Imaging being on the NASA team that created the first space suit? Ahh, the challenges they must've gone through. I can see it now: the glove team debating with the sleeve team; the pants team debating design ideas with the underwear engineers (that would've been a good one); the practicians arguing with the theorists. Can you imagine being a fly on that wall? Having no real idea what to expect (never been to OUTER SPACE before) and asking a group of pioneers to "test" it all out on a real mission - go USA - that's the ultimate in product development.
But they did it! From idea to the right stuff... And the space suit still evolves. Now astronauts can extend their space walking. They can stay out longer and have even more mobility. And it was the debate and critical thinking that lead us to this...
Many of the great products come from debate/fear-of-the-unknown. It is in these moments that product teams, from my experience, take the biggest leaps. They move out of a fear state and into exploration, at least they should.
I've been fortunate to work with product teams and companies that strive for "big ideas". Leaders that welcome debate and critical thought. But, it is an ongoing battle for those in leadership positions to constantly push product/sales/marketing teams to check their fear at the door and look for the big leaps. Collaboration is key and so is the debate!
Thanks to http://headrush.typepad.com/ for the great picture. I sure wish these guys were still blogging!