How do entrepreneurs create ideas for successful new business ventures? Were they born with some special component within their DNA that enables them to be more creative and resourceful than others? John Kord Murray, an aerospace engineer that founded multiple new ventures and later became the head of innovation at Intuit, says no. He asserts that the ability to be creative is a learned process and that “anyone can master it in order to build successful business innovations.” In his book, Borrowing Brilliance, The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others, he outlines the process that anyone can use to create new business opportunities. Below is a brief overview of the concepts outlined in Murray’s book. It is my hope that you consider becoming more familiar with Murray’s process as a means to create and launch new business ventures in our region.
Defining. Define the problem you are trying to solve. “A problem is the foundation of a creative idea”. Successful entrepreneurs (both for-profit and not-for-profit entrepreneurs) are effective at identifying, prioritizing, and solving problems that are important to current and / or future targeted customers. When they focus on a problem they do so realizing that problems have multiple layers of causes. They dig to find the “root-cause” to the problem they are focusing on because they realize this is where a potential business idea will surface. To identify the specific root-cause to a problem they simply ask, “Why”? Murray indicates that answering the question of “Why?” five times surfaces the root cause to almost any problem.