Defined in the simplest terms, design thinking is a methodology for tackling complex problems using a solution-based approach.

The five basic steps of design thinking are:

  • Empathise: Understand how the problem you are addressing affects people.
  • Define: Use your learnings from the empathise stage to define the problem as a human-centered problem statement.
  • Ideate: Employ various idea-generating methods to identify possible solutions to the problem.

Bestselling author Seth Godin introduced the idea of the “purple cow.”

One day he was driving through the countryside with his family. They saw some cows grazing, and thought it was a beautiful sight. But as they continued to drive, they saw cow after cow, and the cows became ordinary, they lost their novelty.

That’s when Godin thought, “What if there was a purple cow?” A purple cow would grab their attention again, because it would be remarkable.

Purple cows are ideas that stands out and that are remarkable [worth making a remark about].

Purple cows are ideas that bring together two or more concepts that haven’t been linked before to create something remarkable.

For example, spare bedrooms and skyrocketing hotel prices were never linked by a business until Airbnb came along. Now Airbnb is at the forefront of the sharing economy.

Connect the dots, come up with a purple cow idea, something innovative and remarkable.

Ideating means come up with ideas. Not just cool ideas, but ideas that solve the customer’s pain.

Through ideas to the whiteboard, think about them, debate them, think them through etc.

Don’t be different for the sake of being different, be different because it matters.

One thought on “Ideate: Purple cow…

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