It's official. Twitter is a publicly traded company, and it will face constant pressure to innovate and grow. Let's look at how innovation methods can be applied to Twitter to find new opportunitues.
We'll apply the five techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking to Twitter. Our goal will be to create new features and innovations with the main Twitter platform as well as to create completely new applications related to Twitter.
To use S.I.T., we start with the components of Twitter:
3. People followed
We apply each of the five templates of S.I.T. one at a time to create new configurations. We work backwards to identify potential benefits or new markets with that configuration.
1. SUBTRACTION: Removing an essential component
- Virtual Product: Twitter account without the "tweeter" (person who owns the account).
- Concept: Your Twitter account pulls in and aggregates interesting factoids from around the social web and creates a tweet automatically. It "auto tweets."
- Potential Benefits: Creates a more dynamic Twitter presence, likely leading to more followers.
2. MULTIPLICATION: Making a copy of a component but changing it in some way
- Virtual Product: Create multiple Twitter accounts under one user.
- Concept: An app that allows the Twitter users to compose a list of accounts and distribute their tweets, choosing their release in one or more of their accounts.
- Potential Benefits: Broadens re-tweeting as it links to the Follower network of each account.
3. TASK UNIFICATION: Assigning an additional task to an existing resource
- Virtual Product: A Twitter client that automatically fetches content for you.
- Concept: An app that resides on your desktop, and it pulls in Twitter feeds along with any other feeds of interest (much like RSS).
- Potential Benefits: Convenient, one place to look for all your social feeds.
4. DIVISION: Dividing a product or component either physically, functionally, or preserving (maintaining characteristics of the whole)
- Virtual Product: Divide your Twitter followers into relevant groups (much like Google Circles).
- Concept: An app that sends instant messages to groups of friends in real-time. You can join in on conversations about topics that interest you, or start your own conversations.
- Potential Benefits: Keeps track of all your social web activity in relevant groups.
5. ATTRIBUTE DEPENDENCY: Creating (or breaking) dependencies between two internal attributes or an internal and external attribute.
- Virtual Product: The information pulled in about a follower depends on what other social networks they belong to.
- Concept: A browser plugin that allows you to view the social web profile for each of your friends simply by mousing over their name in your Twitter stream.
- Potential Benefits: Better informed about Followers.