Idea Canvas aka Idea Board: Tool for Articulating and Shaping Ideas

Idea Canvas aka Idea Board: Tool for Articulating and Shaping Ideas

Why Idea Board?

With more and more organizations asking employees to contribute product ideas, growth on innovation teams as a separate entity, promotion of experimental thinking, increase in risk appetite and tolerance of failure, there is a need for a tool for communicating ideas well for the above interactions. This is where the Idea Boards or Idea Canvas come in.

So, What is an Idea?

The bad thing you can do to an idea is to articulate it as an off-the-cuff one-liner that does not speak the same way to others as to the originator.

The worse thing you can do to an idea is to not mull it over and round it off by considering all the aspects. One-Dimensional analysis of an idea leads to half-baked ideas that can hardly be credentialed.

The worst thing you can do to an idea is to not properly articulate enough so that a third-party who has no context just gets it.

Thus an idea is your thought that can create opportunities & solve problems, has a context behind it and bring value to everyone around it.

Introducing The Idea Canvas

As the Product Management Canvas or the Experiment Canvas, the Idea Canvas is a lean innovation tool.

The Idea Canvas is a lean innovation tool. It allows you to develop and describe an idea and to think holistically about it.

Idea Canvas by Dinker Charak

Idea as a statement

A short crisp statement. Typically, how you first described the idea.

Trends that support the idea

Tech Trend

What trends do you see in the world of tech that support this idea and that its time has come?

Business Trend

What trends do you see in the world of business that support this idea and that its time has come? A new startup, business models, or market opportunities that just opened up?

Social Trend

What trends do you see in the society that support this idea and that its time has come?

Benefits the idea delivers

Benefits to Tech

What benefit will this idea deliver to the world of tech in general? What benefit will it bring to those in your team who work in tech?

Benefits to Business

What benefit will this idea deliver to the world of business in general? A new business model perhaps? What benefit will it bring to your business? How will it increase revenues, reduce cost or remove operational efficiencies?

Benefits to Society 

What benefit will this idea deliver to the world of business in general?

Innovations needed to make the idea feasible

Innovations in Tech

What innovation needs to happen in the world of Tech for this idea to be feasible?

Innovations in Business

What innovation needs to happen in the world of business for this idea to be feasible? A new business plan that needs to be proven?

Innovations in Society

What innovation needs to happen in society for this idea to be feasible? A new business plan that needs to be proven? A new acceptance in society?

Black Mirror possible dark sides

Tech has a dark side and there are unintended consequences. It is important to consider all those aspects too.

Example

Roo Kids App

Roo Kids App was the most successful product of my now-defunct startup Gungroo. This is a sample from those days as an example of how an Idea Board can be used.

Sample Idea Board, Idea Canvas by Dinker Charak using Gungroo Roo Kids App

Your Example

If you have used this version of the Idea Board to articulate and develop your idea, do consider sharing a non-confidential version with me. I will post it here along with attribution. The more we share, the more we learn!



Note: Thanks to my colleagues Ruchi Mahajan (@ruchi_mahajan) and Adithya H (@adithyaah) for their feedback and suggestions.



Dinker Charak

Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains as Industrial Automation, Home Automations, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. His books #ProMa, Absolute and None & The Murmurs of the Dawn are available on Amazon.

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