The PRISM Framework for Idea Generation.


There is nothing new under the sun, it is not what you do but how it is done. Every idea, product, innovation, and invention was once a thought in someone’s mind. Every product is an amalgamation, recombination, remix, mashup of a previous idea. New York Times bestselling author Austin Kleon once noted “Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas”.

It all starts with a single idea in the mind of the innovator/entrepreneur. By paying attention, changing the way you look at things, becoming curious, observant, experimental, and tinkering with ideas. We all have it in us. As American self-help author Wayne Dyer puts it “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. - Wayne Dyer

In their book, Cracking the millionaire code: Your key to enlightened wealth, authors Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the soul) and Robert G. Allen (Nothing Down) describes a model framework for idea generation. They referred to it as The PRISM Code. They write:

Cracking the millionaire code

Every object you see this very instant has made is making or will make someone a fortune. In fact, the seed idea for every physical object around you - a table, a chair, a glass, a lightbulb - has probably been responsible for hundreds if not thousands of fortunes. Select any object within 10 feet of you. How about that ordinary telephone over there. It was once just a thought in the mind of Alexander Graham Bell.

That original “telephone” idea has morphed in a thousand directions, from wall phones to cordless phones, to cell phones, to satellite phones, to internet phones. Each variation comes in different colors, sizes, shapes, and with ever more useful features - with PDAs, digital cameras, and MP3 players, not to mention accessories such as carrying cases, identification stickers, straps. And different services - insurance, answering messaging, phone coverage, e-mail, repairs, directory assistance. Plus a variety of information products to teach us how to use them - manuals, checklists, instruction books, information exchanges, internet websites.

The PRISM Framework

PRISM is an acronym for Primary Products, Related Products, Information Products, Services, and Media.

  • Primary Product: refers to the primary product e.g automobile.
  • Related Product: to create additional or related products to enhance the primary product e.g radar detector or car polish
  • Informational Product: to add information products or processes to support the primary product such as maps, owner’s manuals, training systems, directional signage etc
  • Services: to add services to support the product such as insurance, car detailing, repair, maintenance, advertising etc.
  • Media: to create media - experiences, entertainment, or personalities that enhance the product e.g car stereo system.

Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact. And that is everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it-you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. - Steve Jobs

Look around you, every product, book, gadget, app, website, business, multinational, innovation and invention; all started as a tought in someone’s mind. The PRISM framework is a great tool for re-imagining and getting inspiration for ideas.

Have you got a business idea that you want to bring to the world? It can be daunting starting out in business, we have been there. That is why we created our accelerator program(s) to help you create something great. Join our 12-week cohort of tech startups for Black founders by Black industry experts.

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