Welcome to my Creative Thinkers Blog. A fresh, practical guide to unlocking your hidden superpower... Creative Thinking!
The trick behind successful ideas is to always continue iterating. The problem is that when we feel our idea is ready, we go out to the world and we tested in the entire market.
What generally happens is that you end up with not a ton of engagement and you might think the idea is a failure.
So, instead of finding out if it works with your entire market, you need to TEST and learn before you IMPLEMENT.
This will enable you to observe how a group of users interact with the idea in its current state, and ask for feedback on how the experience feels so it can get better.
It's all about putting the user first. By gathering first-hand user feedback, you can make informed decisions and improve user satisfaction in the long run.
Take Google for example. Test and iterate is part of our 8 pillars of innovation. The first version of Google ads, released in 1999, wasn’t very successful – almost no one clicked...
Think of the money wasted...the frustrated investors. EVERYONE wondering...what did we miss? What happened?
Well, what happened was a faulty launch.
They launched by leaping. They launched before learning. We often get so caught up in the big vision that we miss validating if the idea works on a small scale first.
The way you increase the chances of success is through a prototype: a sample version of your product or process that helps you to test your ideas before investing time and money into actually developing them.
And here is the trick, this process never stops, the fact that you have a launched product doesn't mean you stop learning to make it better every day.
You're never leaping into the unknown with fingers crossed, instead you're in a constant state of learning.
So how can you prevent your next launch from failing? Here’s the secret I’ve learned from working at one of the biggest...
Picture it. Your boss puts you in the hot seat. They ask you to come up with a solution to a problem now...or sooner. Under that type of pressure, it’s easy to feel writer's block. Or it simply feels impossible to come up with something novel.
Boss pings: "Anything yet?"
What your brain needs in this moment isn’t more pressure.
It needs a provocation.
Brain food to grow ideas. To think thoughts it’s never thought before.
To become more expansive and creative.
So in those moments when you feel paralyzed by pressure, it’s NOT the time to put your nose to the grindstone. Instead it’s time to have fun and IDEATE.
One great way to provoke you brain is with the technique NO RULES ALLOWED
The idea is deliberately challenge all the existing rules and assumptions you have about a particular topic.
For example: I want to create the next new bar experience. My assumptions or rules are that bars have to have people as...
Which problem are you solving? Often it’s the wrong one.
When faced with a business challenge, we’re often tempted to solve the NEXT thing without taking time to understand the RIGHT thing to solve.
We wind up shortsighted and miss the real problem we need to solve for. This only fuels more frustration, more unhappy customers, and more dwindling cash flow. It's a vicious whirlpool threatening to sink the ship.
What you need is to define your North Star. A simple, yet powerful way to know what you are trying to solve for.
A North Star has 4 things
A good example of that is our friends at Airbnb. They were able to come up with a clear defined problem to solve: Get More Nights Booked.
Their North star is Nights Booked. It's simple, talks about the user value and defines success for them.
If Airbnb would...
Our experiences and beliefs limit what we believe is possible (e.g. the type of experiences we create for our customers). As a result, we may be leaving opportunities at the door or money on the table.
Often times we rush to come up with ideas
without realizing all the unconscious biases
that are informing our decision.
Think back to how Netflix killed Blockbuster. Blockbuster was being oblivious to what customers wanted and needed. They lacked empathy and understanding of their users. They didn't pause to consider their customers' evolving needs and their pain points, like being tired of paying late fees, or the need for additional convenience.
Don't be like Blockbuster. When you need to solve a problem, the first step is to pause.
And shift from viewing the problem from your perspective to embracing the problem from THEIR experiences and beliefs. This perspective shift enables you to unlock solutions that are ALL ABOUT them and not you.