USE THE PRICE METHOD: PROBLEM, RESEARCH, IMPROVISE, CURATE, EDIT
Write out how you plan to develop your idea using PRICE as well as potential challenges & open issues
Abe, the financial controller, had kept a notebook on unmet needs. He and his wife hung out with designers, product development and prototyping people. In addition, Abe was a Do-It-Yourself(DIY) guy and enjoyed the Maker Movement. In both areas, 3D printing was really hot. The market was changing so quickly with all the new introductions, both in personal and industrial printing. In short, there were people who wanted to start 3D printing without spending a fortune. There were people who wanted to sell their old printers so they could get new ones. The unmet need is to match buyers and sellers.
Abe, invited designers, prototyping people and Maker Movement folks to a brunch meeting. He wanted to talk about the idea of a 3D printer marketplace, an eBay for 3D printers which was heavy on content on all the different types of printers . While Abe had a list of questions, he spent most of the time listening to what the potential users wanted. During the next 2-3 months, he met with as many potential users as he could.
Eli, a plumber, had an idea, but it was murky. Todd, one of his better-off motorcycle buddies, complained about flooding damage to his house. As a favor, Eli took a look at the damage as well as the estimates. Todd complained that he paid a fortune and had to manage the plumber, electrician and special cleaning crews. Todd explained his neighborhood was in a floodplain so there often was damage. Eli asked if Todd could introduce him to neighbors in need.
After reviewing their damages and estimates, Eli called the cleaning companies and found their service poor. He invited friends over to barbecue for a brainstorming session. Afterwards, he sat with Bob and they whittled the idea to an one-stop flood remediation service which offered plumbing, carpet cleaning and electrical management. Hiqh quality service at premium pricing is the service definition they worked towards. Eli thought he may be on to something...
Benny, a general contractor, had this fuzzy idea of a board game where kids could have fun by racing to build a house. He really wasn’t sure what to do next. Benny watched his kids and friends play games and asked what they liked. He researched the games out there and purchased ones that intrigued him. Benny wrote a ton of ideas in his notebook. After mashing up the best ideas, he asked his kids and their friends about the concept. He made changes. Benny then met with his friends - parents, teachers as well as a video game designer. Benny made more changes. Finally, he got a friend to run a session with kids that he taught. Benny was ready to crystallize his idea into a product definition.
FAQ & Resources
How do I identify the problem and user?
First, spend lots of time with the user. Understand what they want and what motivates them. Empathize with them. How do they use the product including their likes and dislikes? Determine what they say there needs are versus what their actual needs are. Once needs are understood, then problems can be clearly identified.
How do I do research?
Do a Google search locally and nationally to get an idea of the landscape. Do a product/service search. Look at competitor websites. Search trade publications. Most importantly, talk to current users and ask their opinions of what they currently use.
How do I ideate?
Generating new ideas is much easier after understanding the problem and understanding what others are doing to solve the problem. Finish the statement “I can fix this by...” Mull over the options. Step away from the process and do something unrelated, like exercise, to give the mind time to process. In addition, look in other industries to see how they have solved similar problems. Group innovation sessions, which include people from different backgrounds, can be particularly helpful.