3 Ways the Crowd Can Help Develop Ideas Into Projects

February 20, 2015
Ideas and stages

Ideas and stages


In this article, Joshua Steimle shared why he thought great ideas are worthless. He simply writes “An idea combined with successful execution can change the world. An idea by itself is worthless.” Steimle begins by writing about how VCs don’t enjoy signing NDAs since they are oftentimes listening to ideas that don’t include a robust strategy – not something that they consider valuable. They don’t want to just hear an idea since they won’t be executing on it and if it’s not too hard to introduce, then someone else is bound to get to it sooner rather than later. All good ideas need to be paired with a worthwhile execution.


Which is why one of the key challenges in open innovation communities is to get an idea beyond the original moment of inspiration, but also do it in a way that doesn’t exhaust the innovation teams who feel that they have to respond to every idea. Which is why it’s best to invite the crowd into the process of not just sharing ideas, but developing them. We’ve found that there are a few key stages of idea development for every innovation program out there and that the crowd can be deputized to help with development and decision-making.



  1. Build a Team. Anyone can help research and refine a great idea – but if you invite members of the crowd to join a team that supports an idea, it’s not only another level of validation, it decreases the risk and the time to market for everyone involved. Every idea should be able to generate enough interest to catalyze people to join a team that supports it.
  2. Refine an Idea: Every idea needs at least a basic plan that outlines the possibilities associated with that idea. That means a business plan, potential interested customers or users, the right marketing opportunity, and more. Approaching an idea with a unique set of criteria and answering these questions is absolutely crucial to moving those ideas forward. The crowd can be asked to research individual aspects and report on them.
  3. Select the Best: There are usually tons of great ideas. VCs hear pitches all day long, but finding the best ones is the most important step when it comes to getting to the next level of funding, prototyping, and delivery. Those people who can help make ideas into a reality should have defined criteria to choose ideas and select the best ones to receive the resources. They can then ask the crowd to respond to whether or not an idea meets those criteria.

For a live demonstration of how the crowd can participate in these stages in order to ensure that no ideas is left behind, register for this February 25th webinar at 11 a.m. PST here.


How do you make sure that no good idea gets left behind? What is your biggest challenge in developing an idea?

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