The idea that solves a recognised problem that no-one really has

[ezcol_1half]The classic case of an innovation that absolutely works and solves a problem, but honestly, does anyone really have that problem?

Would anyone really buy a new gadget to solve a problem that can, but virtually never happens?

Remember, it’s not enough to have a good idea that solves a problem. For your idea to take a foothold, you need to understand WHY people that have the problem care enough about it that they would invest in your idea. In this case, do we care enough about fishing-out the odd piece of egg shell to go any buy a gadget?[/ezcol_1half]


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Toyota USA engages the crowd to select charities to receive a new car

Toyota USA are giving away two cars a day to deserving charities. The Crowd decide who based on facebook Likes.


The more cynical amongst us would suggest this is a clever PR stunt to engage people via social media. I’m inclined to believe that Toyota are recognizing that they need to find a way of engaging with their consumers in a more meaningful and collaborative way.

More information here

Brilliant Idea#37. “Keep this photo on my phone, just make it smaller

My iPhone has run out of space – too many photos, videos and music. The crazy thing is that it’s all backed up so most of the photos (I had >500) can be deleted apart from the fact that I like to be able to share them with friends.

Brilliant Idea #37 is blindingly simple. When it backs-up my photos it leaves a low res photo version on the phone – literally screen size on the phone.

Brilliant Idea. Crowd-based testing

Another brilliant idea I wish I had thought of.


Brilliantly simple. You describe the action that you want to test. Rainforest QA then have a ‘crowd’ of people – real humans rather than scripts, who do the action that you requested and tell you (or show you in terms of screen shots) what happened.

Within 5 minutes I got 5 results. 3 out of five got the result that I expected, but crucially 2 of them gave me a different result proving that the way we assumed our Users would act was different to how they actually acted.

You can pay for 100 ‘actions’ per month for £65 / $100. Why wouldn’t anyone include this in their development and testing strategy? Brilliant. .

Brilliant Idea #9. Book title. A small book about BIG ideas

I’m writing a book about ideas. Don’t worry, it won’t contain any of the rubbish that I put on this blog 😉

I have a number of working titles, but my favourite so far is  A small book about BIG ideas

It’s going to be small believe me – I have a business to run! But it will be about turning small ideas into BIG ideas

What do you think?


New report from Accenture. Despite increasing commitment, funding and organizational accountability, many companies are disappointed by the returns they are deriving from their investments.

Accenture recently sought to identify the state of innovation by surveying 519 executives (vice presidents, directors, managers) at large U.S., U.K., and French organizations with revenues greater than $100 million. They represented a wide
spectrum of sectors.

According to the report, Innovation is not working out the way many companies expected. Despite increasing commitment, funding and organizational accountability, many companies are disappointed by the returns they are deriving from their investments. Correspondingly, they are scaling back expectations. Instead of the disruptive products, services, and business models that were anticipated several years ago, many initiatives have become considerably more limited in scope. Rather than offering “the next big thing,” innovations coming to market today are more typically line extensions.

They report that the first challenge is a conservative approach itself, focusing on individual line extension renovation rather than developing a broader portfolio that also includes bold, big ideas.
The second challenge is the “invention” trap. By this Accenture means over-reliance on the invention process itself to produce success and relative lack of systematic, enterprise-wide processes capable of commercializing inventions into products or services at scale, bringing them to market in a sufficiently timely fashion and reaping the expected returns.
What can companies do to improve disappointing performance and overcome the obstacles to innovation according to the Accenture report?
Those organizations that have a holistic, formal system in place for innovation, consistently report better outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction from their innovation investment. For example, in terms of “initial idea generation,” 43
percent of the companies with such systems in place report they are very satisfied in contrast to 24 percent with only an informal system.
You can access the whole report here,