Pathway: The Path of Innovation

Now that you have an IDEA - its time to dig into a little research. This stage gives you a foundation to build your idea on. Look around see what others know about your idea. Has it been done? Can I just improve upon other's work? Am I venturing into a wild new frontier?

Here is a list of research tools that will help you in your research

Google Scholar Research Search Engine: https://scholar.google.com/intl/en/scholar/about.html

Research Project Organization: http://www.trello.com

Evernote for advanced note taking: https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/218176427-Evernote-for-Research



One of the key skills necessary to be successful in today's world is how you navigate the Internet. This concept of Find-Filter-Apply will help you make the most of your research

FIND  -- open up a new browser window and search for "Hydrogen Power Plant" and see how many results popped up in a fraction of a second.

  • This high level search is a great way to start - you might even find some general information that will help you mold your idea.
  • Unfortunately, you get to deal with 66,900,000 results related to Hydrogen Power Plant!


{ Now use your fishbone brainstorming chart to identify key topics you would like to "find" and search on that key term}


FILTER -- in your browser window search for "Hydrogen Power Plant" again but this time include "Nebraska"

  • We were able to filter out 66,147,000 results with just one additional word!
  • By using your fishbone to focus your search you can make your results more relevant


{ Now make one or two additions to your personal key word search and see the results }


APPLY -- Just finding results isn't enough in research. You need to dig in and mine nuggets of information that can help you develop and evaluate your idea

  • Click on the Sheldon Station Goes Hydrogen result from the "Hydrogen Power Plant Nebraska" search and see what you can learn about hydrogen
  • You will find a lot of great information so be sure to use some of the tools listed to collect and organize your research!

Knowing where to look is a great start. Knowing what key topics and filtering topics are is a great next step. Turning this research into a useful step of the innovation process take a little more.

Things you have to research to fully vet your idea include:


  • Your CONCEPT {fishbone}
  • Your CUSTOMER {who are you making this product or improvement for?}
  • Your COMPETITOR {Hey - don't reinvent the wheel. Learn from what others have done before}
  • Your COLLABORATION opportunities {who can help you with this concept}

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