Wow – that is a seriously difficult question, I was asked on Quora today. Difficult because we obviously see what those ideas do, who had them, and how they evolved. Still “Where do the best business ideas come from” in the first place?

The short answer to where best ideas come from

This question bugged me for quite some time and two years ago I started a quest to find out. The short answer:
Ideas obviously come from our brain.
1) The brain composes new ideas based on all our past experiences.
2) Past experiences include everything we saw, heard, experienced from the day our brain is built – even before we are born.
3) Most ideas are actually not killed by naysayer but by our brain itself.
4) The composition of “ideas” is actually a composition of experiences where our right brain(emotional, creative…) puts experiences together and sends it to the left brain logic, security… If it makes no immediate sense the composition or “idea” is dismissed. That is important because in real live we need to decide quickly to not get eaten by a big animal (last 300,000 years), or overrun by a car (last 100 years).
5) With the fast, secure,conservative, instantly attractive or not composition we can easily live well but we cannot innovate. Innovation requires another part of our brain and that is the ability to construct a possible future. So brainstorming (short term) and prospective thinking collide.
6) The best business ideas come when we put the problem in context to a prospective future. The so called visionar can put both together and craft a business model that is not built to be relevant for today but for that future. Visionaries are not sci fi lovers because they love the future. Sci Fi lovers love the future and get so much inspired that they become visionaries. And Sci Fi authors get inspired from previous sci fi authors.
7) Still the best business idea is not coming from this one dreamer who makes up an idea for the future. There is this second key component: the idea of the market, customers, users… Asking clients, what they dream abut and what their best possible solution would be and assembling all these experiences to one and THEN dream up to sum of all dreams allows people with lots of those and other experiences to steer up a idea that moves and shakes markets.

Know how the brain works

If you know how the brain works you get a huge leap in understanding how ideas are created and as a result how disruptive models can be created. We experienced that in our own companies and most recently in companies (startups) we worked with. We had a 50% success rate in developing a disruptive business model for the startups we worked with in the past 3 years.

The long answer is in my new book: Innovations Paradigm.
Before I ended up with finding the source of an idea, I analyzed what the idea actually does and its role in the success of an innovation. First, the idea alone is of no value. Only with relentless execution, the value of the idea will be unfold. An apple is of no value unless somebody eats it or it’s seed creates a new apple tree. Stanford neuroscientist David Eagleman played a key role in my statement: “We can do anything and everything we can imagine”. Now it’s scientifically proven. It’s because of the limitation of our brain :)

How about sharing how you created your best ideas?

Welcome to a new world of innovation. Forget sitting down with a few fellow engineers to cook up some new solution. Chances are 1:1oo,000,000 that you come up with a disruptive and groundbreaking solution. Why should you? Why exactly now? Just because somebody expects that from you? Not in a million years. This is not ow our brain works. It’s not how we create solutions.

Homo Sapiens is NOT creative!

This is one of Prof David Eagleman’s. And you can prove it right here: Come up with a creative merger of an agremotizan and a platypus. OK you don’t know what either one is? Doesn’t matter create the idea anyway. Oh, you got stuck? Of course you you do. If you never had an experience or saw a platypus you cannot even know what it is and how you can morphe it with an agremotizan. When you google it, we may get at least an interesting answer :) You can’t create anything that you have never seen or otherwise experienced.

Salvador Dali’s famous “Temptation of St. Anthony” looks pretty creative. These Elephants with their super long and extremely skinny legs. But they are still leggs. And still elephants. And everything else in this picture is assembled from things that are known and he had seen and experienced before.

After countless discussions if we are or are not creative, any group will conclude that we are not really creative but we have this amazing ability to compose anything that we ever saw or experienced to something new. But if you never saw an agremotizan, you cannot compose something new with it. And neither, if you never saw a platypus. But the very moment you saw one just for a second you can compose a whole world around it. Homo Sapiens is at least a super composer.

