216 Types of Waste = 216 Potential Innovations

January 8, 2015 · Posted in abundance, economics, innovation · Comment 

trash treasureResources often challenge innovators. Finding unlimited free resources solves a big challenge to innovation.

Waste is innovation waiting to happen. Best of all, waste is a free resource. If the waste is pollution is it less than free. There is a benefit from using it and people will often pay you to get rid of the waste.

There is no waste in nature. The output of one natural process is the input of another on and on until it goes full circle and is used again where it started. This is one of the core principles of the Blue Economy.

Waste is another way of saying, I don’t know how to use this.

Everything is a resource if you know what to do with it. The missing ingredient to turn a resource into a tool is information and there is infinite information. You just need to learn how to think. Predictive Innovation will help you to think better.

The better you are at seeing resources disguised as waste the more resources you have available. Trash is an obvious form of waste. Most people recognize wasted energy. What other things can be waste? I find these 6 categories useful:

  • Matter
  • Energy
  • Space
  • Time
  • People
  • Information

What are all the ways those items can be wasted? To answer that question you need the Predictive Innovation Alternatives. There are always 36 Alternatives for anything. So there are at least 36 distinct types of waste for each of those 6 items resulting in 216 Types of Waste. Eliminating that waste or better yet, finding a valuable use for it, are innovation opportunities waiting to be utilized. This table describes each type.

+ too much - too little ≠ wrong type = too precise → becomes wrong ~ too much variation
  • too unique
  • too exclusive
  • too refined
  • too little uniqueness
  • uniqueness is wrong type
  • only the type is wrong
  • needs amount & type
  • unique, no other options
  • only, focus on precision
  • stays unique too long
  • is the only option too long
  • type, other required items not available
  • amount, consolidation, monopoly
  • time, too soon / late, only chance missed
  • too much variation of uniqueness
  • unpredictable, duration, amount, type
  • too many divisions
  • too many pieces
  • too few divisions
  • too small divisions
  • too few pieces
  • divided in wrong types
  • partially wrong type
  • precise relationship, parts much match precisely
  • stops fitting other parts
  • becomes incomplete
  • starts / ends too soon
  • lasts too long
  • unpredictable divisions
  • differences, variation between time, amount, types
  • too much duplication
  • too small
  • too few
  • quantity, volume instead of count
  • too precise quantities
  • too many requirements
  • duplication, type / amounts
  • false starts
  • delays
  • too many times
  • unpredictable iterations, length, amount, type
  • too many option
  • too few options
  • wrong type of options
  • options is the wrong type of solution
  • not interchangeable
  • not enough overlap
  • choices last too long
  • range lasts too long
  • becomes wrong type of options
  • becomes wrong amount of options
  • unpredictable
  • too many options fluctuate
  • too much fluctuation of options
  • unpredictable options
  • inconsistent
  • too much included
  • incomplete
  • all types wrong, amount is important
  • all precision, no flexibility
  • static, no flexibility
  • becomes too inclusive
  • becomes completely wrong type
  • becomes all
  • becomes completely too soon / late
  • becomes always too soon / late
  • becomes too frequency, overwhelming
  • always varies
  • range of variation
  • types of variation
  • too much absence, frequency
  • too much absence, length of presence
  • too little absence, frequency
  • too little absence, length of presence
  • no type
  • never type
  • never precise
  • nothing precise
  • never stays the same
  • nothing stays the same
  • disappears
  • doesn’t exist
  • not ready to happen
  • never happens
  • stops
  • no duration
  • never stops
  • never returns amount / type
  • unpredictable amounts, absence

139 Other Types of Government

February 13, 2014 · Posted in innovation · 1 Comment 

Government Options RedactedPolitical groups continually fight for control but results never change much. That is because the basic type of government never changes. What other types of government are possible?

Even if you personally hate politics this article is important because all organizations have some system. Your company, family, or other relationships all operate on a system. Have you considered all the different systems available?

Government is a system of Who Decides and How the decision is made. It often is also mixed in with Who Pays. Whether Monarchy, Republic, Democracy, Dictator, Fascism, or Communism those are all the same basic type, Other Person Decides. Text books, news outlets, pundits, and especially the politicians repeatedly claim they and their flavor of system is different. When you closely examine those systems for Who Decides you see those are all the same type of system. If we really want to find better results we need a different approach. What are the other types?

Using Decider in a Predictive Innovation Alternatives Grid reveals 36 types of Who Decides.


Indirect Opposite
Indirect Other
Same / Stable
Become Stable
Return to Stable
1 One person directly decides.
One person directly affected decides.
One person in favor of action decides.
One person who will benefit from action decides.Example:

  • The person does the action.
One opposing person decides.
One person who will suffer from the decision decides.
One person directly decides against the action.Example:

  • Single person veto
One person decides actions of other people.

