So we all know that at the heart of creativity lie constraints. And one constraint I love is money.
I thought of this today as I read about a friend’s company who spent “tens of thousands of dollars” on legal fees just for their domain name. Maybe that was money well spent, but from personal experience I know legal fees are one of those line items that is almost always expensive, difficult to predict, and difficult to control once set in motion. For a start-up, this problem can be turned around into a creativity driver to say, “Here’s how much similar companies say they wished they had spent on legal fees. We’re going to stick to that. Let’s figure out how.”
Note that this is different than merely setting a limit on how much to spend. A simple cap could still allow for business-as-usual behavior that doesn’t generate any new solutions: “we did what we usually do until we ran out of money.”
A real design approach would involve experimentation.
With prototypes for solving legal problems.
Working with lawyers.
Measuring the costs of iteration and the opportunity costs.
I haven’t heard about anyone doing this yet; it’s one of those ripe areas for true business design innovation.