Cute video. What do you see?

August 15, 2012 · Posted in innovation ·  


This is a video of a cute Japanese girl but I saw much more when I watched it.
I see:

  • parts are staged to get different camera angles
  • the child is having fun
  • how the town is designed
  • the low counter at the store making it easier for people who can’t reach higher such as the little girl or someone in a wheel chair
  • lots of video editing
  • planning to get the video
  • a relationship between the child and the videographer
  • USA commercialism in her clothing
  • people watching the video, some such as me on the other side of the world who will probably always be strangers
  • an impact doing this will have on the girl’s development
  • the video being a wonderful gift to future generations

All of that went through my mind while I was watching it the first time. I didn’t watch the video more than once. I didn’t think about it afterwards. Those were all of my thoughts while watching the video. Of course I also saw how cute she was and the scenery.

How many different perspectives do you have on things you see, or hear?

Innovation Idea, Small Cheap Precise 3D Printer

April 26, 2012 · Posted in innovation ·  

Make 3D fabricators from old floppy drives, CDROM drives DVD drives.

Use radial coordinates to convert the points of your 3D print to locations on the platter.

All the circuitry, software, and hardware is there for moving the print head and turning on the print nozzle. Only need to add mechanism for vertical motion. Raising and lowering the platter on the spindle would be easiest.

Where to Start? Always Start With Customers!

March 11, 2009 · Posted in business, economics, entrepreneurship, innovation, mindset ·  

I recently taught a short introduction to Predictive Innovation class for a group of design students at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). One of the students listed his biggest problem as, “not knowing where to start.” He had a product idea and hundreds of ways to approach it but he didn’t know how to begin to get it to market.

I must apologize to that student because I did not clearly answer his question. The correct answer of where to start is always, “Start With Customers!”

Outcome diagram the customers’ desires. Find the most pressing must be satisfied outcome then base your product and marketing around that desire. Make sure there are enough customers you can reach and who will pay for the product or service you plan to offer. If you can, pre-sell your product to them. Use their up front commitment to get financing to develop the product. That might mean actually having them pay or it might mean showing the width and depth of demand to investors.

Figure out what products the customers already own or use and try to use those as resources to develop your product. If they already own items that perform 80% of the tasks then its much easier for you to be an add-on rather than reinventing the wheel. For instance if they have a laptop with a USB connector then you can get power for your device from their laptop battery. Or you can use the keyboard and screen of their laptop to see and change settings in your small USB device.

Figure out all the desires that your product or future or generations of your product could satisfy. Look at the lifetime value of the customer relationship.

If you’re planning to partner with another company to get your product to market they are your customers as much as the end consumer. Draw the outcome diagram for all the desires related to buying and selling your product. Make sure you satisfy those outcomes.

The particulars of manufacturing or a design alternative over another are just details. The most important thing to remember, “Start With Customers.”

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