Just picked up Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch, and there is one thought I like a lot.
Jiwa defines ideas as solutions in search of problems.
The world has no shortage of ideas, good ones and bad. The New Coke, McDonald Arch Deluxe, Ben-Gay Aspirin, just to name a few in the second category.
She also defines opportunities as problems begging for a solution.
What separates good ideas from the bad ones often comes down to context and relevance. Opportunities can supply the context and relevance an idea needs.
By matching ideas to opportunities with execution, the combination often separates the extraordinary innovations from the average.