Finding Inspiration (and Innovation) in Parallel Universes
Posted by Plish on May 27, 2009
Often inspiration can come from very different places.
Take a look at the pictures to the left.
The top is an interventional catheter anchor that I designed circa 1996, Northbrook, IL. The material is soft and pliable so that a patient can lay on it. The underside can have adhesive attached or it can be stitched to the patient. The catheter pops into the notch and a cable tie can be used to fasten it if need be.
The bottom is a cable holder circa 2009, for sale in Japan. Peel adhesive off the bottom and attach it to a surface. It’s made of soft material so stuff can be snapped into the notch.
In essence, these two products are the same, separated by 13 years and over 6000 miles. One is intended for use in health care, the other is a cool holder for keeping your desk surface cleaner and more organized.
This type of thing actually happens much more often than people realize. Two problems, in essence, the same problem, get solved at opposite ends of the world at different times in history. In this case, two solutions, in essence the same solution, were developed to keep something from moving and shifting around .
The lesson is clear:
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR EYES AND MIND OPEN WHEN TRYING TO SOLVE PROBLEMS!
When trying to solve a problem look to other industries, other countries, other similar physical phenomena for guidance. You never know where your next solutions could come from.
Best of all, cool new products might not have to wait 13 years to see the light of day.