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Asynchronous Product Brainstorm

Use this template to facilitate an asynchronous brainstorm with your team in Guru. Learn more about this template below.

What is an asynchronous brainstorm?

During an asynchronous product brainstorm, a discussion is held on a Guru Card. A bulleted list of questions is shared. Stakeholders contribute to main topics and add comments under existing topics as sub-bullets.

What are the benefits of having it through Guru?*

  • Everyone can contribute, not just the most senior (or most extroverted) people in the room

  • Multiple people can write at the same time

  • Can use URLs to link to external resources

  • Can add screenshots and embeds from other tools and platforms to visualize thoughts

  • Can use the Guru Card as a reference in other materials

*Inspired by GitLab's use of collaborative documents here.

Use this framework to brainstorm:

  • Product ideas

  • Development process improvements

  • Team culture

How to kick off an asynchronous brainstorm:

  1. Make a Card for the brainstorm topic.

  2. Include a description about what is being discussed along with any helpful background people may need.

  3. Include an end date so people know by when they should add their contributions.

  4. Leave Card "unverified" while it is happening for quick indicator that a brainstorm is active.

  5. Identify specific contributors with an emoji placed before their contribution.

  6. Include a legend of contributors and their emojis at the top of Card.

  7. Use +1's to agree with another contributor's point and identify ideas that have broad consensus among participants.

  8. To add a +1 to a point simply put [your-emoji] and the end of the line. If someone has already added a +1 you can add your emoji next to theirs.

Brainstorm follow-up:

  1. Distill brainstorm contributions into outcomes that identify any decisions or actionable items on the Card.

  2. Verify the Card and send to the team via Knowledge Alert.

Example brainstorm:

  • Describe what we are discussing for this example.

  • Explain why we're having the discussion in the first place

  • Include links to background material so everyone has equal knowledge about the subject being discussed.

Brainstorm TOPIC: Dinner plans

  • The development team is hungry and looking to innovate on the product

  • Links N/A

  • End date: Discussion ends May 16, 2013


  • 😺- Jim

  • 🐶- Pam


  • Where should we get dinner?

    • 😺I think we should get Chinese for dinner

      • 🐶We had Chinese twice already this week, I feel like something different. What about pizza?

        • 😺I could do pizza!

    • 🐶We should create an app called restaurant roulette that just picks a place for us so we don't have to do this over and over +😺


  • Building an app that randomly picks a restaurant to eat at would be useful

  • We're getting pizza!