How do you ideate? An interesting question, I always pose to entrepreneurs who I keep meeting almost every day. What do you think could be possible answers? I am always surprised at the response – that it is based on random experiences or objects! There are two patterns that seem to emerge from this activity:
- One keeps ideating endlessly without any focus: In the first case I find people falling prey to what I call the ‘Chronic Ideation Disorder’ (CID) Syndrome. People seem to be excited over everything that crosses them; they ideate and then lose those ideas too soon. The reason for this quick loss of ideas is because they move on to the next trigger, the next bunch of ideas, and there is nothing that does not bring ideas in their mind. Such people value creativity over everything else. They pride themselves of being child-like in their attitude. While it is no doubt a very tough thing to maintain, what they miss is that it does not look very good to remain a child all the time! Think about it! We want to use the child-like abilities in limited ways so as to be able to apply them when needed, without actually being a child all the time!
- One gets on to the first idea that strikes and then loses focus: The second variety is those who come up with the first interesting idea and then start working. The first hurdle they see and they give up. These are the guys who constantly take up fresh projects and keep dropping them too often. They keep moving across projects and think of their adaptability to experiment as strength. But what they don’t realize is that they lose their entrepreneurial ability every time they attempt something shallow and keep giving up. There is huge difference between an Einstein failing ten thousand times on the same experiment and some of our young minds failing one time on ten thousand experiments.
Any ideation of this nature is bound to create more confusion than lead to any form of clarity. In fact it can even lead you to feel a false sense of success and advancement. But sooner or later, one is bound to lose the spirit as they are not building on the effort. This can be very de-motivating in the longer term. So a budding entrepreneur or an educator mentoring young entrepreneurs should learn to nip these random ideation efforts early.
Think about it!