  • Boss
  • Parent
  • Criminal
  • President
  • Dictator

Other person once.

One neutral person decides.
One unaffected person decides.
Unaffected person decides once.
One person stays the same.
Same person(s) once.
Decider same as Payer, User, etc.

  • Judge
  • Referee
  • King
  • Priest(s) declares permanent law
Becomes one person.
Person stabilizes once.

  • Tie breaking vote
  • Last person in a process
  • Trainee gains full control
One person fluctuates.
Person fluctuates once.

  • Person makes one decision, different person decides next time
  • Substitute king, judge, etc.
% Some people directly decide to do the action. “We agree to do this”

  • Voluntary democracy, group buying a pizza
Some people decide to not do it.

  • % votes to veto
% Voting decides actions of other people.

  • State Democracy
Portion of same people decide.
Partially neutral people decide.
Some neutral people decide.Examples:

  • Arbitration committee votes
  • Supreme Court
Becomes a % of people.
Becomes a partial decider.

  • Child or trainee becomes a voter
  • Join a group
  • Mentally incapacitated
People who vote fluctuate.
% required for an action to pass fluctuates.
Person partial fluctuates.
M Many people in favor of decision decide.
Many people directly decide, they do the action as a group.
Person in favor of decision many times.
Decided by many people directly related to the action or results.

  • Pregnancy
  • Partnership
  • Large project requiring others to help.
Many people opposed to the action decide.
Many people negatively affected decide.
Many people decide against action.
Group required to block an action.
Against action many times.
Multiple groups needed to decide against action.
Many other people decide.
Something that can be decided by different people.
Group of 3rd party people required to decide.

  • Escrow with confirmation
  • Bureaucracy
Many neutral people decide.
Need a number of neutral people to make decision.
Many people stay the same.
Same multiple people.
Same group.
Decider same many times.
Neutral people decide many times.
Starts as other type of decider then becomes a group.
Group stabilizes on size, or composition of members.
Group fluctuates.
Many people fluctuate.
Person(s) fluctuates many times.
Anyone decides for the action.

  • Freedom
  • Open Source
  • Public Domain
Anyone blocks an action.

  • “If anyone objects to this marriage let them stand now or forever hold their piece.”
Any other person decides.
Seconding a motion in a meeting.
Anyone stays the same.
Anyone same as anyone else.
Neutral person decides anytime.
Any neutral person decides.
Becomes anyone.
Anyone stabilizes.
Person stabilizes anytime.
Anyone changes.
Changes between anyone.
Person changes anytime.

  • Anyone can gain or lose authority
  • Anyone has authority to decide, no fixed decision maker
  • Ad hoc deciders
Everyone decides.
Default is not do it.
Always person for action.
Always directly decide.
Everyone must agree to block an action.
Opposite of anyone decides to do an action.
Always opposite person.
Everyone else.Always other person. Everyone the same.
Everyone in the deciding group stays the same.
Always the same person/people.
All the arbitration committee agrees.
Becomes everyone.
Everyone stabilizes.
Always stabilizes.
Everyone fluctuates.
Fluctuates between everyone.
Always fluctuates.

  • Everyone takes turn deciding
0 No one decides.
Person never decides directly. Person never decides for the action.Examples:

  • Banned
  • Must confer or ask permission
  • Left to chance
  • Lack of knowledge
No one blocks decision.
Free to do.
No one needed to block.
Unknown how to do action.
No one else.
Decision exclusively made by one person or type of person. Never other person.
Not pressured.

  • Personal decision (same as Direct)
  • Emotions
  • Personal decision
  • Impossible to delegate
No one stays the same.
Never same person.
Take turns to decide. (person decides once)
Stays no one.
Always randomly chosen.
Becomes no one.
Never becomes a person.

  • Decision grows too complex
Person never changes (always the same)
No one changes.

How many other types of governments are there?

That chart shows 36 types and there are many examples for each type plus there can be combinations between types. Decider is only one aspect, the Decision, How the Decision is made, and Payer are also important because there are strong interactions. So there are 4 * 36 types = 144 and as many as 1,679,616 combinations. Keep in mind that Who Decides & Who Pays are crucial to Economic systems which are not the same as governments even though they interact.

There are a huge number of options rather than Other Person Decides. So the next time you are offered Party A or Party B think about the rest of the menu they never showed you.

If you want to learn more about Predictive Innovation get the book, “Predictive Innovation: Core Skills” here, or on Amazon.

How many types of innovation are there?

February 11, 2014 · Posted in business, innovation · Comment 

That is a very important question because the only way to know if you’ve thought of the best idea is to know all the relevant ideas.

