"Suppose I wanted to kill a lot of pilots - what would be the easy way to do it?" That might not be what you want to hear from the guy clearing your plane for take off , but if your fellow passengers are an elderly billionaire and some Cold War-era Soviet engineers, they might rest easy knowing the right questions are being asked. That is because thinking about how to do the exact opposite of your goal is sometimes the best way to ensure you achieve it.
Let's turn to the Soviets - Genrich Altshuller received his first patent at the age of 17 and a passion for innovation led him to study engineering before becoming a Soviet Navy patent officer. His position allowed him to see a wide range of patents, and being curious, he took a critical eye to the uniqueness of every "new" invention. This analysis eventually led to the conclusion that most of the work being done between different fields - biologists, physicists, chemists, engineers, etc - consisted of repeated invention due to ignorance outside of one's primary field. He eventually pulled together lists of best practices and key principles of innovation based on this work, which became " the theory of inventive problem solving " - alternatively known as TRIZ.