How To Develop An Actionable Idea

Neil Cooper
Dec 12, 2018 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

The light bulb may have just turned on and you have the seed of an idea that you’re immediately excited about. There’s a lot that will have happened that led you to that moment of insight.

What to do next?

How might you turn your rudimentary idea into something well conceived that you can begin to put into practice?

You’ll need to be able to describe your idea in a way which makes sense to other people. The practicalities and implications should be given thought. You’ll need to think about who it’s for and why they should be interested in your idea.

Below are 7 points for you to address or answer which will help you give form to your initial idea. At the end, we have provided a template for you to print out and use whenever the need strikes.

#1 Describe your idea in 2–3 sentences. Write it in a way that a 7-year-old would understand.

#2 What problem does your idea solve? Or what does it help people do?

#3 Does something similar already exist? How is your idea distinct or better?

#4 Who is your idea for? Why should they be interested?

#5 Why are you excited by your idea?

#6 In what way would the world be better if your idea came to fruition?

#7 What are all the reasons you should stop working on your idea now?

Once you have answered these questions let your responses sit there. Give yourself a day or two to pause, consider and reflect. Doing this will give your subconscious mind a chance to synthesize the moving parts and make sense of it all.

If you’d been blinded by the excitement you can approach your idea with a more dispassionate attitude.

If you’d been daunted by the magnitude of what you might be taking on you will have created the foundation of a more manageable starting point.

Responding to these questions will not give you all the answers you need to make your idea a success. However, they will give your idea initial form to help you figure out the important next steps and whether it’s something worth putting your time and energy into.

You can download the template here (it’s best printed on A3 — Tabloid / Ledger size — paper).

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +773K people. Follow to join our community.

Neil Cooper

Written by

Innovator and Strategist @Sense_Worldwide | I write about the mindsets, tools and techniques to design better products, services and experiences.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +773K people. Follow to join our community.

Neil Cooper

Written by

Innovator and Strategist @Sense_Worldwide | I write about the mindsets, tools and techniques to design better products, services and experiences.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +773K people. Follow to join our community.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store