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Purposeful innovation Road map from idea to commercialization Ideas vs. Opportunities Generating Ideas What to Do when momentum is lost Idea Generating Activity Fibre is the focus Screening Ideas for opportunities

Passion for the Business The Successful Entrepreneur

Product/customer focus

Tenacity Despite Failure

Execution Intelligence

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Ideas opportunities feasibility business plan implementation evaluation modification management


Feasibility Screening (Proof of concept followed by Financial viability screening)

Business Plan

Implementation (financing, resourcing)


Brainstorming New Product Innovations Screening Those Ideas Business Plan Implementation

Creative / Soft-Thinking (Right Brain)

- brainstorm new product innovations

Logical / Hard-Thinking (Left Brain)

- formal business planning (opportunity screening, market forecasts, financial forecasts)

Identifying Viable Business Opportunities

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Are a dime a dozen Dont fall in love with your own idea Dont hide it under a tarp in the back yard Look before you leap (critically evaluate the potential for the business before starting) You have to screen from 100 to 1,000 different ideas before you find a true opportunity that fits you in this place and at this time.
Avoid the service industry in a declining economy Avoid the retail industry in a declining economy Seek value-added, export-oriented businesses selling into growing markets

Ideas are a dime a dozen Opportunities are business ideas that offer the potential for a return on invested capital that more than offsets the costs of that capital on a riskadjusted basis.



Harvest heavy metal contaminants out of river bottoms using plants

Sell pollution solution technologies to companies under environmental cleanup orders.

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A motivated and large market of customers prepared to pay any price for the product or service you offer Repeated purchases are necessary for customers to satisfy their demand Significant barriers of entry for any potential competitors preserving your market dominance for a long period of time Little or no capital investment required High profit margin (Selling price less cost to produce) Few employees and little demand on your time

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Few customers, no repeat purchases, sporadic and unpredictable demand few barriers of entry for any potential competitors making it easy for anyone to enter the market to compete with you if you manage to develop the market Large initial and on-going capital investment required Low profit margin per unit (Selling price less cost to produce)

HARD Linear critical - logical ` Logic ` Reason ` Precision ` Consistency ` Work ` Exact ` Reality ` Direct ` Focused ` Analysis ` Specifics ` Adult

SOFT often circular Non-judgmental - illogical ` Metaphor ` Dream ` Humour ` Ambiguity ` Play ` Approximate ` Fantasy ` Paradox ` Diffuse ` Hunch ` Generalization ` Child

Left-Mode (Hard-thinking)
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Right-Mode (Soft-thinking)
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Verbal Analytic Symbolic Abstract Temporal Rational Digital Logical Linear

Nonverbal Synthetic Concrete Analogic Nontemporal Nonrational Spatial Intuitive Holistic

Source: Betty Edwards, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Focus on the right answer Thats not logical Follow the rules Be practical Avoid ambiguity To err is wrong Play is frivolous Thats not my area Dont be foolish Im not creative

Techniques include:
x x x x x Group brainstorming/lateral thinking exercises Research observation, enquiry, play, prototype, experiment Focus groups Surveys Analysis of and reflection on trends:
x x x x x Economy Society social trends Technology Science Political and regulatory changes

There is opportunity in change, chaos, complacency and even boredom.

Opportunities are spawned in

changing circumstances chaos confusion inconsistencies lags or leads knowledge and information gaps vacuums in industry or markets

Look for opportunities in the following:

 things that bug you  things that bother others or stop people from doing what they want, when they want, and the price they want  new advances in science and technology  Solutions in one field being applied to another field  look for problems that need to be solved  changes in our world whether those changes be in:
demography society technology science politics etc.

When brainstorming, start to combine ideas. Use each as stepping stone to something else. Dont be afraid to experiment. Example: Two ideas: pealing paint and gun powder
----I hate scraping old paint off the exterior of my house..I wish sometimes that I could blast it off!!! (Of course, that would destroy the house.but) - maybe there is an additive that could be put in the paint before it is applied, that would allow us to trigger its easy removal.

Simile often give us ideas or insights that logical thinking cannot. Fibre is like glue. Different simile will give you a whole new perspective on what it is that you are examining. Fibre is like a sieve. Fibre is like gossamer.

Use the insight provided by different simile to look for ideas!

Example: Dolby is like a sonic laundry. It washes out all the noise or dirt from the sound without hurting the sound.

