Monthly Archives: February 2018

Booknotes of Thinkertoys(Slice and Dice)


List the various attributes of a problem and work on one attribute at a time.

  1. comprehensive as possible
  2. quantity is more important at this point

Some common ways to describe attributes are descriptive, process, function, social, price and ecological.

Common descriptive attributes are: substance, structure, color, shape, texture, sound, taste, odor, space, and density.

Common process attributes are: marketing,  manufacturing, selling, function, and time.

Common social attributes are: responsibilities, politics, and taboos.

Common price attributes are: cost to manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and consumer.

For example:

Attributes of a “YouTube video”:

  1. story
  3. length
  4. actor
  5. production time
  6. style

To produce a better video, focus on each specific attribute and try to improve it.

Do audience like this type of story? Could I improve the views of this video?

How about the actor?  Could the video be delivered on time?

By examining the “video” as a separate attribute , we could move away from our stereotypic label of a video and come up with a better video.

Related article:

Booknotes of Thinkertoys(false faces)

Booknotes of Thinkertoys( false faces)

Creativity is not a privilege that somebody has. Everyone could be creative if he believes he was born this way and he could execute it. Thinkertoys introduces concepts and techniques that could improve your creative skills. The author divides these techniques into two parts, linear and intuitive.

Linear ones contain three groups. Group A reorganizes different information by listing, dividing and combining it to give you new entry points for solving problems. In this article, we introduce the “false faces” technique.


  1. write down your challenge
  2. list your assumptions
  3. reverse your assumptions
  4. try to solve it under this reverse assumption


For example

  1. my challenge: increase your organic reach and interactive rate for your Facebook Page
  2. my assumption:
  • organic reach decreases after the changing policy of facebook algorithm. Some corps start to focus on other social platforms.
  • too many advertisements
  • visitors comes by only for buying products
  • too many competitors on Facebook Page

3.reverse your assumptions

  • organic reach decreases after the changing policy of facebook algorithm. Some corps don’t focus on other social platforms
  • fewer advertisements
  • visitors come by not only for buying products
  • no competitor on Facebook Page

4. try to solve it under this reverse assumption

  • Maybe we should remain on the original platform due to fewer competitors.
  • We should generate content that matters to customers’ life.

“false faces” technique is an easy way to implement. And it could change our mindsets to propose different ideas.