Varun Mallapragada Profile picture
Jan 11 22 tweets 11 min read
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

🧵 Framework for generating high-impact ideas:
Cultivating ideas is a process.

You have to build a system to cultivate impactful ideas consistently.

I will share a 4-part framework that you can use to cultivate ideas.

1. Idea generation
2. Idea selection
3. Idea validation
4. Idea implementation Image
In this thread, I'll dive into "Idea Generation" & describe a simple framework that you can implement right away!

The following threads will cover the remaining 3 parts to cultivate ideas.

Lateral thinking is key - first, diverge & then converge.

Overview: Image
1/ PROBLEM - a question proposed for a solution, a matter stated for examination or proof.

Reframe problems into well-defined & clear "How might we.." statements.
This prioritises intention over tech/process.

But 1st, it is very important to be at the right problem level.
Example problem:
Our customers don't order pizza.

Ask "what's stopping you?" to get to the real problem.

What's stopping customers from ordering pizza?
- stale toppings?
- bad sauce?

Problem statement:
How might we ensure that the pizza toppings are fresh?
Use the 5 Whys framework to get to the real problem.

Why don't customers order pizza?
- Unhealthy?
- Expensive?

Problem statement:
How might we help customers pick our pizza?

@dklineii explains this framework well:
@dklineii Is narrow better or broad? Depends on your goal.

Validate the problem with at least 5-10 people who face it, understand the nuances.

Frame a proper "How Might We" statement.

Don't proceed until you have the problem statement figured out properly, spend enough time!
@dklineii 2/ DIVERGE - quality through quantity.

This phase is all about avoiding errors of omission.

Follow as many lines of thought as possible to generate a large list of solutions to the problem.

Expand & go wider. Don't exclude anything.

All ideas are good ideas.

Defer judgment. Image
@dklineii To diverge & generate ideas, use:

1. Mindmapping - Branch out with relations

2. SCAMPER model - Which elements can you Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Minify/Magnify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse?

3. Business model canvas - What can you add/remove in each box of the BMC?
@dklineii You now have a huge list of ideas.

You've effectively improved the odds of having a great idea somewhere in that list.

The point is to ensure that you get high quality & impactful ideas by forcing a high quantity of ideas.

Hence, quality through quantity.
@dklineii 3/ CONVERGE - filter down

This phase is all about avoiding errors of commission.

Think of this stage as a funnel.

Apply judgement & find relations between ideas.

Analyse your list of ideas & bucket similar ideas into categories.
@dklineii Go through each category & score every idea against:
- meeting user needs
- effort to develop
- impact on the customer

Involve decision makers & discuss the top 10-20 ideas.
Feedback is key.

Pick ideas, maintain a list & review it every 3-4 months.
@dklineii KEY POINTS for making this process effective:

1. Diversity in the team is extremely useful.

Assemble people with different:
- perspectives
- problem-solving styles
- mindsets (introverted & extroverted)
- proximity to the problem
- expertise (cross-functional & subject matter)
@dklineii 2. While diverging, stop saying things like:
- we already tried that
- our competitors failed at it
- it's ahead of its time
- seems complicated, etc

3. Define the thought process - accommodate people who ideate within constraints & without.
@dklineii 4. Use an outside facilitator to eliminate bias & enable thinking.

5. Communicate upwards about the idea generation system.

Present your ideas properly to get buy-ins:
- Explain the problem
- Explain the process
- Introduce selected ideas/solutions

Tip: Lobby votes beforehand.
@dklineii Perspective is important to come up with high-impact ideas.

Check out the following threads:

1. Using the Socratic Method to reclaim your curiosity, stimulate critical thinking, and establish first principles by @SahilBloom:

@dklineii @SahilBloom @anafabrega11 3. Why do smart product people & teams often build products with mediocre or no impact? by @shreyas:

@dklineii @SahilBloom @anafabrega11 @shreyas Tools I've used & can recommend for this process:

@NotionHQ - Build pages to accommodate your specific requirements.