Several popular books attempt to list types of innovations. Doblin’s 10 types is one book and the very popular Business Model Canvas has almost the same list. Are their lists comprehensive?

Doblin lists 10 types of innovation and claims they found 104 specific examples and since first publication increased that to 112. That is a very interesting number because it points to the method they used and one of the fatal flaws in most approaches to generating ideas.

Predictive Innovation is based on Information Theory. It derives the types from logical proofs. This is how scientists like Albert Einstein predicted discoveries that led to nuclear energy and enabled space travel to the moon & Mars.

Predictive Innovation shows you both what to make and how to make it. Most importantly, Predictive Innovation shows you the comprehensive list of options. Not just, more, not just better. It shows you the entire picture and that is the only way to be sure you didn’t miss the best idea.

This video shows one piece of Predictive Innovation.

This video shows how it was applied to predictively reveal several innovations.

Chapter 19 of Doblin’s book states,

“We discovered the Ten Types of Innovation by empirically analyzing great innovations to determine the properties they shared.”


“We looked at some things that worked for someone in the past and we think they are similar in this way.”

Shorter translation:

“This worked before, copy it.”

That approach is very dangerous in two ways. First, you can’t innovate by copying. Second, the reason something worked in the past might not apply now. Conditions change. The factors that are important in one circumstance aren’t in another.

The reason I said it is significant that they found 104 examples and then found a few more to bring their number up to 112 is because that is the number of ideas where the human brain bogs down in processing more information. This stems from Miller’s research and the Magical Number 7, Plus or Minus Two.

If you pull random ideas out of the air it is very easy at first. Over time you start slowing down because you are spending increasing time comparing the new ideas with the ones you already listed trying to avoid duplicates. So you end up quitting searching long before you come close to finding all the options. Worse than that, those options might not even be relevant and many of them probably aren’t good.

While doing research to confirm the calculations of Predictive Innovation, we discovered that most industries only explore 13% of their idea space. Doblin’s 10 Types covers only 7%. That is about half of most industries. When you consider that they focused on only “great innovations” it makes perfect sense they covered so little of the idea space.

Lets look at how Predictive Innovation deals with the same question to see, how many types of innovations are there?

First Predictive Innovation breaks the problem down into fundamental pieces: Who, What, How, Where, When, Why. Then it breaks those down again into the fundamental relevant types.

Who What How When Where Why
Beneficiary Benefit (noun) Benefit (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Benefit
User Use (noun) Use (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Use
Decider Decision (noun) Decide (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Decision
Payer Payment (noun) Pay (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Pay
Designer Design (noun) Design (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Goal
Producer Product (noun) Produce (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Produce
Transactor Transaction (noun) Transact (verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Transaction
Communicator Communication (noun) Communicate(verb) Event, sequence, duration Location, position Communication

There are 36 Alternatives for each of the 48 types in that grid.
Innovation is about better satisfying desires. So that means it starts with people. There are 2 important types of people, Customers and Providers. In other words, Who buys and uses the innovation, and Who makes and provides it.

Who is the customer?

There are 4 roles performed by Customers: Beneficiary, User, Decider, Payer.

These can be the same person or any combination of people.

Who is the provider?

There are 4 roles performed by the Provider: Designer, Producer, Transactor, Communicator.

The list of provider roles can be broken up differently but that list of 4 is enough to be useful. Again each role can be done by any combination of people including customers.

So in total there are 8 Actors. Each Actor deals with their own “What”.

  • Beneficiaries get benefits
  • Users have uses
  • Deciders make decisions
  • Payers give payments
  • Designers make designs
  • Producers make products / services
  • Transactors conduct transactions
  • Communicators make, deliver, & interpret communications

The “Whats” are nouns. “Hows” are verbs, this is the activity they perform.

  • Beneficiaries benefit from the results of using the product or service
  • Users use products & services
  • Deciders decide
  • Payers pay
  • Designers design
  • Producers produce
  • Transactors transact
  • Communicators communicate

How many types of innovation are there?

The full list is 48 areas of innovation. But that is not comprehensive. There are 36 Alternatives for each of the 48 areas. So are at least 1728 specific types of examples.  Most of those are what you would call business model innovations. If you calculate all the combinations it is 5.04 x 10^74. Way more than anyone could ever list but Predictive Innovation can pinpoint any one of those in just a few seconds.

Notice that all these are relevant. It isn’t a bunch of random ideas. It is a systematically generated comprehensive list. Since it is systematically generated you can easily identify the most valuable area to work on. Since it is comprehensive you can see areas that are open for new innovations and potentially better areas to explore.

If you want to learn more buy the book “Predictive Innovation: Core Skills” here or on Amazon.

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