You know the feeling... Dumbfoundedness mixed with a little jealousy.
When you see a breakthrough innovation for the first time, your brain lights up and you can't help but exclaim, "Gah! Why didn't I think of that?!"
Having your own idea reach this upper echelon of ingenuity is the holy grail of many innovators.
Want to crack the nut on how to repeatedly generate "Why didn't I think of that?!" ideas? Let's.
But first, we must understand what exactly "Why didn't I think of that?!" ideas are.
While often described as "clever," "Why didn't I think of that?!" ideas are innovations that are both practical and novel. "Why didn't I think of that?!" ideas solve real, meaningful problems, and often do so in a new and different way.
Ok, so we know "Why didn't I think of that?!" ideas need to be both realistic and unique, but how exactly do we generate them?
We do so by completing one or both of these steps:
1. Solve a problem no one is solving
We solve a problem no one is solving by first identifying a meaningful problem no one is solving.
You can achieve this by looking where others aren't, digging deeper than others are, being more observant/empathetic, and being more thorough in your synthesis.
It all boils down to understanding your user and their environment better than others do so that you can identify an unmet need.
2. Solve A problem in a different and better way than anyone has
We solve a problem in a different and better way than anyone has by generating solutions that go beyond the expected.
You can achieve this by collaborating with as many perspectives as possible (to be well informed and inspired) and allowing for multiple rounds of design iteration to push past the expected- not stopping until you've reached a solution that is better and meaningfully different from what already exists.
It all boils down to striving for a solution that fulfills your user's unmet need in a way that exceeds their expectations.
These are five examples of innovations that make us say, "Why didn't I think of that?!"
A gadget that allows you to easily fill and tie 100 water balloons all at once in only 60 seconds
A peer-to-peer service that lets property owners rent out their spaces to travelers looking for a place to stay
A pastry that resembles a doughnut and is made from croissant-like dough
A device that fits inside your shower drain to easily collect and remove hair
An automatic curtain opener that retrofits onto your existing curtain rod
We're curious- What innovation makes you say, "Gah! Why didn't I think of that?!"?
Concept generation & illustration is our specialty.
If your innovation team could use some extra bandwidth,
come have a look at the services we offer. They're all aimed at
helping you innovate more and stress less.