A successful ideation session can feel like a major accomplishment. So, it’s no surprise some teams lose momentum after coming up with great ideas. However, good ideas aren’t enough. What comes after brainstorming is essential to valuable innovation. Your ideas must be validated, evaluated, protected, and monetized to make a difference for your business.
Your brainstorming session (or another ideation process) probably resulted in lots of ideas. That’s great! More ideas give you more options as you move through the innovation lifecycle. All ideas in consideration should be well documented. This can be done in any format that makes sense to the idea’s creator, including figures and recordings.
Describe the Idea
After brainstorming, all ideas should be described in detail. Give the original contributor the chance to fully explain how they picture the final product or process. Clearly communicating what separates this new technology from existing IP is a key step in the invention disclosure process.
Then, invite others to contribute their perspectives on the idea. During this process, you may find that two or more ideas can be grouped together and presented as one solution. Clearly describing an idea eliminates the opportunity for a misunderstanding later on. It will also help evaluate the idea based on a number of factors.
Evaluate the Idea
You need to know if an idea is likely to be worth the resources required to bring it to life—ideally before you invest these resources. Of course, “worth the resources” is rather subjective; this can depend on your type of organization, who you compete against in the marketplace, your IP strategy, and overall business goals.
Ideas are commonly evaluated on factors such as:
- Novelty: In order to patent and implement your idea without infringing on others’ IP rights, it must be novel.
- Budget: Consider the funding it will take to bring your idea to market, including research, development, and marketing.
- Timeline: How soon does a solution need to be implemented?
- Risk: Some ideas are likely successes. Others are much riskier.
- Return: Based on other factors, such as risk and budget, will your idea offer a return on investment? Are there returns beyond financial gains, such as greater good, positive publicity, or partnership opportunities?
Evaluating Ideas with AI
Taking so many factors into account can be a challenge, especially with multiple perspectives and priorities among shareholders, as well as human biases and assumptions. An AI-backed innovation workflow can help eliminate some of these gray areas. IQ Ideas Plus™ helps engineers and inventors create and capture innovation to quickly solve problems.
Watch as IP.com product manager Erik Garcell, Ph.D. goes through the stages of brainstorming with IQ Ideas Plus.
The tool then scores the uniqueness of the invention and provides a snapshot of existing art and other players in the technology landscape. The AI engine analyzes the concepts contained within your idea to enable reliable competitive analysis, cross-team communication, and accelerated innovation. As the idea evolves, this report can be regenerated to understand the potential novelty (and therefore value) of each iteration of the idea and how it fits into the technology landscape.
The power of AI allows for this process to be repeated quickly for up-to-date reports that make it easy to share the latest iterations of an idea with collaborating teams, as well as the C-suite and other key stakeholders.
Implement the Idea
Validating ideas within the R&D team allows only the best to move through the innovation lifecycle, saving precious time and money. When R&D is confident that the results of their brainstorming are useful and novel, they can be passed to the IP team or outside council for further evaluation and potential protection, as well as monetization.