A Simple Tool to Help Design and Explore Bright Ideas

This simple tool will add more robustness to your top ideas and help you make better decisions about whether to pursue them and what the next steps might be.

A Simple Tool to Help Design and Explore Bright Ideas

This simple tool will add more robustness to your top ideas and help you make better decisions about whether to pursue them and what the next steps might be.

Matt Kelly

Matt Kelly

Matt Kelly is a Partner and Business Designer at Do Tank
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With the current public health crisis and its many implications, teams are forced to innovate on the fly, instantly adopt new ways of working remotely, and tap every ounce of creativity and capability that they have. You likely have many, many different options that you can test and pursue. This simple tool will add more robustness to the ideas you design. It will also help you make better decisions about whether to pursue them and what the next steps might be. I hope it helps – don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

The Idea Flip helps you design and think through newborn ideas and how they create value for your customers and organization. It also prepares you for the next stage of iteration by giving space to highlight assumptions and risks. It helps you rapidly build a story and analysis of whether your idea merits further investment of time and resources.

The Problem

There is a fairly large space in between the spark of an idea and a fully formed pitch. There is a gap between the scribbled sticky note and the completed business model (business plan, business model canvas, etc). While there are some great tools out there for building iterations of concepts, for the last few years we didn’t have anything that helped us easily get teams to a point where they could quickly make a case for why an idea merits further work. We needed something to bridge the gap between sticky note ideation and business model generation.

Our Solution

Necessity being the mother of invention (and visual tools being our tools of the trade), we designed a roughly organized flip chart structure to help teams add detail to early stage processes/products/solutions. This tool has evolved over many years of trial and is designed to outline ‘how the thing works’, ‘how it creates value’, and ‘what should be tested’.

It is called the Idea Flip. Intentionally simple in design and proportioned to a standard flip chart paper. It can be drawn by anyone to add robustness and structure to early stage thinking. The canvas has given structure to how physicians redesign rounds. It’s supported a marketing group in its efforts to amplify internal communications. It’s also helped a CPG company optimize packaging of its product. The potential applications are vast and wide.

When Should You Use It?

Some moments when you might want to unfurl a flip and take twenty minutes to work with it:

  • A colleague mentions a flash of inspiration that occurred to them
  • You have a wall of sticky notes (physical or digital) after a brainstorm
  • A competitor has launched a new offering that you want to examine
  • Existing ideas and solutions can use a quick reality check
  • You have to build a quick pitch 
  • The team is contemplating an adjustment to an existing process

This is all available free of charge. To download the tool, read about useful applications, get a lot more context than is given here, and watch a video on how it works, please visit The Idea Flip page.

Please give the Idea Flip a try – we would love to hear use cases and feedback on how you have applied it, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.


As the world starts to open back up, are you looking to hit the ground running with a great idea? We are currently offering Free 90-minute Remote Whiteboard Sessions to help companies and individuals make the most of our current situation. It’s obligation-free, so let us know how we can help!

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