Even with the wide variety of sources available, coming up with an idea to serve as the basis for the new venture can still be a difficult problem. The entrepreneur can use several methods to help generate and test new ideas, including focus groups, brain storming and problem inventory analysis.

The entrepreneur must identify an opportunity to undertake a new venture. The business opportunity can be generated from various techniques such as:

Focus groups

Group of individuals providing information in a structured format is called a focus group. The group of 8 to 14 participants is simulated by comments from other group members in creatively conceptualizing and developing new product idea to fulfill a market need.


A group method of obtaining new ideas and solutions is called brainstorming. The brainstorming method for generating new ideas is based on the fact that people can be stimulated to greater creativity by meeting with others an d participating with organized group experiences. Although most of the ideas generated from the group have no basis for further development, often a good idea emerges.

Problem inventory analysis

Problem inventory analysis uses individuals in a manner that is analogous to focus groups to generate new product ideas. However instead of generating new ideas themselves, consumers are provided with a list of problems in a general product category. They are then asked to identify and discuss products in this category that have the particular problem. This method is often effective since it is easier to relate known products to suggested problems and arrive at a new product idea then to generate an entirely new idea by itself.

Creative Problem Solving

Creative problem solving is a method for obtaining new ideas focusing on the parameters.


The first technique, brainstorming, is probably the most well-known and widely used for both creative problem solving and idea generation. It is an unstructured process for generating all possible ideas about a problem within a limited time frame through the spontaneous contribution of participants.

All ideas, no matter how illogical, must be recorded, with participants prohibited from criticizing or evaluating during the brainstorming session.

Reverse brainstorming

Similar to brainstorming, but criticism is allowed and encouraged as a way to bring out possible problems with the ideas.


Synectics is a creative process that forces individuals to solve problems through one of four analogy mechanisms: personal, direct, symbolic and fantasy. This forces participants to consciously apply preconscious mechanisms through the use of analogies in order to solve problems.

Gordon method

Gordon method is a method of developing new ideas when the individuals are unaware of the problem. In this method the entrepreneur starts by mentioning a general concept associated with the problem. The group responds with expressing a number of ideas.

Checklist method

Developing a new idea through a list of related issues is checklist method of problem solving.

Free association method

Developing a new idea through a chain of word association is free association method of problem.

Forced relationship

Forced relationship is the process of forcing relationship among some product combination. It is technique that asks questions about objects or ideas in an effort to develop a new idea.

Collective notebook method

It is method in which ideas are generated by group members regularly recording ideas.


It is method of developing a new idea through a thought process progression.

Scientific method

This is a more structured method of problem solving, including principles and rules for concept formation, making observations and experiments, and finally validating the hypothesis.

Value analysis

Value analysis is developing a new idea by evaluating the worth of aspects of ideas.

Attribute listing

This is an idea finding technique that requires the entrepreneur to list the attributes of an item or problem and then look at each from a variety of viewpoints.

Matrix charting

Matrix charting is a systematic method of searching for new opportunities by listing important elements for the product area along two axis of chart and then asking questions regarding each of these elements.

Big dream approach

Developing a new idea by thinking about constraints is big-dream approach of problem solving.

Parameter analysis

Parameter analysis is developing a new idea by focusing on parameter identification and creative synthesis.


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