Crazy 8 : 8 minutes to boost your creativity

As a PM, our primary concern is to satisfy our users. We interview them, gather their feedback through customer service, analyze data on their usage of our product… All of this is done to understand their problems. Once the problems are well identified, the ideation phase begins, which is the phase where we aim to find a solution. For this, we have once again many different approaches: looking at the competition, relying on our experience… But all these methods have the limitation that they use our personal filter (our habits, our knowledge, etc.): how can we quickly generate new ideas without being constrained by our own knowledge?

This is exactly what the “Crazy 8” workshop allows us to do, inspired by Google’s design sprint Kit.

The goal

Crazy 8 is a brainstorming method designed to generate numerous ideas in a very limited time. It encourages the rapid generation of innovative ideas with a playful aspect.

Choose one or more issues you want to address and on which you want to generate new ideas. Ideally, do this on an issue you have already delved into through a discovery session (with user interviews, etc.). Compile all the conclusions from your discovery into a report that you will share with all participants before the brainstorming session. Such a report generally helps clarify the following:

  • The purpose of your discovery work (objective, methodology used, current state…)
  • Key findings (even if they are previously known, it aligns everyone on the same basis)
  • Emerging discoveries: anything you may not have expected to find, but clues suggest it’s worth exploring in the future
  • Issues or blockers

One point of attention you should have is to clearly define the problem or problems you will brainstorm, without directing toward a solution.

Similarly, try to define the root cause of the issues you want to address. For example, prefer a formulation like “Users do not use this feature because they do not trust my product” rather than simply “Users do not use this feature.”

The workshop

Plan for at least 2 hours, more likely 3 if some participants have never engaged in such an exercise before.
Invite individuals from various departments within your company (Marketing, Growth, CRM, Support, Brand, etc.). The more people you invite, the more diverse ideas you’ll have, but the longer the session will be. A group of 6 to 8 participants (in addition to the facilitator) is generally sufficient to generate a variety of ideas without taking up too much time.
Quickly present your report (don’t dwell on it; participants are expected to have already read it), remind them of the main conclusions, and the problem or problems you’ve identified.
Then, introduce the workshop to the entire team.
Each person takes a sheet of paper and a fine-tipped marker, then folds/draws to create 8 sections on the sheet.

The purpose of the workshop is simple: Set a timer for 8 minutes, and each person must draw 8 solutions that address their specific issue, at a rate of 1 solution per minute. The facilitator is responsible for the timer and indicates to participants when they should move on to the next idea.

Some important rules to emphasize to participants:

  • No limitations (technical, physical, financial) to consider: all ideas, including the most unconventional or surprising ones, are welcome.
  • Drawing is mandatory: any solution not represented in the form of a drawing will not be accepted (reassure participants that the quality of the drawing will not be judged; it is merely a tool to stimulate creativity).
  • Aim for 8 different ideas: focus on quantity, not quality.
  • Have fun: there are no limits, so let your imagination run wild and enjoy yourself; outlandish or impossible ideas can be a source of inspiration for real ideas later on.

Once the time is up, each participant briefly presents all their ideas to everyone.

Of course, some ideas may appear several times among participants, but that’s not an issue.

One significant advantage of such a workshop is the diversity of solutions proposed. Since each person comes from a different department, their ideas will often be inspired by their own areas of expertise. Moreover, you benefit from everyone’s creativity; for example, developers may tend to propose rational solutions, whereas individuals in communication roles might present less down-to-earth ideas.

Finally, one of the huge benefits lies in involving various departments in the product:

  • You provide visibility to your profession and the progress of your project.
  • You share your discoveries about users with departments that may be less accustomed to interacting with them.
  • You allow everyone to feel involved in product decisions.

Ultimately, it will be easier to request the involvement of other departments in the chosen solutions, as they will have participated in the workshop and proposed some of the solutions themselves.

And now, what should I do with all of this ?

As you can imagine, the goal is certainly not to implement all the imagined solutions; a classification task must be undertaken to choose only the best one or ones (some ideas can be combined to maximize impact). However, this selection process should not take place during the workshop: all generated ideas serve to fuel your imagination. It is then the responsibility of the entire Product and Tech team to collectively decide which ideas will be prioritized, considering technical feasibility, complexity, cost, etc.

Moreover, another strength of this workshop is to feed your imagination, even for upcoming features that may have nothing to do with the initial issue. Personally, I, for instance, have taken one of the ideas proposed during a Crazy 8 but applied it to a completely different problem than what it was originally intended for.


  • Write a report to share with participants before the workshop to present
    • the goal of the discovery
    • the main findings
    • the main identified blockers
  • The Crazy 8 workshop is a brainstorming session
    • with about 6 to 8 people from different services
    • where each participant draws 8 different ideas in 8 minutes, for each identified issue
    • where no limit exists for the suggested ideas (technical, cost…)

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