I collaborated with one of the hottest small businesses in our nations capital last week: Rigil Corporation. I was impressed with their record of launching innovation since their inception. The founders and executives of the company reiterated that they emphasize creation not just ideation and recently launched a prototype app in under 6 weeks and less than $12k. Another nugget of wisdom they told us is that they conducted interviews with 20+ people for each hire they made. This was time-consuming but ensured they had the right team in place.
Rigil provided the office space for the event - an airy full wall white board space - perfect for ideation and brainstorming.
Also a shout out to Neil Shah, my co-facilitator for this event. This was the first time we collaborated but the synergies helped the event a lot. Neil has worked in the startup world, has experience in real estate and consulting, and currently consults for the world bank innovation lab.
We started off asking everyone to put their "super hero names" on their name tags. We had a Wonder Woman, Everything Man, Enlighto, Lightona, and Rajini in the group!
The 3 brainstorming hacks we learned during the session were:
- Toy Inspiration - Use a toy, a random word, an image or anything unrelated to your problem to spark new ideas
- The Contrarian - Flip the problem you are trying to solve to find a solution for the opposite
- Mergers and Acquisitions - Reframe the question from different perspectives to see what "they" would do to solve the problem
Problems to Solve:
- How do you steal other people's ideas and be safe?
- How do you understand women?
- Startup costs are too high
- Marketing is difficult if no one understands your product or service
- What products to create for senior citizens
Real products and services that helped us inspire new ones:
- Karla Functional beer for women with herbs
- Brain controlled helicopter
- Cell phone signal detector to check for cheating
- Tablet for children
Some cool and crazy ideas we generated:
- Idea listing app with laughing devils, Power Ranger identifying the good ideas and the bad. Barber will cut out the bad ideas.
- 12 Ideas of Xmas app for $5
- Vendor app just for startups - with deals and discounts
- One man's junk is another man's treasure app
- App to instantly create a superhero out of a brand
- Pothole detection app
- Cloud sourcing power
- Fashionable old people attire
- Arts and crafts classes on flights
Some things to check out: