1, #16 - The Value of Extreme Questions
On Constraints - Estimated Read Time: 40 seconds.
How do you come up with completely different ideas? It’s easy to think of small, incremental, options. But an idea large enough to transform your situation requires a perspective shift. So, how can you prompt that kind of adjustment? One option: Ask extreme questions. Last year, serial entrepreneur (including 2 companies worth over $1B!) Jason Cohen suggested this approach and shared a list of examples for businesses. They cover everything from operations (‘What if we outlawed meetings?’) to marketing (‘What if we had no website?’) to general business strategy (‘What if we had to increase our price 10x?’ or “What externality has the potential to kill the entire company?”). While some of these scenarios open up possibilities by removing constraints (‘What would you do, if money were no object?’), most of them do so by adding limitations. I’ve often found this to be true: The way to get a bigger idea is to work with smaller constraints.
Insight inspired by: Jason Cohen’s essay, Extreme questions to trigger new, better ideas. And David Perell for sharing it in his Friday Finds newsletter.