@MiroHQ - Great templates to enable creative & critical thinking.

@aha_io Ideas - Advanced, expensive & extremely powerful for large teams.
This thread on idea generation is the 1st stage of a 4-part framework to cultivate ideas.

Follow me for more threads on concepts that will help you become a better entrepreneur.

If you found this useful, RT the 1st tweet to share it with others.


1. Define the problem statement clearly & at the right level.

2. Diverge to generate a large list of ideas.

3. Converge to select specific ideas.

4. Maintain the list & review it every 3-4 months.

5. Communicate your ideas properly.
Once you generate ideas, you need to select the right ones to implement.

Here’s the 2nd part of the 4-part framework on Idea Cultivation:

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More from @varunm30

Mar 8
Storytelling has the power to change the world.

I've realised this time & again in the last 9 years of helping startups scale.

🧵 Framework to become a masterful storyteller:
"Stories are a communal currency of humanity."

Through stories, you can use the power of persuasion to bring teams, investors & customers over to your side.

For a startup, storytelling is essential to succeed.

Every startup needs to tell these 3 stories:

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Your mind does play games with you!

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As an entrepreneur, you make high-risk decisions while you multitask, and hence are more susceptible to cognitive biases than others.
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What's worse? Most entrepreneurs tend to rely on their hunches and intuitions when making decisions! Hence, it's really important to keep yourself in check & build better habits.
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Jan 16
India had 43 unicorns in 2021 alone!!
Total unicorns in India is now at 83.

The Indian startup ecosystem is on 🔥.
#NationalStartupDay #StartupIndia

🧵Here's why India is the best country for entrepreneurs right now:
Why India?

1. India is the fastest growing economy in the world.

Acc to BCG, India is expected to be the 3rd largest consumer economy by 2025.

Indian middle class is >350Mn people & it drives consumer spending.

B2C unicorns (27) are ~double the number of B2B unicorns.
2. India is the 3rd largest startup ecosystem in the world.

A massive high-potential ecosystem of science, technology & innovation!

India added 43 unicorns in 2021 alone, another ~40 expected in 2022!

Bengaluru in top 20 Global Start-up Ecosystems & Delhi in top 40.
Read 12 tweets
Jan 13
Do you know what makes Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft & Tesla the top 5 innovative companies?

They have extraordinary processes to select & develop the right ideas to implement!

🧵 Framework for selecting high-impact ideas:
Cultivating ideas is a process.

You have to build a system to cultivate impactful ideas consistently.

This framework is the 2nd part of the 4-part "Idea Cultivation Framework".

Check part 1 on idea generation:
In this thread, I'll dive into "Idea Selection" & describe simple methods that you can implement right away!

The following threads will cover the remaining 2 parts to cultivate ideas.

At a high level, you must measure ideas in terms of:
1. Effort
2. Impact
3. Context
Read 19 tweets
Jan 2
Improve your "information diet" in 2022.

Do what 99% of people don't do - control what you consume & take care of your mental health.

🧵 22 high-signal profiles to follow on Twitter for entrepreneurs:
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Aadit also teaches people to write & leverage Twitter for growth via Maker's Mark.

He's been a great support in recent times!

My favourite tweet:
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My favourite tweet:
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Dec 11, 2021
We all thought Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) are a great way to get started, right?!

Apparently, not everyone agrees!!

🟢 MVPs are the best to prove potential ROI
🔴 MVPs lower the quality curve of the ecosystem

🧵 So, here is what should you do with your MVP:
1st line of thought:

🟢 MVPs are great because they help entrepreneurs launch without investing a lot of money and time before knowing if the product would ever sell.

They help understand the potential to make good on your investment (time, effort & money).
2nd line of thought:

🔴 MVPs lower the quality curve of the ecosystem because they deliberately offer substandard products.

You mostly find incomplete products in the name of MVPs. This brings more shitty solutions into the mix.
Read 12 tweets

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