Resources are anything. Japanese solution to pirates

April 25, 2012 · Posted in innovation, problem solving · Comment 

This Japanese solution for stopping pirates from boarding ships is an excellent example of using readily available resources to innovate.

Pirates make money by capturing people or property then either hold it for ransom or attempt to sell it. Either way they need to get on board the ship to achieve their goal. Sinking the ship or killing the passengers isn’t profitable so pirates avoid that.

Water is definitely a readily available resource to a ship. Ships also have pumps used for fighting fires, cleaning the decks, and removing unwanted water.

The Anti-Piracy Water Curtain uses what already exists on a ship including what the crew knows how to do. It also doesn’t require many people operate so existing crew can turn on the water curtain and still do their normal job.

Resources are 1 of the 7 Elements of an Outcome. Combining the 7 Elements with 15 Alternatives reveals 105 types of innovation for any Outcome. Learn the entire Predictive Innovation method.

Predicting the next Disruptive Innovation

November 6, 2009 · Posted in innovation, prediction, strategy · 2 Comments 

In The Perils Of Extrapolation: Who Knows What The Next Disruptive Innovation Will Be Mike Masnick points out how important it is for an entrepreneur to be able to respond to changes. If you can accurately predict the next big innovation its easier for you to respond to change or even be first to market.

Traditionally forecasting doesn’t work well for innovation. Trend analysis isn’t very accurate for predicting the future because it’s looking at the past rather than what makes the future happen. That is why most people thing, “It’s always difficult to predict which innovation is actually going to hit”.

Predictive Innovation changes that and puts you in control, increasing profits, decreasing risks, and neutralizing competition.

How to Solve Impossible Problems

December 29, 2006 · Posted in innovation, Intellectual Property, problem solving · 1 Comment 

I love impossible problems. Am I insane? That is hotly debated. But the reason I love impossible problems is there are so many possible innovations in every impossible problem. In fact there are at least 225 possible solutions to most seemingly impossible problems.

That’s a lot of innovation.

Very little is truly impossible. Most seemingly impossible problems result from assumptions that hide the solutions. The typical impossible problem is the result of two competing goals. If you improve one feature the other suffers. The goals compete. You want to improve both but can’t so it seems impossible.

How do you solve impossible problems? Break the problem in two and solve each part separately.

For instance electric vehicles solve a lot of problems. Electric cars are very efficient and don’t produce any point of use toxic emissions. The problem with electric cars is they can’t drive very far on a single charge.

Even with a lot of improvements in battery technology electric cars just haven’t gained the type of range most people would like. Recharging takes a long time so an electric car isn’t good for long trips.

How do we solve it? Break the problem in two and solve separately.

The goals are low point of use toxic emissions, and long range. If we break out long range we can solve that a number of ways.
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