Today’s Book Brief: A More Beautiful Question

Those who ask the best questions come up with the most innovative and successful ideas. Warren Berger gives us an elegant 3-step process to get better at asking them in his book, A More Beautiful Question.

The first stage is “why”, and it has to do with seeing and understanding the world in a different way. For instance, Edward Land was prompted by his daughter to ask the question: “Why not design a picture that can be developed right away?”

The second stage is “what if”, and it’s when you start looking for possible solutions. For instance, Walt Disney asked himself “what if this amusement park could be like a movie, brought to life?” Asking as many of these what if questions as possible will lead to the best results.

Finally, the “how” stage puts the best “what if” scenarios into action. For instance, people used to carry their suitcases instead of rolling them. Bernard Sadow — a luggage company executive — saw a large machine being moved on a skid with wheels, and asked himself “how might we put wheels on these suitcases?”

So there you have it, A More Beautiful Question in 60 Seconds.

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