The 6 Questions That Lead To New Innovations

There are six questions, that famous innovators have consistently asked and answered to generate ideas that can lead to new innovations:

  • What could I look at in a new way? (Steve Jobs looked at the computer in a new way, leading to the Mac and the personal computer revolution.)
  • What could I use in a new way? (Paleolithic humans turned fire from a scourge into a means of cooking, heat, light, and protection.)
  • What could I recontextualize in space or time? (The Sumerians moved language from spoken to written form, expanding its power and reach.)
  • What could I connect in a new way? (Thomas Edison connected the light bulb to the electrical grid, leading to electrified cities.)
  • What could I change, in terms of design or performance? (Nearly 3 million years ago, the world’s first “innovator” transformed a simple rock into a stone hand-axe.)
  • What could I create that is truly new? (In 1776, American colonists created the first “intentional” nation, based on specific abstract principles.)
Co.EXIST-Author Sarah Krasley wrote about it at
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One Response to The 6 Questions That Lead To New Innovations

  1. bill.mitchell says:

    Thanks for this, Dieter. Really helpful way of looking at things. I’m in Detroit for most of February working on this project: (see also for our approach to sustainability), and these six questions are provoking lots of interesting stuff for us.

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