Extreme Brainstorming Questions

Composition VII, Wassily Kandinsky

Composition VII, Wassily Kandinsky

The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong. — Francis Crick

A few prompts to trigger new, better ideas, by A Smart Bear

  • 10x prices: If you were forced to increase your prices by 10x, what would you have to do to justify it?
  • no Customers: If all our customers vanished, and we had to earn our growth and brand from scratch, what would we do?
  • no tech support: If you were never allowed to provide tech support, in any form, what would have to change?
  • maximize fun: What would be the most fun thing to build?
  • complete rip-off: If our biggest competitor copied every feature we have, how would we still win?
  • no time: What if we are forced to ship a full, completed MVP (or actually, SLC) new feature, in just two weeks, that would delight and surprise some fraction of our customers.
  • flipped business model: What if you were forced to charge customers in a completely different manner? The product isn’t free, but somehow you have to justify value (and costs) differently. If you’re usage-based, you’re forced to charge a flat monthly rate; if monthly with tiers, you’re forced to measure and charge daily with some formula.
  • no website: If you were not allowed to have a website, how would you still grow your business?
  • no meetings: What if you made your most introverted teammates’ dreams come true: No more synchronous meetings, ever again?
  • no customer contact: If we could never talk to our customers again, how would we figure out what to build?
  • cost is no object: What if it didn’t matter how unprofitable you were?
  • sociopathic ceo: What if you could change anything, regardless of what anyone thinks or feels?
  • mortal would: What externality has the potential to kill the entire company?
  • philanthropist: What if our only goal were to create the most good in the world, personally for our customers?
  • only one thing this year: What if you could only ship one thing this year?