How we compose new ideas

With every experience we have, even before we are born, our brain is busy to look for similar experiences and creates relations. The brain ranks and orders all these experiences and while we have it looks if it can create a composition with other experiences. If it makes sense based on a good match with previous problems or needs it may present the composition right away – we call that an idea flash. But the same idea could be created by simply seeking for a solution for any given problem. Our brain looks for similar situations and may present an idea. This mechanism is typically fast as for the past 300,000 years we needed fast decisions in case of an danger or other emergencies. Part of that process is that our two rather different halves of the brain are “negotiating” the solution. The key to that function is the so called corpus callosum. It connects the compositive right half with the logical right half and hopes to get a fast answer. In our world of innovation the answer is mostly: too complicated, too expensive, takes too much time, requires skills that “I” don’t have and so forth. It doesn’t need the conservative team to kill great ideas, you do it yourself faster than anybody around you. If the idea is simple, cheap, fast to realize it is a go. As a result it is a little improvement but never a real innovation. With all that said, another key aspect to that process are the “experiences” you collected. The more experiences you have, the more unique situations you have been in, the more images, videos, situations you saw the more options you will get.

Innovation is always a solution to current or future problem

To be innovative and think innovative you have to be perfectly aware of the problem you are trying to solve. Innovation is never just a flash in the brain and you create something that all of a sudden everybody wants but can’t solve any problem with it. It would take me too long to give you enough examples why. The automobile was developed out of sheer fun working on such a machine. It didn’t solve a problem immediately but over time people saw the advantage of a more flexible way to move around. But those types of “innovations” are one out of a million. The biggest and fastest successful have been solutions to problems. For instance the problem not trusting taxi drivers, not wanting to negotiating an obscure fair, not wanting to wait and having no clue how long it will take, not knowing how much the ride will be, not being able to always pay with a credit card, hoping the driver understood the destination address. And so forth. With an Uber you type in the destination, the drivers sees it, accepts online payment, no cash is exchanged, you know how many minutes it takes until the next uber will come, even who she is. You know exactly how much it is and some meaningful options for a tip are provided. That is innovation that gets pretty quickly successful. The solution was created after one of these painful taxi experiences a frequent traveler has over and over again. A very similar story is behind IKEA, AirBnB, Tesla, Facebook, Google, Nespresso, Stripe and Paypal and so forth.

Successful Innovation

Having an idea out of the blue, that leads to a billion dollar business, is less probable than winning the jackpot in the lottery. But you can build such a billion dollar and highly successful innovation, if you are intimately familiar with the problem and the dreams and wishes of your customers. IKEA, AirBnB, Tesla, Facebook, Google, Nespresso, Uber, Stripe, Paypal and so forth are perfect examples for teams who tried to crack a problem that so many people had or still have. All it takes is a good understanding of the full cycle innovations paradigm and a well structured discovery process, a solution design process, a concept realization process and an innovation to market process.

In any case, the first step, before starting consciously innovating, is understanding how our brain works and creates new ideas.


Happy innovative thinking







Since the industrial revolution, young and up and coming companies pushed their older and bigger competitors to the wall, but those established companies usually fought back with even better solutions. And we all learned “competition is great for a market” – but that is changing.

In the past 20 years, disruptive startups, like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Tesla, AirBnB und almost 100 more, pushed rock solid industry segments not only to the wall – they created businesses models, that most of their older competitors didn’t even understand.

The act of Innovation is changing the face of business
than during the industrial revolution.

How is AirBnB continuously growing market share and – the Hotel industry doesn’t even know how to counter the attack?  The older Hotel industry doesn’t even have an idea what AirBnB’s business model does to them. They thought is was the price ticket, but completely missed to learn what their customers actually want. All they thought they can do is aligning themselves with politician and lawyers and try to stop the innovator with legal attacks. Not exactly in the interest of innovation.

