If we start from the beginning where do ideas actually come from?

Steven Johnson has explained this process in the book Where good ideas come from, however I attached the video where it is illustrated what Johnson has discussed in the book and I summarised the main points below this picture.



Johnson emphasizes  the importance of slow ”hunches”. He believes that it can take even ten years for an idea to become useful and be compatible with your life. He illsutrates that it takes time for an idea to derive and that applicable ideas frequently come from the collision among smaller hunches to evolve into substantial matters. It is explained how generally people only have half of the idea. The example can be seen in developing a World Wide Web. According to Johnson, ideas also need time to incubate and collide together to exchange those hunches with other individuals. By combining hunches they are more  likely to turn into something original. According to Johnson, it is also more likely for you to find that one missing piece if you share your ideas with others.

Where good ideas come from? – Steven Johnson, video published by RiverBooks

In addition, it is believed that is often not tough to get the idea, as it is to make those ideas happen. In my previous busy month, I observed quite a lot of thoughts by attending various of workshops, events, job fairs etc. Based on those events I have identified few main points on how to get the idea and what to do with it. To outline those thoughts, I am also enclosing pictures from the 3D workshop, where I designed my first 3D wooden model of a boat. 


Yet as easy as this sound, it is commonly not simple to stick with one idea. In general, individuals that have great ideas, have many of them, not just one. That is why, the first step includes reduction of all the other ideas and focus on one only. It is essential to have the idea ready at an early stage. Being said this, this particular idea should be clear, preferably with simple, short description. 

“A straightforward product design is essential. The same goes for brand continuity among every item you sell. ” –Michelle Goodman 

The main idea of the 3D workshop was to make an actual model of a basic boat from the wood. It started with this simple idea, but got much more complicated when realising it into the practice. There are given measurements and details on the sketch below.


Being said this, it is important to stick with one idea, however it is usually necessary to slightly change and pivot the strategy how to achieve that idea or goal. The strategy should gradually evolve, when the main idea or goal should stay the same. To accomplish this, it is recommended to ‘think’ with your hands rather than building a long business plan that would change anyway and would not show you as much as one simple prototype can do. 

Having the idea ready, I started to build a plan on how to build that prototype. I brought all the necessary equipments and verified I understood the plan and procedure.


3 W (what, where, why)

When the idea is  generalized it is important to consider three important questions: why, where, what. It is suggested to determine about what is it going the idea to be about, where is this going to lead you, why is it going to be as it is going to be and why would anyone want to purchase this idea (product or service) from you. 

“Be open-minded. Stay curious.” – Stephen Key

At this stage I needed to consider, what exactly the next step is going to be, what is the following step going to bring me, where is this going to lead my prototype and why I need to do certain step at a certain stage. Therefore, I cut the edges of the wood, file down the corners and drilled holes. After that I was able to combine two pieces together with loose nails.


Finally, when the prototype is designed it is easier to explain broader audience how the actual product or service is going to look like. It is much more effective to communicate with potential consumers when there is a prototype, rather than just an idea. In general, first prototype is going to change a bit after the online survey with your consumers is done. For that reason it is advised, to engage with people to gain the feedback and also receive first pre-orders.

To conclude, as my wooden boat would not survive in the ocean without its chimney, that is how your idea cannot survive without other people.

 ” There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somwhere else.” -Sam Walton



– J. Steven (2011) : Where Good Ideas Come From: The Seven Patterns of Innovation, Penguin.
– Enterprise workshop (Kingston University) https://bizboard.kingston.ac.uk/
– http://www.rich20something.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/StephenKeyBonus.pdf
– https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280381
– https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278821
– https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244616
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NugRZGDbPFU