We didn’t limit who we talked to either: friends, clients, users, internally with the team many times. We literally put empty boxes in front of our clients
and said to them, “this is our new product, what do you think is inside?”
Even though it was empty, from this brainstorming technique, we learned what they might want from us, without spending any money. Pro tip: use different sized boxes to get different types of ideas. When you’re an innovator, then everything is inspiration.