How to use someone’s business idea and make it better

Creativity is great for any business but sometimes we get stuck in our heads and need a little push or even a hard shove to get going. Borrowing ideas in this regard is in no way encouraging you to steal other people’s ideas but giving you a little push in the right direction. You know like when someone gives you a math formula rather than solving the math problem. It is then entirely up to you whether that formula leads you to the right answer or not. You’ll agree with me that not everyone with the right formula will arrive at the same answer; some will make a detour on the way by missing one figure or an entire step in a whole. This is why some fail and some pass despite having been taught the same thing.

Don’t copy or plagiarize. Simply borrow ideas, infuse your own creativity, and reproduce the now new and (at least slightly) different idea. How do you do this?

  • Take one part of the idea, brood over it and build on it to get your own distinct idea. Let that piece you ‘borrowed’ inspire you into productivity. Facebook and Whatsapp saw what Skype was doing, brooded over it and now we have both Facebook and Whatsapp video calls which has made the apps so much more entertaining. They didn’t just borrow the idea but built on it and made it work for them.
  • Explore other angles. The idea must have sparked up something in you and suddenly you can see bigger or different options. Take a different angle. Ayoola foods, took this option and while exploring other angles came up with the idea of making yam flour for easy preparation of pounded yam.
  • Break it down. Try to bring the idea down to tiny bits and pieces like construction blocks (the toy ones of course), and build back, this time from your own creative point of view. Wattpad after seeing how much people love reading and writing all genres of novels, took the idea from e-book reader, broke it down and came up with a platform that enables both reading and writing along with viable prizes to be won overtime.
  • Look at the bigger picture. Look beyond the immediate result of the idea because nothing is ever what it seems. When you get the bigger picture you’ll have a broader perspective and your own creativity will flow. Remember ‘ice-water’, those days when people would pour water in a white nylon bag and sell at N5, someone saw the bigger picture and started packaging in better sachets as ‘pure-water’. Someone else saw an even bigger opportunity and started bottling water hence the table water “bottle water’. Today different brands are coming up with different packaging but still selling the same idea.

Be as original as you can with a ‘borrowed idea’ to void breaking any copyright laws. The whole point of borrowing an idea is to build inspiration for your own ideas; just like stated earlier, a push in the right direction.