of theirs. But people are also bored with everything looks the same - you do not want to see a movie (the yawning type) a second time. Sameness is equated with mediocrity, so if you want others to take notice of you, go and figure out something that can disrupt the way we normally think, the kind that evokes surprises. Same ideas have to compete with each other until one of them gets knock out - likewise, same business ideas get discarded sooner or later and you don't want to be the loser.
What would you do when everything that you touch does not work? Well, there is a way out - just pick an old idea and give it a little spin. If you can, try to put wings on it so that it could fly - in a literal sense. Then try to ask questions as to why it should not be this or that. Tweaking it if you may and imagine it in motion which will definitely bring up new idea. Ideas evolve and ideas transform - that is the way you play with your new found toy. Depending on your creativity, you will be able to see it in new light and thus form a new idea but hold it there as you will still need more work on it to make it work, either tangible or intangible form. And if that does not work, then try one last effort - try to be naughty with it.
It is during those time that you least expect it that you get a surprising idea – serendipity has its glory day. Prime example being during the time when seeing a falling apple that help triggered Isaac Newton to expound the law of motion. However, Isaac Newton did not form his law of motion from that incidence as he was pondering over it for quite a while; being a mathematician, his work is to figure out how thing works. For the rest of us, we do get ideas from time to time but we do not go to evolve those ideas further and thus forget about the whole thing while chasing after new pursuits. But for serendipity moments to work, we will need to be constantly in view of that set of problem that we want to solve – even when we see something fall from the sky.
Have we forgotten something here? Oh, yes, it is research - it might sound easy when you have the internet at a touch but there is an art to do good research. When you do researching, say on the internet, you will need to have two minds. One on the net and the other on what is it you want to find and to be able to move seamlessly between the two will require you to be able to focus on the subject, without being distracted by trivial happenings. However, it is not always best to have a sharp focus because then you will not be able to think out of the box - in other words, you become dogmatic which is not good for disruptive ideation. Ideation is not a natural process to most people and to make your ideas work in their environment, you must really have that relaxed mood, remembered the time that you have that crushing idea while singing in your bathroom - you will not be able to think when you are under an order!
A simple way to ideate is to combine two ideas together – say putting four rotating wings on a piece of cross wood frame. That was how the drone was born – and many other iterations of flying objects. In normal circumstance, you will not have thought of putting rotating wings on a wood frame but because you are naughty and inquisitive, you just put the two together and further, put up a powering system to have it fly. Thus ideation can be that simple and achievable only if your mind goes out to figure how to make things work – you need to ask yourself what will happen when you add this to that. In the real world, it is easier to put two things together if it only consists of software programs that is why you see the mushrooming of internet ideas all over the place – especially for those who had just graduated from the programing school.
Is innovation a culture thing?
When companies are pressed for performance, they inherently turn to innovations – innovations that they wished they had but failed to turn on. It’s another of those so near yet so far thingy but to be honest, how you go about instituting innovations when nobody in the enterprise knows anything about it. You can’t play cricket if you have no inkling about the rules of the cricket game as it is not a common game – only a few countries play it. Innovations are the food of the very creative because you will really need to want to create before you can innovate. Innovations of the physical kind has to obey the law of physics to make it work whilst innovations of the nonphysical kind has a wider range to play about, it is however easier to be copied, at least from a competitor. Only in the United States can you get protection of your business idea and that only come on a case by case basis – there is no sure thing about it. So even if you chance on an innovation, you will have to keep repeating it, just so that the other guys come catching up with you. In other words, you will need to inculcate the culture of innovating, for as long as you want to be in business.
Where ideation is most needed?
The disruption of the global supply chain post Covid 19 with container ships stuck at ports is the place where we should bring about innovation. It is the best example of where we have been wrong about relying on a single line chain and also a single main supplier. But how did we land up with such a disaster? Of course we should not hold anybody to blame because there is no single body that cause the disruption – we can however say that it was brought about by the pandemic. The main reason why we are having this supply chain problem is because we have been laying hope on globalisation to achieve efficiency – big companies going overboard to off shore their components to achieve better profit. Nobody would have guessed that the supply chain would have collapse because of one unit of it breaks. But it did so what can we do about? The answer is of course a multi chain supply platform – not necessary that we have to replicate our manufacturing all over the place. We could have just two main manufacturers spread out just to prevent from a single breakdown – it should be located far apart from each other in order to be disrupted by a single disaster. This is where we need innovations after learning our lesson brought about by the coronavirus episode. We will need multi channels to offset future disasters – could you play a part?
If however you want ideation as a service, then take a look at our Innovation as a Service