Ideas into Action™ – Discover

Overview > DiscoverShape > Prioritize > Act

The toughest part of innovation is accurately predicting what customers want, need or will pay for. Even if you ask them, your customers probably can’t explain to you what they truly want. And the typical brainstorming sessions, surveys or focus groups just don’t produce actionable results. That’s where Innovation Games comes to the rescue. Playing Innovation Games® like Speed Boat, Prune the Product Tree or Product Box with your customers enables you to tap into your customers’ needs and desires through the magic of gameplay. The game mechanics –and fun factor – deliver clearer more accurate insight, ensuring that you deliver breakthrough products and services, faster and more efficiently.

Discover in Action

Every day people around the world are using Innovation Games to discover new market opportunities, process improvements, product innovations, and more.

Discover Market Problems & Opportunities

How do two successful tech companies discover new market opportunities from their joint customers? Through Innovation Games®. NetApp collaborated with SAP to create a joint “Discovery Day” for their shared customers, using a combination of Spider Web, Speed Boat, Product Box and other Innovation Games. Through gameplay, the customers and staff from the two companies identified and shared best practices for managing NetApp-SAP environments, along with identifying new product development opportunities in data center Dev/Test and Disaster Recovery.

Uncover Customer Needs

What do white boxes, stickers, glitter glue and magic markers have to do with discovering how a bank can better serve its customers? Product Box.’s Dimitry Laier recently used the Innovation Game Product Box on an engagement with the Russian financial institution Sberbank. Their goal was to discover how Sberbank with a goal of discovering how Sberbank could become the best bank in the world. Participants were the bank’s staff and community members and customers. Read the translation of Laier’s post or check out the final Product Boxes here.

Reinvigorated Retrospectives

Bellevue, WA-based Imprev, an ASP serving the real estate market, used the Innovation Game Speed Boat to circumvent three of the anchors that drag down the effectiveness of retrospectives: monotony, lack of action and quiet majority. Imprev’s Steve Hamilton had their resident Flash Designer draw a picture of a boat on a whiteboard and the product development team added anchors representing items that needed to be worked on by the group. The game’s results surprised and pleased the team, since a previously unsung item, the team wiki, surfaced as a top priority. To read more, click here.

Collaborate to Discover

In-person or online, Innovation Games like Prune the Product Tree, Speed Boat and Product Box help you discover what your customers really want from your products or services. For a complete selection of online, in-person and instant-play Discover games, check out our handy Games Matrix.

Online & In-Person

Prune the Product Tree

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.28.23 AM

Prune the Product Tree is a great game for eliciting feedback from customers. This version is adapted for conference/event offerings.

Objective: Identify the kinds of benefits attendees of a conference, event or meeting received during and after the conference.
How to Play: Red Apples are benefits you expected – and got! Rotten Apples are benefits that you expected – but didn’t get. Presents are unexpected benefits that made the conference great.

Online & In-Person

Speed Boat

One of the 12 games that started it all. Read why it works here.

Objective: Identify what is wrong with your existing products and services.
How to Play: In this game, you have 25 anchors to share with your fellow players. Anchors represent what is preventing your product or service from being as successful as it could be. The game will help you keep track of just how bad each anchor is.


Product Box

Objective: One of the original 12 games that started it all, this in-person game helps you identify the most exciting
features of a product or service.

How to Play: Ask your customers to imagine that they’re selling your product at a trade-show, retail outlet or public market. Give them a few cardboard boxes and ask them to literally design the product box that they would buy. The box should have the key marketing slogans that they find interesting. When finished, pretend you’re a skeptical prospect and ask your customer to sell their box to you and your other customers. Who sells the best?

4 Responses to “Ideas into Action™ – Discover”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.