Brainstorming 101 – After the Brainstorm… Picking up the Pieces

A brainstorming session is like a real storm in many ways.  Things that have stood for many years are toppled over.  Everything around us is battered and left in pieces.  All is exposed, everything is vulnerable and nothing goes unscathed. And after the storm passes, we are hopefully left with a field of debris… or ideas!  

The next step is to gather all of this debris and start to cluster like ideas.  Group the ideas in logical clusters and then relate these back to your initial scenarios, trends, customer needs and wants, etc.  See which clusters of ideas are most compelling and relevant.  Once you’ve prioritized the clusters, then it’s time to develop each cluster into a more detailed concept of the product or service.  Instead of just a simple sketch or word description, it’s time to flesh out the idea and build it up into a living concept.

Start to question and test each maturing concept.  Try them out as prototypes, simulations, models.  Show them to customers and get their feedback.  By now, you’ve developed several strong proposals.  Continue to develop these as long as you can feasibility do so.  Delay having to choose until you absolutely must so you can keep testing and improving each alternative.  This will give some options because the market, the competition and the customer are constantly changing so you need to stay a little fluid. And once you’ve decided – get it to market FAST before things change again!