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Use What if Questions Play with the idea Challenge the rules associated with the problem Be a magician Be a child Be ambiguousand look for the possibilities (geehthat pen
is a pen, but it could be a pointer, a digging implement or even a weapon or projectile)

Go hunting for ideas from other fieldsideas that could be creatively applied to your field of interest. (Like Guttenberg
who used the coin punch and wine press ideas to invent the printing press.)

At the edges of human experience: (at extremes)

when you are tired when you are at rest when you are pressed by a deadline or are stressed when you are playing when you are on vacation when you are exercising

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Usually NOT when you are doing routine things!!!! Try doing something differentlylive your day backwardsbreak the routine!
Necessity is the Mother of Inventionbut play must be the Father!

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Requires creative thinking (soft-thinking) Here are some suggestions to improve the brainstorming process:
1.Choose a facilitator 2. Brainstorm spontaneously, copiously 3.No criticism, no negatives 4.Record ideas in full view 5.Invent to the void 6.Resist becoming committed to one idea 7.Identify the most promising ideas 8.Refine and prioritize

Ten mental locks or attitudes that discourage creative thinking:

The Right Answer Thats Not Logical Follow the Rules Be Practical Avoid Ambiguity To Err is Wrong Play is Frivolous Thats Not My Area Dont Be Foolish Im Not Creative

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Like brainstorming EXCEPT criticism is allowed. Ask the question: In how many ways can this idea fail?
After you have identified everything wrong about an idea, you discuss ways to overcome these problems.

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Written form of brainstorming. (Bernd Rohrbach Method 635) Use 5 minute intervals. Works best with 6 member groups.
Each group member writes three ideas on small card in each 5 minute period. The card is passed to the next adjacent person who writes down three new ideas on the same card who passes it to the next personuntil each form has passed all participants.

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Produce a list of problems with natural fibre. Identify and discuss products in each category that have the particular problem. Example using food:
x x x x Weight fattening empty calories Hunger filling still hungry after eating Thirst does not quench makes one thirsty Health indigestion bad for teeth keeps one awake - acidity

x Taste bitter bland salty - sweet x Appearance colour unappetizing - shape x Consistency/Texture tough dry greasy

x x x x x Meal Planning - forget get tired of it Storage run out package would not fit Preparation too much trouble too many pots never turns out Cooking burns - sticks Cleaning makes a mess in oven

Example using food.continued:

Buying Usage:
x x x x x Portability eat away from home take lunch Portions not enough in package creates leftovers Availability out of season not in supermarket Spoilage get mouldy gets sour Cost expensive takes expensive ingredients

x Serve to company would not serve to guests too much last minute preparation x Eating alone too much effort to cook for oneself x Self-image made by a lazy cook not served by a good mother

Developing a new idea through a list of related issues:

Put to other uses? New ways to use as is? Other uses if modified? Adapt? What else is like this? What other ideas does this suggest? Does past offer parallel? What could I copy? Whom could I emulate? Modify? New twist? Change meaning, colour, motion, odour, form, shape? Other changes? Magnify? What to add? More time? Greater frequency? Stronger? Larger? Thicker? Extra Value? Plus ingredient? Duplicate? Multiply? Exaggerate?

Developing a new idea through a list of related issues:

Minify? What substitute? Smaller? Condensed? Minature? Lower? Shorter? Lighter? Omit? Streamline? Split up? Understated? Substitute? Who else instead? What else instead? Other ingredient? Other material? Other process? Other power? Other place? Other approach? Other tone of voice? Rearrange? Interchange components? Other pattern? Other layout? Other sequence? Transpose cause and effect? Change pact? Change schedule? Reverse

Developing a new idea through a list of related issues:

Reverse? Transpose postive and negative? How about opposites? Turn it backward? Turn it upside down? Reverse roles? Change shoes? Turn tables? Turn other cheek? Combine? How about a blend, an alloy, an assortment, an ensemble? Combine units? Combine purposes? Combine appeals? Combine ideas?

Developing a new idea through a chain of word associations.

A word or phrase is written down then another and another Each new word attempting to add something new to the ongoing thought process Thereby creating a chain of ideas ending with a new product idea emerging.

Developing a new idea by looking at product combinations.

