Five Ideation Vectors to Develop a Kickass App By Ravi Gururaj

27th Nov 2012
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Ravi Gururaj Provides Pointers to Brainstorming the Next Big App Idea at MobiSparks

This proposition starts with the same disclaimer as Ravi Gururaj pronounced beforehand – results not guaranteed. The just-before-lunch sessions usually

  • are the dullest with the audience exasperated at the long session and eagerly waiting for lunch. Ravi Gururaj, VP at Citrix, got the audience excited MobiSparks with his ideation vectors taking Dropbox as an example. As Ravi was just taking us through the vectors, I felt how intuitive it was. I was just thinking how I could eliminate e-mail by sharing my files with my customers on Dropbox. But you can create only one folder and many sub folders in Dropbox. You cannot have multiple Dropboxes. If you thought only genius thinking, the so-called brainwave thinking that on a morning walk an idea flashed across your mind that you work through it feverishly for many days to get that idea real, that’s only one part. Kickass stuff can be designed systematically too – through a systematic approach. That’s what Ravi did with his five ideation vectors – Fuse, Flip, Tangent, Enhance, and Disrupt.Fuse – Fuse two ideas from successful concepts to get birth to a new idea.
  • Flip – Flip the original idea on its head; swap the norm with exception; rethink the constraints
  • Tangent – Given a solution, find problems that this solution can solve
  • Enhance – Prefix a superlative [better, faster, cheaper, bigger, smaller, democratized]
  • Disrupt – Extend to next or some unexpected dimension

For example, in the enhance vector, why can’t Dropbox allow any folder, or file to be synced with customer Dropboxes. This makes it faster and seamless. Why can’t access be allowed to only one sub folder in Dropbox? Make the sync meaningful with the customer.

Why can’t Dropbox provide unlimited storage, enhancing its reach and making global file-sharing possible that you use Dropbox as a storage drive for all your files. This is the disrupt paradigm.

Given that file-sharing problem is solved by Dropbox, what more problems can it solve? Eliminate email for file attachments and use Dropbox to share files with the recipients that a link provided to them will help them reach the files. Ravi talked of a backend process where if you attach a document on email, it puts the attachment on Dropbox, creates an url, and just sends that url with the email instead of the attachment.

Possibilities are enormous if you started thinking on any one of these vectors to develop an app. Genius thinking is not the realm of some and others just normal thinkers. Creative stuff can be done with systematic thinking. And Ravi got you the pointers just for that.

Why don’t you now combine two ideas – fuse – to get that awesome app today? Like a designer team we met sometime ago – Paper and Vector – founded by Jonah Page and Suvasini (working out of New York) use Wednesdays just for R&D, we would encourage you to brainstorm ideas for five weeks (one day in a week) on each of these vectors to see if you can come up with that awesome app. [Disclaimer: results not guaranteed!]. All the best. Get going!

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