How Cheating Led to a Creative Breakthrough

Josh Linkner
May 28, 2018

Josh Linkner

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author and venture capitalist.

The game of Monopoly, a legendary cash cow for Hasbro, has remained relevant and compelling for over 100 years by evolving with the times. Since the first game became a hit in 1903, the company has released specialty editions including Pokemon Edition, Mega Monopoly, Electronic Banking, Star Wars, the Simpsons, and Monopoly Millionaire. With so much success and so many versions, where could the company possible go next?

A years-old customer insight was the clue. Realizing that over 50% of players cheat while playing, the creative wizards at Hasbro locked their sights on a bold idea: a Cheater's Edition of the legendary game.


Set to launch this summer, players will enjoy an irresistible experience. Game designers studied the 15 most popular cheats, such as moving the wrong number of spots on a dice roll, robbing money from the bank, and stealing another player's hotel. Fun and funny new cheats were also added, ranging from price gouging to identity theft. The game takes on a whole new dimension, as participants not only tackle traditional challenges but also try to sneak a deviant move past fellow players without apprehension. Two years of creative design has helped launch a game that's poised to be more fun, faster, and sure to generate uncontrollable laughter.

Hasbro artists asked two critical questions to unlock their creative breakthrough:

1. What is something customers do, want, or feel that is non-traditional or unexpected?
2. What rules would we need to break in order to deliver on those customer desires, in a bold and profoundly different manner?

While most of us aren't lucky enough to work in the Hasbro game design lab, we can apply a similar approach to our own business efforts. These critical questions can be applied to any industry, field, or craft. If we remove the traditional barriers that restrict our thinking, we liberate progress.

The new Cheater's Edition will undoubtedly be a raging success, further endearing millions of fans to the Monopoly brand. Instead of resting on their laurels, the company continues to reinvent itself, pushing the creative boundaries and delivering relevant and compelling value to their customers. Let's follow their lead by reimagining the products, services, and experiences we offer, wandering into unfamiliar territory to enable sustainable success.

And you don't even have to pull a fast one to get there.

The post How Cheating Led to a Creative Breakthrough appeared first on Josh Linkner.

Josh Linkner

Want Josh Linkner for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
7 Surprising Things That Ultra-Successful People Don't Do
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
February 16, 2020
There's been plenty written about the habits of highly successful people. They set ...
How To Master Any Skill
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
February 09, 2020
No one represents mastery more than Pablo Picasso. His masterpiece Women of Algiers sold at auction in New York for ...
How to Find the Best Parking Spot, Every Time
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
February 02, 2020
As you drive up to a crowded shopping plaza, your blood pressure rises quickly. Circling the ...
7 Surprising Things That Ultra-Successful People Don't Do
There's been plenty written about the habits of highly successful people. They set goals and they follow through. They learn and listen. We get it. But what do the most successful people avoid? From celebrity entrepreneurs to captains of industry, here are seven surprising things that top achievers prefer to skip: Don't have a Plan B. We're tau...
Read More
How To Master Any Skill
No one represents mastery more than Pablo Picasso. His masterpiece Women of Algiers sold at auction in New York for over $179 million in 2015, shattering all previous records. His most famous works are instantly recognizable, and he pioneered several styles and genres of modern art throughout his prolific career. We think of Picasso's creative ...
Read More
How to Find the Best Parking Spot, Every Time
As you drive up to a crowded shopping plaza, your blood pressure rises quickly. Circling the parking lot, you search for the closest possible space. It quickly becomes a fierce competition, filling you with stress and sometimes anger if someone beats you to that one spot that should have been yours. Several laps and minutes later, you land in a ...
Read More
3 Surprisingly Simple Questions That Will Transform Your Career
In our quest for achievement, it's easy to get caught up in complexity. We often think something has to be difficult in order for it to drive real progress. But then something so simple comes along that drives the most profound advancement in our careers, companies, and even in communities. I've discovered three dead-simple questions that can dr...
Read More
The More You Do It, The Easier It Becomes
For most of us, we know what needs to be done to reach the next level. If you want to improve health and fitness, we don't need another fad diet we need to exercise more and eat healthier food. If you want to close more deals, you probably need to make more cold calls. If you want to ace the big exam, studying more is a pretty clear path. Indee...
Read More
The New 70/30 Rule of Inventive Thinking
The infamous 80/20 rule seems to permeate business literature. 80% of your profits come from the best 20% of your customers; 20% of your top people drive 80% of your revenue; 20% of your most productive time drives 80% of your productivity. While this magic ratio applies in many cases, there's an important new kid on the block when it comes to o...
Read More
Your Future You
As we us embark on the new decade, most of us have undoubtedly set some resolutions. Lose weight. Read more. Save for retirement. Quit smoking. Volunteer in the community. Yet the vast majority of resolutions are anything but resolute. According to U.S. News & World Report, over 80% of resolutions fail (most of which within the first 30 days...
Read More
IdeaSpewing - A Simple Technique to Unlock Creativity
Staring at the blank page can be intimidating. This could be the start of any creative project - from writing the next great American novel to crafting a new investment deck for your startup. Maybe your blank page is less grandiose, but still daunting such as organizing your thoughts for a sales pitch or drafting an email to your boss. As thoug...
Read More
Mental Kale
We've all heard the truism, "you are what you eat." Clearly this applies to food intake and how our body composition is directly correlated. Eat fruit and veggies, have a healthy physique. Eat fried, processed foods, have a sick body. But what if we extended this common sense phrase to our mindset and performance? If we are what we eat, it only ...
Read More
The Dude-Bro Conundrum
I have the good fortune of delivering keynote speeches at over 100 corporate events per year. They range from a few hundred to many thousands of people in attendance, often with elaborate staging, lights, and production value. Hours before taking the stage, an AV tech check occurs where all audio and visual elements are plugged in and tested. W...
Read More