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From Mind to Matter | The Ideation Process

Note: Ideas with an * have been developed by Dr. Kevin Michels of TCNJ

Ideation Process
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Step 1) Perform a Historical Analysis

  • Has the idea existed before or have similar ideas existed before?

  • What is the history of the closest related idea?

  • What progress has occurred over time with that idea and what appears to be the next step in that progress?

  • What struggles have historically occurred with the idea and why?

  • If your idea has been thought of previously and failed why did it so?

Step 2) Value Analysis*

  • Who benefits from your idea(s)?

  • Are there 3rd parties affected by your idea that aren’t the direct beneficiaries? Are they affected positively or negatively?

  • Is your idea closing a functional gap where value by a product/service is delivered suboptimally currently?

  • Is your idea providing a new or remixed value to beneficiaries?

  • Does your idea provide the intended value to a beneficiary and or 3rd party suboptimally?

Step 3) Ethics Analysis

  • What are the ethical implications of your idea?

  • Does your idea provide positive long term value to the world?

  • What are the ripple effect implications of your idea being implemented? What are the 2nd and 3rd order ripple effect implications?

Step 4) 1st Principle Derivation

  • Does your idea solve the problem fundamentally or is there a deeper and more root solution to the problem your idea is addressing? Or is there a more root problem to be addressed?

Step 5) Caricature Analysis

  • What are the most specific criteria that form a clear and vivid characterization of your idea?

  • What real world manifestation(s) match that characterization that may bring the idea to life?

Step 6) Solution Exaptation Analysis

  • Are there any solutions in the world that can be taken from another discipline and applied to your problem as a possible (or partial) solution?

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