Coming up with the next big idea

Coming up with the next big idea

Being an entrepreneur is something that has always interested me. I have immersed myself in the entrepreneurial world, studying entrepreneurship at school, working for a startup and now working at MaRS Discovery District.  However, I have yet to take the plunge and become an entrepreneur myself. If and when I do start a business I know that I want it to be something that I am passionate and excited about. So how do I go about finding that brilliant idea?

Looking back, I can think of numerous times when I thought: “Wow, this is a really good idea!” Then I would continue on with my day and would often forget what my brilliant idea was.

After taking the New Venture Creation course this past year at Ivey Business School, I learned the importance of writing down every idea. We were required to keep a daily diary of our ideas for new businesses or products as a part of the course. Our Idea Logs were marked solely based on our consistency in updating the log and the number of ideas we came up with each day. The thought behind the Idea Log is to develop the habit of writing down every idea you have (no matter how silly) and to go back and judge the ideas later. This was helpful as I have the tendency to shut down ideas right away, judging them harshly and impeding my creativity.

“If only I had thought of that!”

I found that when I started to actually record my ideas, they seemed to flow more readily. I was consciously thinking about what bothered me and what I could improve throughout my daily routine. So often I see a product and think, “If only I had thought of that.” The Idea Log is a way of recording ideas before they slip away, but it also makes you more in tune to the needs of the market. So grab a notebook or open a Word document or even grab a napkin and start brainstorming!

Need some more inspiration? Here are some great places to start.