Creativity technique “Startup”: a total business upgrade in half an hour


Sometimes, in order to move on, you need to look at everything that happens with a fresh look. But saying and doing are two different things. What methods will help dispel the dregs and find new lines of business?

Among Einstein’s brilliant statements there is such a phrase: “It is impossible to solve a problem at the same level at which it arose.” All of us, faced with new challenges, must first of all overcome the limitations of our own views.

There are many ways to get beyond the problem. Someone is trying to find useful information on the net, someone is looking for advice from the pros, someone attends trainings. At the same time, most people believe that the more serious the problem, the more seriously you need to approach the search for its solution. What forces, means and time should be expended in proportion to the importance of the task. After all, we are not playing spillikins, after all!

The best way to make mistakes

What is the main mistake of a serious and rational approach to solving problems? The fact that she does not allow, at least a little – to play. As the well-known Dutch philosopher, historian and researcher of culture Johan Huizing said, play is a concept of a higher order than the concept of seriousness. If seriousness seeks to exclude play, then play, on the contrary, easily includes seriousness.

What is the point: if you take your serious heavy task to an easier level, the level of the game, then you can work with it in a completely different way. In reality, you have no right to make a mistake, but in the game – please, as much as you like. In reality, you focus on the result, but in the game you see and live the process. Finally, in reality you think endlessly, you are in a stationary state, and in the game you act and take risks.

The technique of creativity called “Startup” is designed just to translate the solution of serious problems to the game level. It takes place in the format of a board game, which can be played both with a company of like-minded people or with a work team, and on your own. The essence of the game is to come up with a solution to a specific business problem (your own, from life) or even create a business idea from scratch. The playing field is a set of cards with non-banal hints, after passing which you fully consider your task from six different angles.

How does the Startup game work?

  1. Depart from your request. The task of the first stage is to accurately formulate your request. This request can be anything, it is entirely up to the players. For example, create a promotion for a new shampoo or increase attendance at a beauty salon. If the task has a weakly expressed specificity, for example, is to come up with a business idea from scratch, then the process starts a little differently. In this case, the most interesting areas of activity are displayed, which are taken from the unconscious. The basis for choosing the direction of the future business is the needs of the soul, inclinations, existing skills. It is with this baggage that the main stage of the game begins. 
  2. Go through all stages of idea development. During the game, the participant or participants must go through 6 stages of turning a task or a chosen direction into a full-fledged business idea. To do this, they give answers to 36 questions that reveal the strategy for achieving the task from different points of view. These questions relate to the main aspects of the task: the formation of the concept of a product / service, determining the target audience, places and ways of contact with it, creating an advertising campaign, easy entry into the market and subsequent scaling of the idea.                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  3. Use hints. The participant finds the answer to any question with the help of auxiliary cards “1000 ideas”. The authors of the game, which include psychologists, entrepreneurs and marketers, made sure that every step of the player gave him a whole stream of associations. Each card contains 7 unique stimuli-tips for creating ideas at once: an imperative title, a metaphorical picture, a textual description of the strategy that reveals the meaning of the title, tips and tricks for the practical implementation of this strategy, as well as a trend (an example of the implementation of the strategy in the modern world) and reference to the technique of creativity. Agree, it is unlikely that in a normal situation you will think of considering your task from the position of a provocateur or a moralist, a foreigner or a craftsman, a lover of thoroughly following instructions and laws, or a madman embodying chaos. You can look at the same problem from 156 angles,     
  4. Build a plan of action starting today. The process of building an idea ends with a plan of action. The last question is: “What can I do today?”. Usually, by this moment, all participants complete the game with burning eyes and by the evening they begin to take their first steps towards their dream.

What is the result

Passing the game will take you a maximum of an hour and a half, and if you already know the rules, it can take only half an hour. During this time, you will be able not only to come up with a new business or advertising idea, but also to think it over globally, to understand how it is embodied. Only after going through the process of translating the idea into a game version, you will be able to understand where to put your efforts in reality, what should be given the most attention, and what should not be feared.

Interestingly, in 20% of cases, participants unexpectedly come to the conclusion that the original goal was formulated by them incorrectly. And they want, in fact, something completely different. This is another useful feature of the game – it allows you to better understand the true goal.

The game “Startup” can be played as many times as you like, I have starting requests. The method is convenient for comparing ideas, allowing a deeper understanding of the differences in seemingly equal order options. Conveniently, this creativity technique does not require the mandatory presence of other players. If you need to create a personal project, you can easily work on your own.


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