Filters to strain ideas through to find the most applicable.
I've worked with start-ups, SMEs and corporates serving both the public and private sectors. I have 25 years of experience managing projects, programs, operations, engineering and technology-driven change and have served in both leadership and advisory roles internationally.
Here are some essential things to think about when prioritising ideas:
Why do it? | Does it align with vision, goals & values? | is it the most sensible next step (thinking holistically)? | is there something else with a better ROI | what's the opportunity cost (ie what can't be done if you do this)? | does this help remove critical uncertainties ie reduce risk? | is there an associated health, safety or environmental issue | when does it need to be completed? | will this help build momentum and commitment? | what are the dependencies? | can it be properly resourced? | are there clearly defined, measurable success criteria? | does this have the required level of executive support? | how well does it align with other initiatives? | do all key stakeholders agree on the emergent priorities?
Feel free to come back to me with questions. Also, if you have a particular context I can get more specific.
The key thing to ask is "which idea is going to create the biggest impact?"
There are plenty of ideas that may be "cool" but ultimately nobody really needs it so it probably won't have an impact. Segways for example fall into this category (though they are experiencing some success in the tourism industry). On the other hand there are some ideas that would appear to be pretty mundane and boring, but they fulfil a real need and end up becoming a great success. The paper clip is probably a really simple example of this.
Go out there and find out who the idea will benefit, speak to them and find out if it is really something that they need.
Good luck :-)
Since the goal is to maximize cash flow you have evaluate ideas based on the factors that will result in biggest return to you in the shortest amount of time.
First thing you have to evaluation is how much revenue does the idea have the potential to generate. This has a variety of sub categories. Like does it fill a need in the marketplace, are people willing to pay for it and how much are they willing to pay.
The next factor should be cost to deliver, both in terms of direct costs to produce the idea or service and second is how much cost will it require to manage the process. This second goes hand in hand with scalability. It's great to have a product or service that generates a high margin but if requires too much time to manage it is probably not a viable business idea.
There are other considerations as well, such as legal and logistics but I think the first two items will get you started in the direction you wan to go.