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Find Third Alternatives: Better Brainstorms

The third step in finding Third Alternatives (after Jump the Net and Write New Specs) is to Brainstorm. A brainstorm lets you build on top of each other's creativity to think of things that would never occur to either of you alone.

Here are a few tips for better brainstorms:


  • Set aside a block of time with no interruptions.

  • Find a relaxed, non-distracting environment.

  • Review your specs first, but accept and record all ideas without critique until you finish the brainstorm.

  • If you have a negative reaction to an idea, find the part you like in it and ask for more like it.

  • Invite others who have faced the same disagreement or experienced more of life to help if you get stuck.

  • Include a friend with odd or shocking ideas just to loosen up your own ideas.


Too many disagreements result from getting stuck on the first two options we can think of. Once we know what would make us both happy, brainstorming reveals so many more options for getting to this great place.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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