A friend of mine has just told me about a site called Springwise (www.springwise.com).
It may have been around for a while but there is nothing like discovering a new source of ideas, creativity and innovation.
The concept behind Springwise is this:
Springwise.com — helped by a network of 17,000 spotters — scans the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering immediate inspiration to entrepreneurial minds (from their web site).
You can sign up to receive a few inspiring business ideas each day (their words) or a weekly summary.
They seem to make their money from advertising and selling subscriptions to their database of 5000 ideas.
But how can you use these random ideas in your brand or business?
Here is a simple way of transforming these ideas into potential new product concepts or growth opportunities.
Think of any idea on 2 levels (a core and expression).
Ask yourself what is the core idea and what is the expression of that idea?
Sometimes we reject an idea because we do not like the way it is expressed but the core idea may be a good one.
For example: What is the core idea behind most Frequent Flyer Type programs?
Most people reply — to protect and reward our most valuable customers.
Now ask yourself — what is the expression of this idea (i.e. what does it look or feel like)?
Well most of these types of programs have a card, points and rewards.
These features make these programs expensive and ‘me-too’.
But the core idea is a good one (i.e. protecting and rewarding your best customers).
Perhaps a better idea might be to launch a frequent buyers program (the core) but make the expression simpler and cheaper. An airline for example did this in Australia and offered a program where if you fly 10 times a customer received the 11th flight free.
An elegant and differentiated scheme was launched at a fraction of the cost of conventional rewards type programs.
Hence the core idea was maintained whilst changing the expression.
This is what i do whenever i evaluate or comment on an idea.
I am always asking myself what is the core idea here?
Is it a good one?
Can i change or vary the expression to make it simpler or better?
This is what I suggest you do with Springwise.
When you are given some examples of new ideas ask yourself what is the core idea here?
is it something we can use in our business?
Can we change the expression to unlock a new growth opportunity?
This way of thinking means that you will not only greatly enhance your creativity but you will see new business and growth opportunities everywhere.
* I have no association with Springwise.