There is no concrete formula in creating something out of nothing. Without a robust framework, it is challenging to acquire a skill in executing an idea. It takes a lot of failures and experience to achieve something from inspiration to implementation. Here are the four stages of The Invention Cycle, from Creativity Rules by Tina Seelig.
1 – Imagination. It is envisioning something that does not exist. Our product development started with the idea of consolidating business transactions with multiple branches in real-time. At that time, that product does not exist in the market.
2 – Creativity. It is applying imagination to address the challenge. Imagine a process where the head office of a multiple outlet store sees its sales and profitability in real-time on every sale they make.
3 – Innovation. It is applying creativity to come up with a unique solution. The Internet was just starting at that time, and most of the business applications in the market were desktop-based client-server applications. With the model that we were envisioning, we thought of developing a full web and browser-based product for the market. Though they said we were too early, we were the first.
4 – Entrepreneurship. It is applying innovation to scale ideas. Entrepreneurship is a much broader topic, but the innovation it is talking about here is a consistent trial-and-error, testing-and-tweaking of approaches in all aspects of a business from sales, marketing, operations, HR and product development.