This post is going to take a while to write. For starters I’d like to round up a concept, what a challenge! 😉

Of course I won’t be discovering penicilin in this post, but I wanted to make an abridged list of fundamentals you need while trying to come up with a new and unique approach to a subject.

All banginly successfull business models in the past years have been based on innovative solutions to the same old problems. Google, for once had the right approach at the right time. The internet was growing rapidly and it became evident that the only good way to find anything was through a good search engine. Nothing new on this, search engines had been around for a good while and were already quite popular when Google made it’s entrance to the world (September 1997), but what was new was the approach to “learn” how to get relevance.
Word of mouth did a the trick. It was just too good to remain in the dark. It became (and still is) the number 1 search engine. With that in the pocket (quite something) Google started focusing on side projects. All of them were unique, maybe not in the idea per se but on the way they did it. Google ads and AdWords, google maps, google earth, Gmail, were all things that existed, but they gave them a twist and set the standard. Gmail is a nice example, ever since it’s appearance it has been copied (on music you can say you are doing a tribute, while blatantly copying some other author’s stuff, I’m pretty sure this does not work for software or web) by everybody else. First warning was the ammount of space webmail services provided, which was raised after the 1GB announcment (which has been raised to limitless). Then the ajaxy finctionality has been implemented by others like live mail (Still in beta).

Microsoft is another good example in this regards. While in the dawn of personal computers, Mr. Gates had this crazy idea of having personal computers everywhere, but knew that in order to achieve this he had to make things simple to Joe Average. Thus he came up with Windows (ducking for cover and insults from geeks all over the world who know what happened really). MS became the standard, and it still is. In my perspective they have been failing to go for the next big thing, and will be in trouble once someone else comes up with something better and a new approach (word of mouth says google is planning something, although I have no hard evidence about this, and if I had I probablly wouldn’t be able to tell you anyways).

Everybody knows creative approaches can make a hoge success. They can also be a gigantic Titanic. Your huge, new, original, nice, intersting, out of the box idea can sink as quickly as you can say Slartiblartfast. There’s no such thing as a magical recipie to make ideas wor, or else we’d all bee millionaires by now, but there are a couple of things that must be had in mind while creating the business landscape.

-Know the box. To get out of a formal way of doing things you need to know what’s being done down to the very last details. You can’t get out of a box you whose limits you are not aware of.
-You can have te greatest idea. Brilliant. But… is it of good use to anyone? This is the first question you have to ask yourself. Is there a public for your idea? You must be certain that there is a need or that you will give people something that they didn’t yet know they needed. Always make sure there’ll be demand for your stuff.
-Only a couple of “Out of the box”  things are completely new. Most of them, though, tackle already existing issues with a new apporach. Make sure you know the complete flow of things going on; pinpoint shortcomings and flaws as well as strong points. Rest asured a lot of people face similar challenges, so there’s probably a lot you can learn about issues from others. Then forget all you know and start fresh. Think a lot, think differently, be  ruthless woith your own ideas, come up with opposite apporaches and gather all that together.
-Make certain that what you are suggesting or trying is much better than what already exists otherwise it makes little sense to take a risk and change.
-Be aware of all different approaches to a seam subject. Chances are that you’ll probably have to stand for your ideas and face doublecrossings with other ways to do the same things. The sort of usual “know your enemy”.
-Be bold. As usual many people will meddle in wht you’re trying to do. This is actually a good thing. Critics are about the best thing you can come upon. After all great leaders surround them selves of intelligent people who disagree with them. Good or bad intentioned, criticism can raise questions you might of never asked yourself. Defend your ideas with passion and respect, and be open to criticism and suggestions, since nobody owns the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time.

The second part of this will cope with the usual challenges you might face inside the corporate food chain with new ideas and how to get things actually done.