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In my last post, I discussed about the principles on generating breakthrough ideas and innovation. In this post, we will try and apply those principles in different contexts.

What next in social networking?

  1. Combining two universes: Online social networks are still an emerging phenomenon. For those of us who are not fully into it, what’s the powerful way to connect with our friends? Why, with the mobile, of course. The mobile service provider even records how much time we have spent with whom. What if the two were connected? With the mobile, we can even discover our friends when we go out. Imagine your mobile telling you your uncle has come to watch the same play, or the same football match (if you’ve decided against watching cricket for a while).
  2. Cut out essential actions in the life cycle: How can we cut out the time consuming part of uploading an album? How can updates be automatic? Updates on going to a restaurant, on attending someone’s marriage, or traveling to another city, for example.
  3. Access to Information: Can Facebook advise me on which restaurant to visit, what book to buy, or even which job to join? Think! Amazon has cleverly combined book lists with LinkedIn. Why restaurants have not done that with Facebook, I wonder. More people will find more practical uses of Facebook when such connections happen.
  4. Matrimonials and Facebook form a natural connection in my mind. You can discover more about a person in Facebook than in a formal date. This has to happen someday!


  1. Combining two universes: TV and internet convergence happened in technology, but not yet in entertainment. Can I verify if the data provided in the TV panel discussion are true? Can I have an online buzzword analysis of the debates, and decide which one to view? Can I select the news channel with least decibel levels, or the one liked most by my friends? Not yet. Is it possible?
  2. Access to Information: Whenever someone participates in the debate on corruption, can I see the number of cases pending against him/her? Or select a movie based on popularity? Combining with social networking, can I select a movie most liked by a specific set of friends?

Online Travel

How can we combine different universes in this context?

  1. Combining multiple universes: All online travel networks have already combined air travel (and rail travel) and hotels. What else can we combine? Well, what else we do when we travel to another city? It depends on why we have traveled there. We naturally need cabs, restaurants, bookshops, gift shops, cinemas, maybe even cultural programs. Even doctors may be necessary sometime. Has anyone done that yet? Is that an opportunity?
  2. Access to Information: Not just that, two friends from Houston and San Jose on business travel to Boston can meet over dinner during their free evening if the universes of online travel and mobile services are combined.


  1. Combining two Universes – education and social networks
    1. Kids love Facebook, and would love to avoid classrooms. Can teaching become a “game” where the teacher posts views, assignments and even quizzes on her profile?
    2. When we do this, we discover unprecedented power. One can suddenly benefit from peers in different schools (across the world), and different experts as well.
    3. Examinations become easier and more fun, with peers rating continuously. Examination fear is usually driven by the unexpected consequences of the final examination. This fades away, as continuous learning becomes the norm.
  2. I leave it to the reader to discover which other principles have been applied in this example. Incidentally, this will lead to new issues, and we need to anticipate those.


We just reflected on the simple principles we observe in our favorite products, and applied them in other contexts. Let us not stop at admiring successes in the market. Let us be inspired to apply their success principles in our own offerings.

Would like to hear from you on this.

Read the first part here:

How to Ideate – Part 1

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