This game is based on numerous studies in cognitive psychology that have examined how we think about the future. When we ask the question “What should our product do?” we are not given a frame of reference for comparison. When we ask the question “What will our product have done?”, we generate more fanciful, richly detailed, sensible, and longer descriptions, because it is easier to understand and describe a future event from the past tense over a possible future event, even if neither has occurred.
This approach has other important benefits. By thinking of a future event as one that has already occurred, you can imagine at least one sequence of processes that can be taken to generate the event. If you ask “What should our product do?” you are left wondering about not only what the product will do, but how the product could possibly do it. If instead you ask: “What will our product have done” you not only have a more concrete idea of what the product did, you can begin to answer the question “How did the product do it?” Thinking of a future product as already completed enables us to make more effective decisions by reducing the total set of possible outcomes that must be considered before a suitable plan is selected