Part I: The Hypotheses, the Opportunity, and the Ideas
Chapter 1—Crafting a Disruptive Hypothesis: Be Wrong at the Start to Be Right at the End
It all starts with a wild question. In simple terms, a hypothesis is the fill-in-the-blank part of the question, “I wonder what would happen if we _______.” A lot of people would come up with minor tweaks, like a color change or a new feature or moving production overseas. But, that’s not what we’re looking for. If you don’t shake things up with a few ideas from way, way out in left field, your brain will ensure that you’ll process any new information and ideas using what you already know as a filter. And the result will be exactly the kind of thinking that maintains the status quo. The goal at stage is to kick off the process with a disruptive hypothesis, a true game changer.
Chapter 2—Discovering a Disruptive Opportunity: Explore the Least Obvious
The next step is to take the hypothesis you just crafted and hone it to something usable. You’ll start by looking at the real-world context your hypothesis will exist in. Who lives there now? What do they need? What motivates them? Defining a disruptive opportunity is designed to be quick and informal, intuitive and qualitative, and above all, accessible. It shouldn’t take you more than two to three days, and, in many cases, you’ll be able to do it in as little as two or three hours. The point I’m emphasizing is that anyone can (and should) feel empowered to go out and start creating new business ventures, products, and services without drowning in the sea of complexity that makes up typical market research projects.
Chapter 3—Generating a Disruptive Idea: Unexpected Ideas Have Fewer Competitors
Opportunities by themselves don’t lead to profits or lasting change. So, the big question in this chapter is: How do you transform an opportunity into an idea? Well, the first thing to realize is that any old ideas won’t do. We’re looking for disruptive ideas—ideas that have the power to influence and to shape behavior. Ideas that stir the imagination and inspire a sense of possibility. Unfortunately, in my experience, most ideas never get anywhere near this level. We’ll spend the last part of this chapter learning how to move past the stumbling blocks and generate the kind of disruptive ideas that transform a compelling opportunity into a commercial offering.