The Mashup Game

Coming up with ideas from a blank canvas is tough. This fun ideation exercise helps you come up with brand new ideas by mixing and matching things you already know.

What It's Best For

  • Brainstorming
  • Generating Ideas Quickly

Time Required

  • 15-30 mins15-30 mins

Required Materials

  • Blank Paper
  • Sharpie or Pen
  • Digital Whiteboard (if Remote)


  • Remote or In-person

Ideal Group Size

  • AnyAny

How to use or facilitate:

  1. Give all participants a blank sheet of paper or invite them to a Digital Whiteboard platform like Miro.
  2. Set the intention or objective for the exercise. What is it that you want to accomplish or create? For example, you can use a similar prompt to “imagine a new product that can benefit real people.” The best part is, you can choose your own adventure! Pick any objective that will help you get to the best end result.
  3. Next, draw or delegate 3 separate columns and choose a category theme for each. Label each column with this category. In the example below, we’ve selected Audience, Trends, and Technologies.

4. Set a timer for 5 mins, and ask the group to go column but column and list out as many examples that apply to that category as possible. The goal is to have as many options to choose from as possible, so let them fly! After 5 minutes is up, the group should have an exhaustive list like the example above.

5. Now it’s time to mash ’em up! Set another timer for 5 minutes, and have the group select one option from each column and group them together to create new ideas. For example, a new solution for (1) Single Parents that uses (2) Crowdsourcing to (3) create Robotics that will help them prep school lunches.

6. After 5 minutes is up, have each member present their top 1-2 ideas back to the group in no more than 1 minute. Now you have a roundup of fresh new ideas!

7. For an added bonus, give each member of the group 1-3 stickers and have them dot vote on their favorites. This will help the group collectively decide on the best ideas to bring to fruition.


The Takeaway:

There’s nothing worse than staring at a blank screen willing yourself to come up with ideas. This simple framework helps you parse out the process into 3 discreet steps to get to solutions more quickly and easily. If you need solutions or marketing ideas, are looking to pitch a new idea, or want to launch a new product, this may be the trick!

Need help facilitating your Mashup Game?

Book a 1:1 coaching session or group workshop with our team of innovation catalysts.

Book a Consult

More from the kit.

Finding Your Sawdust
Learn More

Product Design

Finding Your Sawdust

Make haste, not waste! Turn your skills into new products, services, and concepts with this simple exercise.
Empathy Map
Learn More

Audience Immersion

Empathy Map

The more we truly understand our customers, the easier it is to create solutions that are both meaningful and valuable for them. Empathy maps are a great way to put ourselves in someone else's shoes and uncover the insights we need.
Crazy 8s
Learn More


Crazy 8s

If you need to generate a rapid burst of ideas in a short period of time, this is the exercise for you.


The courses, resources, and gear you need to help power

your growth.

Shop now


A thriving community of creatives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. See what we’re all about.

Learn more