Killer Questions Card Deck

$ 21.95 $ 19.95


Killer Questions Card Deck

$ 21.95 $ 19.95

Looking for a way to get your creative juices flowing? The Killer Questions Card Deck is your new toolkit for creativity and innovation. Play alone or as a team, this deck is the perfect problem solver when you don't know where to start or what direction to go in. 

This fun, hands-on set of playing cards contains a series of questions intended to spark fresh ideas that can become disruptive innovations. Created by Phil McKinney, author of Beyond the Obvious: Killer Questions That Spark Game-Changing Innovation, and the host of the podcast Killer Innovations, this deck is the perfect companion to Phil's book. So why wait? Get your deck today and start coming up with killer ideas!

Top uses for the Killer Questions Card Deck include:

  • As a trigger to help look at a situation differently;
  • As the starting point for a brainstorm/ideation session;
  • A tool for your personal or team creativity exercise sessions; and,
  • As a tool to launch or rebrand a business.

Details and Measurements:

The Killer Questions Card Deck is designed to stand up to regular use. It is printed on the same laminated card stock used for professional playing cards.

Size/weight: 4"x3" and weighs 4.5 oz.

Update: The card deck is now available through Amazon Prime!


"Many assumptions about our business turns out to be wrong. .. Phil McKinney arms readers with the skills to ask razor-sharp questions that lead to better ideas and more effective innovation."

Wendell P. Weeks, chairman and CEO, Corning

"Phil McKinney will change your Monday with his rule-breaking approach to harnessing the power of innovation."

Peter Guber, NYT Best Selling Author and co-owner of the Golden State Warriors 

"Product innovation is a prerequisite to building great brands. Phil's questions are the prerequisite to building innovative products."

Satjiv S. Chahil, former Global Marketing Chief, Apple

History of the Killer Questions

 I started writing the Killer Questions when I was in my short-lived “retirement” early in 2001. As I relaxed in the Virginian countryside, my mind started to flashback to various experiences I’d had during my working life. Over the course of the preceding twenty years, I’d been a part of dozens of highly innovative products and ideas that came to market. I started to ask myself a broad range of investigative questions about how and why successful products work. The most important issue seemed to be that of understanding the thought process that led to these discoveries.

If I could reverse the thought process that led to innovative products and find the questions that might have generated these ideas, would those same questions lead to new discoveries and new products in the future? With these questions in mind, I wrote down this first question—

As the months passed, these cards started to multiply, so I decided to put together a card deck that I kept in a big binder clip. Before each innovation workshop, I’d flip quickly through the set and pull out a few questions to ask the participants. I constantly tested the questions in workshops to see which questions would generate the best ideas. I kept the ones that worked and tossed the ones that didn’t. Sometimes I realized that a question had the potential to spark a good idea, but I had worded it poorly, so I experimented with the question by adjusting the language. 

After a year or so the walls in my home office were filled with Killer Questions. They were scrawled on index cards and stuffed in shoeboxes or pinned up on the wall. The sheer volume was driving my wife crazy. That’s when I realized I needed to formalize the system, strip it down to the most effective questions, and develop a way to organize and use them. You’ll learn more as we go through the book, but for now know that the Questions are divided into three categories: 

  • Who your customer is, 
  • What you sell them 
  • How your organization operates. 

Each category has roughly twenty questions to date, and more are constantly being tested and added to the. 

The card deck being offered here is Volume 1 of the Killer Questions. More volumes will be released in the future.

So, is the list static? No. The key to the value of the Killer Questions is that new ones are continuously being discovered. Sometimes I get questions sent to me by the listeners to my podcast. Other times I come up with new ones in support of an upcoming workshop, or they come to me when I’m reading a story in the Sunday paper. 

The questions that I keep are ones that trigger something for someone. Did a new question cause a listener or reader to see something differently about their product, customer, or organization? Did it spark a broader examination of how they were doing something, and why? 

One of my favorite killer questions is one of the simplest: 

What do my potential customers not like about the buying experience? 

This is a classic Killer Question; at first glance, it seems obvious, but once people start to think about it they realize they’ve never actually asked that of themselves or their business. In fact, the overwhelming majority of organizations do not measure or track what their potential customers dislike about their buying experience, instead choosing to focus on issues with the product or support. In reality, this question is almost impossible to measure. Think about it. How would you find a potential customer who had such a bad buying experience that they didn’t buy your product? Digging into what the potential customer actively dislikes about buying a product can be a gold mine, especially when your competitors aren’t making that investigation. 

The point of a Killer Question is to challenge you to look at things in a new and different way. 

A really good Killer Question will leave you surprised by the answer.


Since you've read this far in to the site, we will let you in on a little easter egg related to the cards ... on the front and back of each card in the deck are a unique layout of icons designed for each card to help spark more ideas.

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