Updated: Jul 7, 2020
There are four kinds of ideas.
Ideas of a business.
Ideas of a problem or the effect of a thing.
ideas of the function a thing.
Ideas about the attributes of a thing.
Further, there are three types of ideas according to motivation:
Random idea. (Problems, product) - it is like seeing a sand grain.
A solution invented for people you know - it is seeing foundation rocks.
A business concept - it is like seeing a beautiful mountain and the road that leads to it.
If you take the analogy of a universe, the first kind is like galaxy. The second kind is like solar system. The third kind is like a planet. The fourth kind is like ponds on the planet.
Most idea thinkers come up with low level ideas. For example, if a screw driver is a tool, then there are many many attributes. For example, a screw drive that makes a sound. A screw drive that is nanoscopic (size), a screw drive that is diamond. They are all screw drivers. Their jobs are all the same: to tighten things!!
So tighten things is the FUNCTION. When you tighten something, it does not fall apart, that is the effect. So you can start a company called "FASTEN", and focus on tightening solutions.
This is Siebel's YC talk. He made the following points:
Don't make a list of ideas. Make a list of problems.
Find your relation to the problem. Solving a problem and building an MVP is very hard - so you need to sustain your drive and ask for feedbacks - relations help.
Find the angle of the problem that you understand and others don't understand.
In fact, a list of problems and problem solving ideas are not necessarily going to be used or effective. Real entrepreneurs start with value giving, not problem solving.