Why It Works
When we ask customers something about our product, they usually respond to our question based on their most recent experiences. Unfortunately, this creates a skewed view of how a product works throughout its natural life cycle. By explicitly asking your customers the when of using a product, you'll substantially increase your ability to understand the how to make it better.
More generally, Start Your Day is about exploring different contexts in which your customers use your product. In the game, you vary the time context. As you do this, pay attention to how other contexts change. For example, you might find that your customer uses your email/scheduling program at the beginning of the day from their home office and at the end of the day from their work office. These locations are quite different, and understanding how they differ provides you with substantial insight into the problems your customer is trying to solve. This understanding, in turn, leads to innovations.
You can enhance this game by varying other aspects of product use and then exploring these effects with your customers while they are working on their calendars. Suppose, for example, that you were a manufacturer of binoculars. In addition to posting calendars, you could post the following:
The good news is that when you've made the time context explicit, it is relatively easy to vary other things and get very useful information.