“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”
By William Pollard
“For good ideas and true innovation, you need human interaction, conflict, argument, debate.”
By Margaret Heffernan
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
By Steve Jobs
“Corruption is a cancer: a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity; already-tight national budgets, crowding out important national investments. It wastes the talent of entire generations. It scares away investments and jobs.”
By Joe Biden
When we think about starting a new activity, when we want to put in place a business initiative or when we carry out any entrepreneurial process, we usually start from an essential element: the business idea.
For all that we have seen so far, it is obvious that the business idea, in order to be truly viable, must be innovative, which in turn requires having applied a great deal of creativity.
Where can we find innovative business ideas? How can we find them? We can get some clues in what we have called sources of innovation.
Sources of Innovation
As with the sources of innovation, sources of generation of business ideas are endless.
1) The invitation. Sometimes the idea of a business arises from nothingness, in the sense that it comes from a proposal from some well-known, who has made an appointment to participate. If the entrepreneur has defined it as the person who carries out the necessary actions to start up a new project or a new company, and not only as the person who has had the idea, then the source of the Business Idea may arise from the employer in the form of an invitation. This situation, although it could seem extravagant, is very common in today’s business context. Consider large companies that decide to outsource some of the activities that they traditionally assumed and that encourage some employees to become specialized suppliers of these products or services for the company in which they worked as employees. Sometimes, the decision to start the business is already taken, but the people involved do not have enough time to develop it and make it effective. In both cases, participation in the business world will have arisen as a result of a simple invitation.
Relationship between creativity, innovation and business idea
Some of the studies have shown that the previous work experience has an indirect effect on the probabilities of survival of new companies: on the one hand, they affect the propensity to be enterpreneur and, therefore, influence their ability to accumulate financial capital and know-how to help them create a successful business. On the other hand, experience increases the availability of alternatives to self-employment, as well
the level of entrepreneurial demand in terms of business management.
2) Work experience. Most of the business ideas originate from the previous work of the entrepreneur, who by his own initiative decides to carry out a business activity similar to the one he previously developed as an employee. It is not difficult to imagine why this situation is usually presented with such assiduity. If we work daily in a particular activity, we become authentic experts in what we do, and we probably have the right competition to compete on our own with others.
3) The current market. We all have an essential role in the market, at least as clients of some of the established companies. The observation of what is happening, the analysis of what we would like as customers, from what other clients demand and from what they offer the competing companies that we attend can provide interesting business ideas. In this way, in the process of finding business ideas you could raise questions such as the following:
• What do you currently have in the marketplace? What can we do to improve?
• Do you have to trade commodities on the market if there is a competitive edge in the process?
Analyze carefully what currently works in the market is the tactic with which results are obtained faster. Also, getting inspired in the current market segments and trying to create new ones for the type of product or service you want to develop is a good way to find innovative ideas.
4) The acquisition of rights. The acquisition of rights to produce and sell a product or service developed by others is a feasible way to obtain a new business idea. Sometimes the sources of these rights also come from the previous work of the entrepreneur, others, on the other hand, come from independent inventors or, even, of the same administration. So, going to the patent registry can provide very interesting ideas. Although it is possible that this patent is not feasible, it can give ideas for other more commercial products or services.
5) The hobbies. Many of the business ideas of successful companies come from the hobbies from the entrepreneur. The activities we like to devote to our free time and in which we enjoy ourselves fully can raise business ideas that allow us to improve some aspect of a product or service that already exists.
6) Reading. Reading specialized magazines and sections of some newspapers can be important sources of innovative ideas. Some have, in addition, certain sections that explicitly collect business opportunities that are successful in certain contexts and that can be exported from one area to another.