Research shows that by not doing stimulus mining in advance of a brainstorming session you decrease your odds of success by 70%. People often think I know my industry, I know my competitors what else could I possibly need to know?  Actually, a lot.  To have the ability to create truly game changing innovations stimulus mining is a must.  It is very important to take the time and spend the time to learn more -- it isn't optional. Learning more will also, help to eliminate fear when tackling new ideas and projects.

When prepping for a brainstorming session there are three types of mining:

Classic Mining

Almost all companies and people do classic mining.  What is going on in my market?  What are my competitors doing?  Do my customers have challenges that need to be solved?  

Tech Mining

When mining for technology wisdom and patent mining are important.  What is the latest academic research in my industry? Do we own patents that can help my challenge?  Does someone else have a patent I can purchase that might help me?

Stretch Mining

Where is the future of my industry?  What are other industries doing that might help me?  I work in pharmaceuticals and have a foaming issue - has anyone in the beverage industry solved a foaming issue?