A few of us in the SAMBA program have spent the last week stumped by a puzzle created by thinkFun. The puzzle is brilliantly designed to force you to look at it a certain way, to make a set of assumptions. We spent hours following what appeared to be the rules. But, only by questioning those rules and challenging your core assumptions are you able to solve the puzzle.
Many assumed that people wouldn't buy shoes online. You had to go to a shoe store because that was the only place to try shoes on. Tony Hsieh questioned those assumptions, added free shipping both ways and a one year money back guarantee. It changed the way people looked at buying shoes and Zappos was born.
By questioning our basic assumptions and changing the way we look at a problem we can often uncover incredible opportunities.