Step 2 – Choose Customer and Problem
In step 1 you identified a topic with some passion and interest connected to it. In this step, you dig deeper into your topic. Free up some time in your calendar and roll up your sleeves. The following questions will require concentration and deep thinking. Some questions will be hard to answer if you are not already knowledgeable in your selected topic. Don’t worry! Write down the questions you can’t easily answer and start researching them.
First, an excellent product idea needs to solve a problem for a person. So, let’s get started looking at potential people to help and their problems.
|Who do you want to help and what problem do they have?||Make it personal. Strive to come up with several real persons that you would like to to help. Preferably yourself, or someone you know very good. Write down their names and visualize their situation. What problems do they have related to your chosen topic of interest?
If you can’t think of anyone close to you that have any problems related to your chosen topic, you can also create a fictional persona, embodying a group of people, such as “Jenny” a “young professional in UK”. Make sure to give the persona a name and a short story.
Prioritize the possible pair of people and problems based on the following questions:
|Choose your favorite problem, what is causing it?||Now that you have chosen a problem that you are excited about solving, let’s understand what is causing the problem. It’s time to start your journey to become an expert on the topic. Knowing what is causing the problem makes it simpler to find excellent solutions.
When thinking about possible causes, avoid jumping to conclusions based on “common knowledge”, which, surprisingly often, tends to be wrong or oversimplifications. We suggest you break down the problem by asking repeatedly “what is causing this problem”. For each time you ask this question, you dig deeper into the underlying causes, eventually approaching root causes.
Step 3 – Get Inspired
Now that you know something about the potential problems facing the people you want to help, it’s time to look for inspiration for potential solutions.
|What exciting new technologies could help you fix the problem?||The first source of inspiration is new technologies. New technologies could help you solve the selected problem in a new and better way compared to existing solutions. Make sure you understand what technologies are out there and what could be relevant for your chosen problem.|
|How are people already solving this or related problems?||Another source of inspiration is to look for how people already solves similar or related problems. Search for solutions not only in the industry you are focusing on, but also in other industries that are known for solving related problems in a clever way.
Also, knowing about already solved problems gives you pointers to what problems are left unsolved for you. Hence, this question is also a good scoping question.
Step 4 – Think possible products
We finally arrive at possible product ideas.
|What could be created that could help solve the problem?||Force yourself to brainstorm at least two completely different approaches to solving the selected problem. By realizing that there are several ways to solve the problem, you open your mind to a greater variety of potential solutions
Prioritize and select your ideas based on the following questions: