Ideas are everywhere. In books, conversations, experiences, and more. Of course having some method to the madness can help get the mind moving.
That got me thinking. It seems many ideas are found in four very distinct buckets, which led me to my own personal framework.These four quadrants are represented by elephants, mosquitos, dinosaurs, and caterpillars, each symbolizing a specific place to find ideas. So if you’re in need for ideas of ideas for your next venture, project, or business, try to look in these places.
The elephant represents the elephant in the room. The big companies, the monopolies, the established thinking that is operating at its peak.
This is a good place to look when you want to understand the current state of the world. Looking at what is happening now, can give you a glimpse into what may be coming next.
Mosquitos are the things that frustrate you. Looking at what annoys you and causes you trouble in life is a great place for ideas.
If there are things that frustrate you, you’re probably not alone. Moreover, there’s probably a need in the market to solve that annoyance. So if it makes you mad, pay it closer attention.
Dinosaurs are the industries that are going extinct. They were storied institutions and industries that are starting to fade away.
While you don’t want to be creating things specifically for them, they are a good place to look to see which way things are going. They are also often places that have stopped innovating and are ripe for change and disruption.
The final bucket is caterpillars. These are the newest trends and technologies that are just getting started.
Jumping early onto the next wave of innovation can give you a massive return if you choose the right trends. If you do, those ideas can turn into the next big thing.
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.John Steinbeck
This framework can be a great place to start looking for ideas, but it’s only the beginning. Your ideas can connect, collide, and transform into new and interesting combinations.
The next step is to be able to analyze these ideas and figure out which ones are worth pursuing. You can do this by asking the right questions, but that’s for a later post.