- ¨Preparation: preparation is the background, experience, and knowledge that an entrepreneur brings to the opportunity recognition process. Just as an athlete must practice to excel, an entrepreneur needs experience to spot opportunities. Studies show that 50 to 90 percent of start up ideas emerge from a person’s prior work experience.
- ¨Incubation: incubation is the stage during which a person considers an idea or thinks about the problem; it is the “mulling thing over” phase. Sometimes incubation is conscious activity, and sometimes it is unconscious and occurs while a person is engaged in another activity. One writer characterized this phenomenon by saying that “ideas churn around below the threshold of consciousness.
- ¨Insight: insight is the flash of recognition- when the solution to a problem is seen or an idea is born. It is sometimes called the “eureka” experience. In a business context, this is the moment an entrepreneur recognizes an opportunity. Sometimes this experience pushes the process forward, and sometimes it prompts an individual to return to the preparation stage. For example, an entrepreneur may recognize the potential for an opportunity but may feel that more knowledge and thought is required before pursuing it.
- ¨Evaluation: Evaluation is the stage of creative process during which an idea is subjected to scrutiny and analyzed for its viability. Many entrepreneur mistakenly skip this step and try to implement an idea before they‘ve made sure it is viable. Evaluation is particularly challenging stage of the creative process because it requires an entrepreneur to take a candid look at the viability of an idea.
- ¨Elaboration: elaboration is the stage during which the creative idea is put into a final form: the details are worked out and the idea is transformed into something of value, such as a new product, service or business concept. In the case of new business, this is the point at which a business plan is written.