Primarily out in the real world, talking to people (my friends and family) seeing problems come up and thinking can I solve this. I don't act on many, my goal isn't to be a CEO but I like making things that solve things or are just fun
@aaronoleary second that. I was about to write the same things when I saw your post. I also look outside in the real world. I am fortunate to be part of an NGO so problems pop-up every day. I love to find creative solutions to them. Mainly looking outside, trying to immerse myself in other people's worlds to understand the problem better and coming up with real solutions.
@aaronoleary Many good ideas started from people simply wanting to resolve their daily inconveniences and problems. I think it's up to our critical thinking and proactive mindset when faced with issues.
Apart from personal experience, pain points that I personally come across or hear from friends, I usually look up ideas encouraged by startup accelerators like y-combinator etc. As you read about these amazing ideas in action, you end up getting into this "ideating zone". You start thinking if a particular idea would work in your city, maybe in another market segment, could it be applied in another form!
I presume it's a common practice to follow reviews on the existing products and find opportunities there. If something is a hit despite of the fact that thousands of users are extremely unhappy, it makes sense to enter competition field by creating a new player devoid of the most annoying features. This strategy hits two birds with one shot: you know that there is a market for your product, and you know exactly what to avoid
At odd places;
Ideas come (to me) when I am alone at odd places, such as standing in front of the Microwave at 2am, waiting for the clock to run down. Or when I am in the toilet (yes, happens often). I have a jotter & biro that I go to the bathroom with
@james_gil for creative mode try art. Painting, drawing, doodling, shaping clay, freewriting. If you're looking to solve a specific problem you can use colors or more "abstract" ways to "extract" ideas. Color what the problem looks like. What color or colors come your mind when thinking about the problem. Now if the problem didn't exist, same question.
For sleep mode it is a challenge for me to turn off! Music/dancing, working out. Having a power up playlist. I can share mine if you like!
Talking to people, friends and family, getting advice from people who has started there own product line and also posting it on social media and seeing what people think of it and what they need and doing research on the current trends and problems as well
Products from real world is the simplest answer. But you are processing real world with your thought process, in business which could wrong 99% of times and only 1% succeed, that's been the story of Tech Start Up across the globe. Innovation has to be backed by dollar value. Value innovation is real word for creators and consumers.
Diary your day, anything you see yourself doing more than 2 times can potentially be a habit
Habits are the best source for big problems
Then I'll google and 99.999% find someone else solve for it. Then evaluate if this is something I care about enough.
Then search competitor reviews and tweet threads to find anything bad people have said
If none, I look at gaps I find in the product with my own wants and experience
Once done, then find out main areas the competition markets in and I see if i can market there too or if i've got no chance.
Proceed to reach out to potential users via a landing page, give lifetime deal discounts to them, once i get 10-30 lifetime deals build out MVP in 2-3 weeks
In addition to looking around for inspiring ideas, we actually created a page in our company wiki/knowledge base called "Product Best Practices" where people upload screenshots and add descriptions of great product experiences they encountered "in the wild".
We even added a set of tags so you can at a glance get an idea of what the particular product idea is about.
Over time it has collected a lot of great ideas.