Skip to content

Ideas and Opportunities

Dear Reader,

I freakin LOVE podcasts! Now that I have a commute I’m constantly looking for new ones to listen to. This afternoon it was Phil McKinney’s great Killer Innovations. Phil quotes one of my favorite authors, Gary Hamel who wrote Leading the Revolution. He said that Gary (hey, I blogged about you so we are on a first name basis now) asks these 3 questions about any innovation brought to him by friends asking his advice.

A: Will this innovation change the customer expectations?
2: Will this innovation change the relationship with competitors?
D: Will this innovation change the industry economics?

Phil and Gary go on to compare these questions to the iPod/iTunes revolution. (Which, other than Web 2.0 seems to be the hottest meme out there right now) They bring up a lot of good points that I won’t rehash here. If you want to hear them, grab the posdcast. My point in blogging them is that I like these questions. I don’t have a lot of people coming to me with ideas so I won’t share them with others much but I have a lot of ideas on my own. I come up with ideas every day and by-god I like most of my ideas. The problem I have is that I really haven’t found a way to distinguish an idea from an opportunity. Tom Byers, a Professor at Stanford University said in his recent podcast that an Opportunity is the intersection of a problem and an idea. In other words an idea that does not solve a problem, no matter how good of an idea it is, is not an opportunity.

I’m going to start using these 3 questions on all of my ideas. Some ideas by their very nature will fail the test but I’ll still pursue them anyhow. (Like my Blog Bling Plugins) Hopefully though, the next time I have an idea I’m sure will change the world, I’ll at least have a yardstick to measure against before I go annoy my friends with it. (Probably not, I enjoy annoying them too much.)

Until next time, I hope you get to feeling better.