Applying for Opportunities: 3 Ideas About Ideas
When it comes to applications that require innovation, creativity or developing an idea that has never existed, it is not uncommon to rack up in a state of confusion as an aspiring applicant, the state where you don’t know what idea to develop or which to focus on when you are in the extremely rare position of picking one from a flurry of ideas. The bad news is that so many potential applicants quit at this stage of the idea crises; sometimes we don’t even go beyond reading the title of the application in question once we have sub consciously determined that we either don’t have any ideas to that regard or we are not ready to do any research on that area.
It is important to note amidst all these that those who often go on to win the competitions or get their application accepted are those who simply go beyond this stage of reluctance to think, research and apply.
In fixing the problem of idea block, the first and most important thing to have, sat at the back of your mind, is that ‘the best ideas come from locating real people with real problems, and bringing/providing a solution’. What this means is that the fact that there are say 2 million people in Africa that are without electricity in their homes, is not as important as locating one of them and finding what the real cause of their problem is. It’s in locating real people with real problems that we generate ideas; ideas are all about people and problems. If you can find the right mix between the two and also fix a solution up somewhere between, then you would have taken one step to creating a winning application.
Secondly, it is important to consolidate on the output your brain power – the idea, by researching thoroughly on it. If Google helped you find the website or locate the opportunity, then it also has solutions or anecdotes to the very same problem that it led you to. Trying to go solo most often ends up as trying and trying doesn’t get things done. When you have decided on your idea, the only thing that can kill it or cause you not to win is not taking decisive action on it. By getting more people to work on, evaluate and scrutinize the idea, and using online and offline resources, you expand the scope, and eliminate all possible loopholes that would be identified.
Thirdly, and finally, you do what most people don’t do, which is to test the idea. You test an idea by either presenting it to critical minds at different stages of its development, and doing it void of the fear of having your work laughed at or criticized. If you idea is in the form of a prototype, you do all the necessary Alpha and Beta tests and also ask people’s opinion, since in the end, the idea or solution is designed for people.
All these require some level of hard work and discipline initially, but as the saying goes, with time practice makes perfect and you see yourself researching and brainstorming ideas more frequently. The key to applications is not putting all your eggs in one basket. One application may be all that you need to get yourself out there for your work to be seen and appropriately appreciated, however, it doesn’t mean you should apply for one and hinge all your hope on that single application. The more you apply, the smarter your ideas and presentation style get, and the feedback you get from the last failed attempt might just prove to be the difference when you apply next, for another.