How could Amazon, grow almost infinitely large in nearly no time. On their growth path almost nobody event tried to compete with them. Amazon’s competitors did not understand the model they are working on – not even today (2020). Price? It has never been the real issue. Convenience and a sheer limitless product offering, initially just books then almost everything, was the key. Convenience in ordering, order tracking, returning, short delivery time, product validation by other buyers and so forth – yet, today e-tailer still argue that those things are not really so important :).

How could Tesla become the synonym for Electric Vehicles and at the same time, the extremely wealthy German car industry had nothing to offer. Still today all the big automakers struggle to understand what Tesla does. While trying hard to compete with a similar electric car, the old car industry did not understand that also here, it is not about the electric motor itself but an experience, a business model and a vision. These three core aspects are not addressed by their competition at all. And the worst of all: Almost no car manufacturer has even a faint of an idea what their customers dream of when it comes to future cars.

And we are just at the beginning. The next generation of startups in Asia, in the US and now also from Africa is no longer interested in bringing a now product or service to market unless it is truly disruptive. Live insurance for $10 a month in Nigeria, Free financial transactions in South Korea. Electro motor replacement kits for almost any car from the US. Credit analysis robots from Nepal. There are countless disruptors on their way to disrupt pretty much any industry. The good news: they will absorb a good portion of employees of their currently much bigger competitors. But the bad news for older employees and shareholders: there is nowhere to go.

Disrupting Innovation

Those who look for IT or Engineering to come up with better ideas will be the biggest losers. Innovation is not about the act of invention but the developing a solution that perfectly matches the needs and desires of a large global audience. Having a few geeks that secretly cooking up a new technology that should rock the customer is clearly not what innovation is about. Having a holistic solution that provides what customers dream about, including a business model, a service model, a delivery model,  a pricing model, a contract model and of course a cool product is what it takes to change the way an industry is conducting business. But that is still only the beginning. Bringing such a solution to global markets requires additional innovative concepts to really win. NOTHING of the above is created in any of the innovation labs around the world. Innovative startups don’t build fancy new products – they recreate entire industries.

In this new Innovation Age, innovative thinker bend the future of product development. They fuse innovative solutions and its marketing to one ‘strategy’. They see innovation finance as anything but a small token to let some geeks play. And the do all that way faster than any old style company.

The next decade of the 2020’s will unfold amazingly innovative solution that will make live easier, more comfortable, more secure and help humanity reach new levels. It will change the financial services and insurance industry, the transportation industry, the airline and aerospace industry, sustainable production industry, the automobile industry, the construction and building industry, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the energy industry, the healthcare industry, the real estate, renting and leasing industry, the entertainment industry, the retail, wholesale and trade industry, the tourism and hospitality industry, oil and gas production, even the technology industry itself. And that hits between 75% and 85% of every developed nation.

Consider joining our online events:



The Growth Accelerator and the brand new Entrepreneurs Academy are now open for applications.
Lots of news:

  1. Updated Growth Accelerator Program
  2. New Entrepreneurs Academy
  3. Partnership with World Innovations Forum

Updated Growth Accelerator Program

we added a new session INNOVATIVE THINKING based on our experience with “Disruptive Business Model Development”. It’s all about thinking out of the box, creative, big… but how do you actually shape your thinking process? In this new session, we teach you how to actually think innovative.
Admittedly – our all online accelerator program failed in emerging countries. Hence we are back to the former and highly successful “hybrid model”, consisting of a one week bootcamp and 10 weeks online program.

New Entrepreneurs Academy

Between fall last year and now we developed an all new Entrepreneurs Academy program. This is thought to be a precursor to the growth accelerator. It covers the key topics of entrepreneurship, company purpose, team development without a budget, business concept & funding, and so forth.

Partnership with World Innovations Forum

The partnership with the World Innovations Forum Foundation allows us to give stipends with substantial discounts, up to 99% to attendees from emerging and developing countries. It may also allow us to provide stipends for teams in developed countries with special conditions.




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