Huge Scary Problem, Simple Cheap Solution

December 31, 2013 · Posted in innovation, problem solving · Comment 

An article in Foreign Policy claims there appears to have been “Military-Style Raid on a California Power Station”.

The second to last paragraph is a perfect example of intelligent innovation.

A shooter “could get 200 yards away with a .22 rifle and take the whole thing out,” Wellinghoff said last month at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg. His proposed defense: A metal sheet that would block the transformer from view. “If you can’t see through the fence, you can’t figure out where to shoot anymore,” Wellinghoff said. Price tag? A “couple hundred bucks.” A lot cheaper than the billions the administration has spent in the past four years beefing up cyber security of critical infrastructure in the United States and on government computer networks.

Systems break at the weakest point. Quite often that means the solution is the simplest thing.

Innovation doesn’t make any random thing better. Innovations improve the most important thing. Innovations must:

  • better satisfy the currently most under-satisfied desire
  • not reduce the satisfaction of other desires bellow the required  level
  • not over-satisfy currently satisfied desires

Predictive Innovation at TED

July 9, 2012 · Posted in innovation, problem solving, sharing · 1 Comment 


One dimension used by Predictive Innovation is the 3 Scales of the Alternatives. Cesar Harada used the 3 scales to create a better boat to clean up oil spills.

Predictive Innovation Core Skill: InversionWhen Cesar Harada attempted to make a boat to zig-zag back and forth to efficiently mop up an oil spill he found that a traditional boat with a rudder in the rear was difficult to control. So he applied Inversion to solve the problem. Instead of having the rudder in the rear he put the rudder in the front, that helped. Inversion is just one technique for applying the 5 Directions of the Predictive Innovation Alternatives Grid. It is a very powerful technique because it can fundamentally change the problem and provide an entirely new set of 15 Alternatives. In this case Cesar only used a simple change but that was enough to get the desired result.

3 Scales of Predictive Innovation Alternative GridAfter moving the rudder he then thought about having more than 1 rudder. He moved to multiple rudders. Then he finally moved to having a continuous rudder. That is the 3 Scales of the Predictive Innovation Alternatives grid:

  • Single
  • Multiple
  • Continuous

The 3 Scales are how I predicted in 2004 that s service like Youtube would be the next disruptive innovation for video.

The 15 Alternatives is a key part of how Predictive Innovation gives you a structured approach to describing the complete idea space. It can help you find new and better solutions and show you the next big thing.

You can learn the entire 15 Alternatives through a new stand alone self-paced video tutorial. The 15 Alternatives apply to every dimension, it’s the essential tool for describing the entire idea space. This self paced online video tutorial will open your eyes to see the entire idea space in crystal clear detail.

Click here to register for Predictive Innovation Core Skill: Alternatives.
Register Now for Predictive Innovation Core Skills: Alternatives

1 million views on my Youtube Channel

June 27, 2012 · Posted in abundance, Intellectual Property, problem solving · Comment 

Mark Proffitt 1 million Youtube viewsMy Youtube channel, just surpassed 1 million video views.

I posted my first video Why 88% of Ideas Fail to Make it to Market on February 11, 2008. Since then I’ve posted a total of 30 videos but by far the video with the most views was Why We Don’t Have Flying Cars, Yet.

My channel is now receiving over 100,000 views per month so the second million views should happen in less than a year. To celebrate 1 million views and to help get more views I’m making Predictive Innovation Core Skills: Inversion available for free.

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