2. Keep it simple. Don't over think it.
3. Write it down. Record problems when you experience them. The perfect idea comes later. I use my iPhone's Voice Memo recorder all of the time. I'd be pretty embarrassed if anyone listened to any of 'em...some are pretty stupid! Good ideas are fleeting...they appear and then whoosh, gone.
4. Pay attention to NEW problems, created by NEW inventions or trends. Look at all of the smartphone related gadgets on the market. In these cases, being first is paramount. Certainly doesn't take a genius to make a cool looking carrying case.
5. A problem is defined by one's perception. I don't perceive slicing apples to be a problem, but a stay-at-home mom with four kids, certainly does. Therefore, don't expect to solve a problem for everyone. Nothing is for everyone.
6. Keep your eyes open. Train yourself to be observant and perceptive. Put yourself in the shoes of someone else and find the problem that know one has solved.
7. Silence. No distractions. It takes total concentration to really be creative. No email. No texting. No TV. For me the best time to think is in the car. My thirty minute commute is always uninterrupted. Shutoff NPR and just think.
8. Be realistic. Just because you found a problem does not mean anyone will want your solution.