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Brainstorming criticism

Brainstorming evolved over time to the most widely used creativity tool. Still, brainstorming faces some harsh criticism. This article describes, which issues are criticized on brainstorming and how to achieve excellent results with some adjustments to brainstorming.

Scientists started studying brainstorming in the early fifties. They demonstrated experimentally that individuals promoted significantly more ideas when thinking about a problem than groups of peoples doing a brainstorming together. Later studies came to the same conclusion. Why didn´t the brainstorming deliver the expected results?


A successful brainstorming session requires creative and motivated participants. The selection of participants for the brainstorming session is an important factor for success. To find a date on which all participants are both available and mentally capable, is virtually impossible. So the brainstorming suffers from the fact that it must be in one place.


In a group brainstorming session, it always comes back to typical free-rider phenomena. The group members sit back and let the others take over the job of brainstorming. This problem does not necessarily reflect a lack of work ethic, in fact, participants sometimes just do not have a choice. This leads directly to the next problem in brainstorming:

Production Blocking

Participants in a brainstorming tend to block each other. To generate new ideas during a brainstorming session, the brain needs to work at full speed. In a traditional brainstorming, particpiants need to listen to the ideas of others. When one of the participants elaborates on his ideas, the other participants of the brainstorming engage mentally and cannot find any innovative solutions on their own.

The solution: Online Brainstorming

The problems can be solved with online brainstorming. An online brainstorming can run a longer period of time without requiring the participants be in the same room. In an online brainstorming all parties can build on the ideas posted on the platform (for example tricider) and let their imagination run free. No one is distracted by having to listen to others. Nevertheless, everyone has access to other ideas. Thus, all participants of the brainstorming can inspire each other without blocking production. Just like Alex Osborne designed his method of brainstorming. tricider also offers access to a colorful spectrum of participants as the brainstorming can be shared on social networks. By spreading the brainstorming across the net the facilitator may reach people with whom he would otherwise never come into contact. Particularly unusual and innovative ideas will be collected. A perfect brainstorming!