Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Download this course

Share this free course

Developing business ideas for drone technologies
Developing business ideas for drone technologies

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3.1 Sources of ideas

In this section you will think about possible sources of ideas and innovations for your business. Even if you already have a business idea, this section will help you better describe the context of your innovation

Peter Drucker suggested ‘Seven Sources of Innovative Opportunity’ (Drucker, 2002), as represented in Figure 12.

This is a diagram of the two sources of innovation: internal and external.
Figure 12 Sources of innovation

There are four internal sources:

  • An unexpected happening – an unexpected situation such as a particular experiment or even a life event enabling the development of a new idea.

    Example: The discovery of Post-it adhesive was something unexpected: read more about it here [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

  • An incongruity – incongruities arise from the mismatch between expectations (what it should be) and reality (what it is).

    Example: how negative customer feedback can give you some possible insights on new ideas.

  • A need for improvement in a process – it relates to some process that could be improved in terms of efficacy (reaching its goals) and/or efficiency (improving the use of resources and time).

    Example: the efficiency introduced by online booking of flights.

  • Changes in industry structure – the external context changes thus requiring internal changes to a project approach.

    Example: new rules and regulations are introduced.

Three sources are located outside a company or industry:

  • Demographic trends – evolution of demographic characteristics of the population in the relevant area.

    Example: changes in customer needs due to ageing.

  • Changes in perceptions and meanings – changes in what customers value more.

    Example: the greater attention to zero carbon emission and to the possibility of recycling products is an important trend in current stakeholders’ perceptions.

  • New knowledge – ‘scientific, technical, or social’ discoveries would be a good source of innovation when translated into new technologies, products and services.

    Example: the development of the Turing machine.

Now you have looked at where your idea may stem from, you will look to identify your business idea.