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[Aaron’s note: this is a guest post by Scott Krajca, a highly talented friend and collaborator of mine.  I’m a believer in rapid prototyping, whether of ideas, tools, products or even businesses.  When Scott told me about the practice of TryStorming, I asked him to write it up!  I’ve noted below a couple of points that I think are especially important.]

When I was a manufacturing and product development engineer at The Boeing Company, I learned a powerful process called TryStorming from ex-Toyota executive who had perfected the art of rapid prototyping and manufacturing. After becoming a believer in this process I also quickly began to see how a lot of the principles and elements in TryStorming could be applied to other businesses outside of design and manufacturing.

TryStorming is a combination of quick brainstorming melded with rapid prototyping. Within a business, the prototyping is done in a way where you spend the least amount of money possible and yet repeatedly simulate your ideas until you have worked all of the bugs out. This is a big change in business philosophy since our typical process is brainstorm, narrow the list down to one idea, put a big budget and schedule together and then hope everything works out to plan. The Japanese philosophy is :

  1. Come up with at least seven ideas through brainstorming/sketching
  2. If needed, narrow them down to your top three ideas
  3. Simulate, simulate, simulate (or Try, try, try) – their philosophy is to fail as early and as often as possible
  4. Morph or combine ideas until you reach an optimal outcome
  5. Put the concept into your business system and repeat the process as needed

Another key ingredient to the TryStorming process is the perspective an individual or team holds while brainstorming. In most of our work environments we are taught to be conservative, “smart”, “right”, risk-averse and yet creative at the same time. Think about how people at work walk around with their “work” hats on. Some people are completely different at work than in their private lives. Unbelievably, the Japanese have found a way to play and have fun while creating amazing ideas that reduce time and cost.

During the brainstorming process the idea is to hold the following perspectives and to sketch your ideas (try not to use words):

  1. Create from your child-like self (the part of you that dreams big and does not understand traditional rules and boundaries). The consultants used to tell us that if your boss doesn’t laugh at you it is not a good idea.  [Aaron: Yes!!!]
  2. Look to nature for inspiration. See if there are qualities or characteristics that will help your design, branding, messaging or process. [Aaron: Yes!]
  3. Steal shamelessly. This is a very obvious quality the Japanese have adopted, but why reinvent the wheel? [Aaron: Yes!!]

Whether you are a business just looking for a new way to create together or are looking for a practical, yet fun way to reduce costs and optimize an existing or new process, TryStorming can be an immensely useful tool for your company or work team.

Scott Krajca was a manufacturing engineer for The Boeing Company for nine years. He is currently a certified professional and business consultant specializing in personal development for executives and product development for companies. He is a graduate of the CTI Co-Active Leadership program and is also a certified ropes instructor. Scott has also launched a new company called Wide Awake Media Group (

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2 Responses to “Better than brainstorming: “TryStorming””

  1. Jason A Johnson Says:

    I have been searching for a good synopsis of trystorming for Masters Degree work. Great breakdown in a simplified manner. Best description I have found and I especially enjoyed the creativeness remarks.

  2. Alexander Gabbard Says:

    Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up!

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