You need ideas to innovate. Creating ideas is the easier part. Then you need to decide if your idea is good, if it fulfills its purpose to the target audience.
How do you know which ones are good? Even if your idea is good, how do you know if (and how) you can make it better?
To make sure your idea is as innovative as it can be, that it serves its purpose to the best of its abilities, you need to decide how to architect it for those who it is going to help best. For that, you need to be absolutely clear as to its essence.
An idea can have different versions of its essence - its abstract form. It’s up to you to decide the boundaries that best serve your goal when architecting your idea.
It’s a process of going from the concrete idea you have in mind, to a more abstract form. You can even repeat the process and make it even more abstract.
The abstract forms of your idea help you discover new insights and even create new concrete ideas.
Now that you see it clearly, you can decide which idea and what concrete manifestation are best to pursue first.
Here’s an example:
- Concrete idea: brake lights for vehicles
- An abstract version: use light to alert other drivers
- An even more abstract version: use visual cues to signal other drivers
Now you can create a new concrete idea: implement signal lights to indicate the intent and direction of making a turn.
It is the same abstract idea, with two concrete manifestations