Posted by Plish on June 14, 2012
Yesterday, I was at the NeoCon 2012 Design Expo. While many, if not most, of the companies touted themselves as being innovative, there were a handful that caught my eye for different reasons.
People need people to heal, so anything that helps family and friends be with a sick person is most welcome in patient care settings. The “sleepToo” is an amazing piece of furniture. While the addition of features is often antithetical to innovation, this combo gets kudos for eliminating multiple other pieces of furniture and ultimately saving space in all too often cramped, patient rooms. Want to sit and look at your laptop? Go ahead. Put your feet up? No prob. And, if you get tired, a quick press of a button deploys a bed so you can “sleepToo.”
Then there’s the GymyGym. This is another attempt at eliminating mulitple pieces of exercise equipment to save room. It’s a great idea and everything you need to get a workout is right there on your chair and you don’t need benches and weights lying around your office (or house). As the salesman told me, “You’ve got a Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Architectural Design, creativity, Customer Focus, Design, Emotions, Experience, innovation, invention, problem solving | Tagged: Architectural Design, creative problem solving, creativity, csys led task light, Customer Focus, Design, designing experience, emotion, gymygym, innovation, interior design, invention, jake dyson, JumpSeat, NeoCon 2012, nunoerin, Sedia Systems, sleepToo, temperature sensitive materials, tripps, virtual reality, wieland healthcare | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on September 29, 2011
The America Invents Act has been signed into law. In order to understand the impact of the law, I’ve been checking out various websites and found a couple that do a great job of explaining what this law means and how it may impact inventive entities, both large and small.
First, check out the law firm of Pepper Hamilton where this great primer explains the changes in a clear and understandable manner.
Once you’ve read that, head on over to this Washington and Lee website, listen to the short podcast from Professor Alan C. Marco and read the article. This is a really fair and balanced opinion on the impact of the patent law changes.
Yes, there might be a slight bias to the law that favors larger companies, but there seems to be enough wiggle room in the law to enable entrepreneurs to flourish. Time and legal challenges will help shape the law, but in the meantime, if someone has a great idea for a product, passionately believes in it, and wants to see it come to fruition, the United States is still the place to be.
Posted in Entrepreneurship 2.0, innovation, invention, patents | Tagged: America Invents Act, entrepreneurial mindset, Entrepreneurship, innovation, invention, patent law, patents | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on September 4, 2011
I was lying on the couch in the wee hours of the night/morning, flipping through various channels. I came upon a program on the Sundance channel and saw designers brainstorming, sketching, prototyping….
I had stumbled upon: Quirky.
Part open innovation, part reality TV, part design, all seething with entrepreneurship.
Started by entrepreneur, Ben Kaufman, it’s a show worth checking out. You can read about the company in this article.
Even more importantly, if you have any ideas of your own, or even if you want to comment on other people’s ideas, stop by Quirky .
You’ll definitely have fun, and maybe even make some money.
Posted in Crowdsourcing, culture of innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship 2.0, innovation, invention, problem solving, Start-Ups | Tagged: Design, Entrepreneurship 2.0, innovation, invention, quirky | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on May 26, 2011
Russell G. Woodward
My wife and I went on a hobbling stroll recently (I’m still recouping from the broken kneecap) and we walked over to the Sand Lake Cemetery, an old, (think mid 1800’s to present) small cemetery down the street.
Almost in the center of a group of 100 some interments, under the almost perpetual, mottled shade of multiple trees, one of which is a 6 foot diameter Maple, stands a light charcoal grey, waterstained monument. The inscription isn’t visible to those that pass by on the road. But, walk up the small sloped hill and the following words greet you:
Who was Russell G. Woodward and why is humanity indebted to him?
It turns out that Russell was an inventor of industrial sewing machines. Originally designed for making bags, (think seed, feed and more) he was instrumental in designing them to efficiently create apparel.
Russell was an innovator, someone who used his head and hands; understood the mechanics of motion and how people worked. He knew what it was like to get investors, all the while investing time, energy and sweat in something he believed in. As with many innovators, one of his greatest breakthroughs came not while in the machine shop experimenting, but while relaxing, reading the Sunday paper. Leisurely thumbing through the paper afforded Woodward’s mind a chance to disengage from the sticky design problems he was struggling with, allowing concepts to swim around with each other unencumbered deep within his subconscious. The result of the synthesis was a technology to make the “safe-elastic-stitch”. The knit goods industry was transformed.
