For a startup studio, the equivalent of deal flow in a VC firm is the idea funnel. We have made it a part of our practice to continually generate ideas. We do this as an exercise over a period where we adopt a theme for the ideas to be generated.
As part of the exercise, everyone in the company has to generate 3 ideas daily and share it with the group. Our aim in doing this to get beyond surface ideas. Everyone has ideas and can usually state several almost immediately when asked for ideas. We refer to these as the surface ideas. We want everyone to go beyond these. We want to empty the idea tank daily and get people to continually fill it up. We want people to observe their daily lives and look for opportunities and problems that need to be addressed. Through such exercises, we are able to generate more than a thousand ideas in a month.
At the end of each exercise, we select several ideas to pursue further.
Here is a list of previously generated ideas.