5.1 Idea Screening
Brainstorming sessions are done to generate ideas. It must be kept in mind that entrepreneurs should be creative and at the same time logical. A large volume of ideas can be generated in short span of time but the challenge arises in screening the ideas to find out suitable and profitable business options. Therefore the screening process is of utmost importance to a prospective entrepreneur. Our group generated a staggering 950 ideas in 1 hour 15 minutes. The group of 10 was divided into two sub groups of 4 people and 1 sub group of 3 people. In each group every member contributed their ideas and 1 member acted as the group data keeper. The 950 ideas that were generated were then put through a 5 phase screening process. The screening process was done at the presence of all the group members and everyone judged the ideas critically to narrow down to 5 business plans at the end of the screening process.
Phase 1: Rule of Thumb I
In the first phase all the 950 ideas were judged on a single criterion to terminate all the outlandish or crazy ideas. The criterion that was used is “Outlandish Idea” all the ideas were critically evaluated to ensure (i) ideas that are hypothetical or impossible to implement were screened out, and (ii) goo ideas were not screened out as crazy ideas. The group paid particular attention to the second criteria mentioned above because it is one o the common mistake that is made in the screening process. After the first phase the 950 ideas were screened down to 133 ideas. Almost 85% of the ideas were left out in the first phase.
Phase 2: Rule of Thumb II
The remaining 133 ideas were then put through another rule of thumb exercise. In this phase two criteria were used to judge the ideas. The criteria are (i) profit potential, and (ii) market potential. That is, the ideas were evaluated to find out whether they can be marketed or not and also to find out whether they can earn substantial amount of profit. The ideas were given either a score of 0 or 1 in each criterion. The scores were then added to obtain a combined score out of 2. The ideas were screened on the basis of the combined score. The ideas that obtained a score of 2 were allowed to pass through to the next phase. The rest of the ideas were left out at this phase. The group as mentioned above was very critical in judging the ideas and only 31 ideas made it through to the next phase. Almost 80% ideas were left out.
Phase 3: Unweighted 7 Point Scoring Model
In the 3rd phase the ideas were put through an unweighted 7 Point Scoring Model. In this phase the ideas were judged on 7 criteria. The criteria are: CriteriaScore
Market Potential0 or 1
Riskiness0 or 1
Investment Size0 or 1
Technology Level0 or 1
Environmental Acceptability0 or 1
Ethical Acceptability0 or 1
Profit Potential0 or 1
As mentioned in the table each product was given a score of either 0 or 1 in each criterion. The scores were then summed up to obtain a score out of 7. The idea that received a score of 6 or 7; that is, a score of 6 was the cut off score. After the groups critical evaluation the 31 ideas were narrowed down to 12 ideas. That is almost 60% ideas were left out in this phase.
Phase 4: Weighted 10 Point Scoring Model
In the 4th phase the 12 ideas were put through a weighted 10 point scoring model. The criteria that were used to judge the ideas in the last phase are used again but this time the criteria were given a weight. The weights of each criteria added up to 1. The ideas were then scored out of 10 on each criterion. CriteriaWeightScore
The score and the weights are multiplied and the results are then added to obtain the combined score out of 10 for each idea. The...