How many times have you found yourself thinking “why didn’t I think of that?” Whether it’s a product as simple as a pen / highlighter combo, or a high-tech gizmo like the iPod, seeing solutions in action can be inspirational. Take the computer mouse as an example. Without a mouse your desktop computer would be incredibly difficult to operate. Although the internal hardware of a computer drives the speed and functionality, navigating the computer’s interface would be nearly impossible without the mouse. Now try thinking about how you can make the mouse better. Is it possible? Recent updates to the mouse mostly focus on wireless technology or ergonomics.
The box cutter is a staple product that hasn’t seen a design change since it was created years ago. That is, until recently. Slice is a product design firm based in California focusing on reinventing the safety and functionality of common household products. It’s firms like Slice and Ideo who make their impact through examining existing products and making them better, more user-friendly, and ultimately want consumers to be more satisfied with the functionality of their products.
These firms focus entirely on inventing / reinventing products. The purpose of this article isn’t to motivate you to compete with them but rather to task you with challenging the norm. Perhaps reinventing products isn’t in your realm of capabilities but I bet you have business processes that could be redeveloped. Streamlining processes, creating efficiencies, or auditing common practices may lead to long-term financial savings for your firm. The point is, don’t let a that’s the way it’s always been done attitude reign supreme. Challenge yourself and your co-workers to improve the way your firm does business.
I’ll leave you with this great video. You’ll never look at your microwave the same way.