Advice

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How to decide your idea

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*This tool only works if you have a clear focus question and have your ideas pinned down on post-it notes.

We often read articles on “how to generate the million dollar idea”, but we rarely talk about how to decide on the idea. The question is, how do we even distinguish the good ideas from the bad ones? And how do we set aside emotional attachments for constructive decisions best suitable for the problem we’re trying to solve? 

A few years back we discovered a tool that has helped us in several stressful situations, we call this tool - The Matrix

This is how it works;

  1. Create nine boxes in rows of three
     
  2. Write a category on each axel, e.g.
    Y = Implementation
    X = Impact
    Use a category most suitable for the problem you’re trying to solve, i.e. cost vs time, resources vs maintenance. 
     
  3. Each category should have two values, one positive and one negative. e.g. 
    Y = hard to implement vs. easy to implement
    X = high impact vs. low impact. It should look something like this:
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  4. Start placing your idea notes on the grid where you personally feel they belong. Don’t spend more than 10 seconds to decided where to place them.
     
  5. After you place your ideas on the matrix, take a step back and review your grid. Do you still think the post-its belong where they are? Or do you want to rearrange something? Merge one idea with another to increase success rates? Can you strip down an idea to make it easier to implement and have a higher impact?
    The goal is to have one or several ideas in the top right corner.

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