idea generation techniquesWhere do ideas come from? The process of coming up with ideas seems simple enough – that is, until you find yourself stuck on your latest project. Whether it’s for work, school, or for your own creative endeavors, idea generation can be more difficult than you think. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to generate great, creative ideas, no matter what they’re for.

A course like Idea Machine: Rediscover Your Creativity, available on Udemy, can help give you the edge that you need to not only come up with ideas, but to spark some originality in the ideas that you have. After all, what good is an idea if it’s the same one every other guy out there has regarding a project? But before getting to that, let’s take a closer look at some of the methods that you can use to start getting inspired right away.

Generating Ideas

So back to that original question – what is the actual source of your ideas? They don’t just appear out of thin air. Ideas are born out of all your prior experiences, your education, and your own creative outlook. What that means for idea generation is that to come up with something new, you need to start by taking a look at what you already know.

No matter what project it is you’re working on, whether it’s an essay for school or a concept for a new smartphone app, start off by thinking about what you already know. Is there a subject that you’re passionate about that’s applicable to the situation? Do you have an area of expertise that you can start turning into a great idea?

Next, look at what the other guys are doing, and think about ways that you can improve on their ideas. If you’ve ever read a book and loved the concept, but hated its execution, you can use that to come up with something new. Likewise, if you love the idea of an existing app but hate its execution, put your criticism to the test and come up with something bigger and better.

And finally, you can come up with ideas by filling in existing gaps. Don’t think about what’s currently being done – think about what isn’t being done. If you’re trying to solve a problem in the workplace, think about the things that others are missing. It could be just the area you need to focus on to start coming up with great ideas.

Developing Your Ideas

Every idea starts off as a spark. And like any spark, you need good kindling to make it grow and flourish. Once you have the spark of an idea running around inside your head, it’s your job to add fuel to the fire by doing your research, talking to other people, and doing some mind mapping of your own in order to help it grow.

Mind mapping of course refers to the process of using a diagram to develop a theme or an idea. If your original spark is very vague, a mind map can be used to help it expand and to come up with additional ideas. It’s a very useful tool for idea generation, and you can learn more about it with one of Udemy’s great mind mapping courses.

Idea Evaluation

The last thing that you need to know about idea generation is that not every idea you come up with is going to be a keeper, and that’s okay. In fact, you’re probably better off tossing out the first few ideas you have, as these are most likely to be the things that almost everybody thinks. It’s not until you’ve dug a little deeper that you usually come up with the truly original concepts.

Learning how to properly evaluate your ideas is a critical task, and you can learn more about this process with Udemy’s Idea Generation and Selection Methods course, which will not only help you generate ideas but learn how to choose the ones that best suit your needs.

Generation Ideas for Specific Needs 

Keep in mind that different types of idea generation may be needed for different tasks. Coming up with ideas for novels or even for songwriting can be a very different process than coming up with ideas for a business. After all, when writing a novel you likely want to do something completely new, while a great business model is usually based at least in part after an existing business model that has proven to be incredibly successful.

Whatever your needs, it’s important to transform your idea into something tangible, whether it’s a report for the office, an essay for a college course, or creating a new product for you to sell. Check out Udemy’s course on transforming your ideas into reality to learn more about the process of meeting – and exceeding – your goals.

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