1. 2. 3. 4. Isolate the elements of the problem Find the relationships between these elements Record the relationships in an orderly form Analyze the resulting relationships to find ideas or patterns 5. Develop new ideas from these patterns.

Forms Adjective

Relationship/ Combination Papery soap Soapy paper Paper soaps

Elements- Paper/Soap Idea/Pattern Flakes Wash and dry travel aid Tough paper impregnated with soap and usable for washing surfaces Booklets of soap leaves In coating and impregnation processes Suggests wallpaper cleaner



Soaped papers Soap wets paper Soap cleans paper

Developing a new idea by group members regularly recording ideas.

Use a small notebook that fits into a pocket:
x Record statement of the problem, blank pages and any pertinent background data. x Each group member write their own personal ideas three times each day. x Give to group leader at the end of the day x Group leader summarizes all material x Final creative focus group discussion with all participants.

Developing a new idea by looking at the positives and negatives.

List the attributes of an item or problem Look at each attribute from a variety of viewpoints Originally unrelated objects can be brought together to form a new combination and possible new uses that better satisfy a need.

Developing a new idea by thinking without constraints.

Dream (imagine) about the problem and its solution (think big) Every possibility should be recorded and investigated without regard to the negatives involved or resources required. Ideas should be conceptualized without any constraints until an idea is developed into a workable form.

Developing an idea by focusing on parameter identification and creative synthesis.

1. Parameter identification
` ` ` Analyze variables in the situation to determine their relative importance Important variables are the focus and others set aside Relationships between parameters that describe the underlying issues are examined.

2. Creative synthesis

Through evaluation of the parameters and relationships, one or more solutions are developed; this solution development is called creative synthesis.

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Immerse yourself in the topic Brain dump Develop a number system Have fun! Change your location Use a different technique Take a short break and do something

If you are developing ideas about fibre:

Grab as much fibre as you can
x x x x x Touch it Smell it Put it together in weird combinations Talk to people who produce, use, modify fibre Explore use of fibre in all aspects of human, animal, geologic life

Talk to people who use fibre Talk to people who convert fibre Talk to people who hate fibre Talk to textile experts filter experts basket weaving experts art teachers artists engineers - contractors

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Each person has to write as many ideas as they can on one filing card. Cards are thrown into a hat Cards are pulled out one at a time. Group members then have to argue why the idea is great.

The key is to generate as many ideas as possible.

Eventually the group can vote on the ideas they liked the most.

Identify six possible target markets for an application of fibre:

General public Boat manufacturers Chemical manufacturers Fishers Aerospace

Develop a list of possible features.

Coarse/soft Conductive Tensile strength Elasticity

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The group then has to develop as many ideas as possible using the ingredients and the target market. Repeat!

Out of 100 ideas or more, there may be only one or two real opportunities. Superior business ideas that have the potential to become opportunities have 4 anchors: 1. They create or add significant value to a customer or end user. 2. They do so by solving a significant problem, or meeting a significant want or need, for which someone is willing to pay a premium. 3. They therefore have a robust market, profit margin, and moneymaking characteristics. 4. They are a good fit with the founder(s) and management team at the time and in the marketplace with a risk/reward balance.

 Technical feasibility  Requires no initial investment  Has a recognized, measurable market  A perceived need for the product or service is present  A dependable source of supply for the required inputs is available  No government regulation  Requires no labour force  Provides 100 percent gross margin


Buyers purchase frequently Receives favourable tax treatment Has a receptive, established distribution system Has great publicity value Customers pay in advance No risk of product liability

fully examine the potential of an opportunity identify key success factors identify critical risk factors guide the entrepreneur in start-up raise capital

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Involve all of the management team in its preparation make the plan logical, comprehensive and readable and short as possible demonstrate commitment identify critical risks and assumptions disclose and discuss any current or potential problems in the venture identify several alternative sources of financing.

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Spell out the proposed deal and how investors will win. Be creative in gaining the interest of potential investors. Remember the plan is not the business. Know your targeted investor group. Let realistic market and sales projections drive the assumptions underlying the financial forecasts, rather than the reverse.

Dont have unnamed, mysterious people on the management team. Dont make ambiguous, vague or unsubstantiated statements such as estimating sales on the basis of what the team would like to produce. Dont describe technical products using jargon that only an expert can understand.

Dont spend money on developing fancy brochures, or other sizzle - instead, show the steak

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complete short integrated prepared for the audience organized