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An Innovative Idea Starts with a Question That Isn't Normal

Innovators, they start with a question.  Questions that are not normal.  They provoke the status quo.  They challenge the way things are.  They turn things a bit upside down.  And the way innovators do this is they’re first asking a series of questions around what’s going on in the situation. 

So it’s explain the territory to me and they’re asking questions around that.  And then they move to what might be by asking what if and how might and why not – just to open up and explore the world.  So one of the founders of Priceline.com told us about one of the questions that led to their creating that company.  

And it was what if we woke up tomorrow and we were legally prohibited from selling our products and services to our existing customers?  What would we do?  How would we redeploy our assets to a completely different customer base?  And that helped them go down a completely different path.  Steve Jobs was great at asking a completely non-constraining question which was what if money were no object, what would we do here?  And so sometimes it’s like opening up constraints.  Sometimes it’s creating constraints.  But it basically helps us see things differently. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

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