I was, and still am, in a state of awe and melancholy.
The aspirations and dreams of a man: his work, his family and his eternal resting place.
It’s a reminder of who we are – each person making a difference.
Stitches in fabric, connected through time and space, by love, by sharing ourselves with a passion and joy.
Human nature in its essence.
This Memorial Day, in addition to your loved ones that have passed on, remember those who make our lives better by sharing their innovations.
And if you’re wearing machine stitched clothes, send a thought towards Lat: 42.415278 , Long: -88.050000 .
I know I will.
Posted in Authenticity, creativity, Design, innovation, invention, Nature of Creativity, The Human Person | Tagged: creativity, Design, innovation, invention, russell g. woodward, sand lake cemetery, sewing machines | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Plish on December 18, 2009
Losing a child in a large public area is every parent’s nightmare.
Michele Welsh took am interesting approach when she took her children to an amusement park – she wrote her cell phone number on her kids’ arms.
This solved the problem in the short-term but the fact that passerby’s at the park loved what Welsh did, spawned an idea for the future: the Safety Tat.
Once again, an inventor mom parlayed a common fear among parents into a viable, simple and ingenious product.
Instead of writing a contact number directly on the skin, parents buy pre-made or blank labels that can be placed on a child and removed when needed (though it might be a good idea to put the tatoo where the kids can’t pick at them).
What’s the main lesson here?
We so often get commissioned to solve other people’s problems (or we simply choose to solve other people’s problems) we forget that innovations often come from solving our own problems.
While each of us are unique, the day to day problems we encounter while just living or working are not.
Our problems are very often other people’s problems.
Solve our problems and voila!
You’ve come up with a solution for a lot of people.
It’s a simple recipe that often pays rich dividends!
Posted in Case Studies, children, creativity, Customer Focus, innovation, invention, Parents, problem solving, Research | Tagged: creative problem solving, innovation, invention, mom entrepreneur, safety tat | 1 Comment »
Posted by Plish on June 28, 2009
Great Op-Ed piece over at the New York times.
Thomas Friedman, inspired by a conference he recently attended, waxes about ways of getting out of the current economic crisis. He paints an interesting picture of Russia as a one-trick pony, economically speaking – in essence, oil is Russia’s only business and when oil prices are low, they’re in trouble.
He ends with this great quote:
Lately, there has been way too much talk about minting dollars and too little about minting our next Thomas Edison, Bob Noyce, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Vint Cerf, Jerry Yang, Marc Andreessen, Sergey Brin, Bill Joy and Larry Page. Adding to that list is the only stimulus that matters. Otherwise, we’re just Russia with a printing press.
Humans are inherently creative-they want to create and express themselves in some way. One of the best countries (if not the best) for people to express their creativity and make a living from it is the United States of America.
Seems to me that with the right environment, an environment empowering people instead of rewarding colossal failure, recovery would be on the way.
What do you think about these perspectives?
Posted in Design, Disruptive Innovation, Funding Innovation, innovation, invention, Nature of Creativity, Start-Ups, The Human Person | Tagged: human creativity, innovation, invention, invention and economic recovery | 2 Comments »
Posted by Plish on March 27, 2009
Spencer Rocco Whale And His Invention
they invent things,
toys, games, friends, and…
This story of Spencer Rocco Whale’s trip to a hospital is both heartwarming and a lesson for all of us.
Spencer wasn’t a patient, he was a visitor.
In his own words: “Kids hospitalized with serious health conditions still like to play.”
Attaching the IV pole to a kiddie car so children can tool around with IV’s attached but not their parents.
Some great lessons here:
- Put yourself in the shoes of the user – really-vicariously look at the situation. (His quote says it all!)
- Pay attention to the needs of everyone involved! (Not just the children but the parents as well)
- If there is an intermediary in a system, try to eliminate it (In this case the parent running alongside with an IV pole)
- Improving quality of life can often be achieved through eliminating constraints
- Keep your eyes open for ways to help others
If you’re going to keep your eyes open, make sure you’re looking with the eyes of a child…
Posted in children, Design, Health Concerns, idea generation, innovation, invention, Play, The Human Person, toys | Tagged: children, creativity, healthcare, hospitals, idea generation, innovation, invention | Leave a Comment »