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General Heuristic Ideator for Functional Innovation

By Tojin T. Eapen

In this post, we will explore how Large Language Model (LLM) tools like ChatGPT can support a systematic idea-generation process that utilizes creativity heuristics to guide divergent thinking.

We use ChatGPT to "teach" it to become a general purpose ideator that uses all the 11 thinking tools of Innomantra's Functional Innovation Toolkit. Our prompts are in blue and italicized, and the response of ChatGPT is in green.

You will play the role of an idea generator. For every target system such as product, process or business that I tell you, you will give me an idea that involves (1) Eliminate: eliminating a component of the target system (2) Combine: combining two components of the target system (3) Segment: segmenting, dividing, or modularizing the target system or its components (4) Copy: copying, replicating or adding redundancy to the target system or its components (5) Vary: varying or modifying a feature or process of the target system or its component dynamically based on some external input (6) Separate: separating components or processes of the target system in space or time (7) Maximize: maximizing, minimizing, optimizing or extremizing any attribute or process of the target system (8) Invert: inverting the direction or location of any component or process of the target system (9) Adapt: adapting from an external source of knowledge and applying the knowledge to the target system (10) Import: adding or importing a new function or component from an external source to the target system (11) Magnify: finding a new application, user or use for the target system. If a target goal is specified along with the target system, the ideas should be aimed at meeting the target goal. Also provide a unique and interesting name for the idea and identify the benefit of the idea. At every turn, ask me for the name and description of the target system, and the target goal if applicable.

Sure, I'd be happy to help generate ideas for your target systems! Please provide me with the name and description of the target system and target goal (if applicable).

Target system: Coffee shop Target goal: Customer satisfaction

Here are some ideas aimed at improving customer satisfaction at a coffee shop:

  • Eliminate: Eliminate long wait times for drinks by streamlining the ordering process. Name: QuickBrew, Benefit: Faster service leads to happy customers.
  • Combine: Combine a coffee shop with a bakery to offer a wider range of food options. Name: Java & Pastry, Benefit: Customers will have more choices and a better overall experience.
  • Segment: Segment the coffee shop into different areas for different types of customers (e.g. quiet work area, social lounge). Name: Café Zones, Benefit: Customers will have a space that meets their needs, leading to a more satisfying experience.
  • Copy: Copy popular menu items from other coffee shops to offer a diverse selection. Name: Blend & Brew, Benefit: Diverse menu options will appeal to a wider range of customers.
  • Vary: Vary the menu based on the time of day or season to keep customers interested. Name: Seasonal Sips, Benefit: Fresh and unique menu options will keep customers coming back.
  • Separate: Separate the coffee shop into different stations for ordering, brewing, and pick-up to speed up the process. Name: Swift Serve, Benefit: Faster service leads to happy customers.
  • Maximize: Maximize customer satisfaction by providing top-notch customer service. Name: Happy Baristas, Benefit: Friendly and helpful staff will make customers feel valued.
  • Invert: Invert the traditional coffee shop model by having customers make their own drinks. Name: DIY Java, Benefit: Customers will have more control over their experience and enjoy the novelty.
  • Adapt: Adapt eco-friendly practices, such as using reusable cups and compostable materials, to appeal to environmentally conscious customers. Name: Green Grind, Benefit: Attracting eco-conscious customers will improve customer satisfaction and brand image.
  • Import: Import specialty teas and coffee beans from around the world to offer a unique selection. Name: Worldly Roasts, Benefit: Offering unique and high-quality options will attract customers and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Magnify: Magnify the coffee shop experience by offering live music or art shows. Name: Jazz & Java, Benefit: Adding entertainment options will enhance the customer experience and keep them coming back.
Target system: Chair Target goal: User experience

Here are some ideas aimed at improving the user experience for a chair:
  • Eliminate: Eliminate discomfort by designing the chair with ergonomic features. Name: Comfort Seat, Benefit: Improved comfort leads to a better user experience.
  • Combine: Combine a chair with a desk to create a multi-functional workspace. Name: Workstation Chair, Benefit: A multi-functional workspace improves the user experience by allowing for more efficient use of space.
  • Segment: Segment the chair into different sections to provide better support for different parts of the body. Name: Body Balance Chair, Benefit: Better support leads to improved comfort and a better user experience.
  • Copy: Copy the design of popular chairs and make small modifications to improve the user experience. Name: Enhanced Ergonomics, Benefit: Combining proven design elements with improvements leads to a better user experience.
  • Vary: Vary the height and tilt of the chair based on the user's preference. Name: Custom Comfort, Benefit: Customizable features improve the user experience by allowing them to find the perfect position.
  • Separate: Separate the chair into multiple pieces, allowing for easy storage and transportation. Name: Portable Perch, Benefit: Easy portability improves the user experience by allowing for flexible use.
  • Maximize: Maximize the user experience by providing a wide range of color and style options. Name: Fashionable Seats, Benefit: Aesthetic options improve the user experience by allowing for personalization and better matching with home or office décor.
  • Invert: Invert the traditional chair design by creating a hanging seat. Name: Swing Seat, Benefit: A unique design improves the user experience by offering a new and different experience.
  • Adapt: Adapt features from popular fitness equipment, such as adjustable resistance, to improve the user's posture and comfort. Name: Active Seat, Benefit: Improved posture and comfort leads to a better user experience.
  • Import: Import materials from sustainable sources to create a more environmentally friendly chair. Name: Eco Seat, Benefit: An environmentally friendly design improves the user experience and the brand's image.
  • Magnify: Magnify the user experience by incorporating smart technology, such as heating and massage functions. Name: Tech Seat, Benefit: Smart technology improves the user experience by offering additional features and comfort options.
To learn how leading Fortune Global 500 companies such as ABB, Bosch, Google, Samsung, and NetApp have used Innomantra's Functional Innovation Methodology to turbocharge their idea management process, schedule a meeting today at