What’s Your $5 Distraction?

The Stanford professor Tina Seelig divided the class into several teams and gave $5 to each team.

The goal was to make as much money as possible within 2 hours and then give a 3 minute presentation to the entire class.

While some teams used the $5 and 2 hours in traditional ways like buying “X” for $5 and flipping for profit, the teams that showed creativity had much better results.

Few team ignored the $5 completely. They realized $5 was just a distraction and the goal was actually to make the most money in the next 2 hours.

They changed their mindset of thinking thru the boundaries of limits to thinking from the opportunity perspective.

The problem now shifted from, “How can we make the most money with $5 in 2 hours”, to “How can we make the most money in 2 hours”?

One team with this mindset spent their time booking reservations at top restaurants and then sold the reservations to those who wanted to skip the wait. They generated an impressive few hundred dollars.

However the team that generated the most profit ($650) neither used the $5 nor focused on the 2 hours. They approached the problem entirely differently.

They realized both the $5 and the 2-hour period weren’t the most valuable asset but were pure distractions and traps.

The most valuable asset was actually the 3 minute presentation time slot to the entire classroom at Stanford.

They sold their three-minute slot to a company interested in recruiting Stanford students and walked away with $650.

What’s your $5 distraction and most importantly, how will you discover your most valuable 3 minute?


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