Innovation – Look at things differently? Stimulate innovation through simplistic incrementalism.

A lot is talked about innovation.

Often it is about taking the simple things and looking at them differently to create a solution and outcome. I was stimulated to think about this from an email my Dad sent me and conversation we had today about innovation (over coffee at the Rabbithole). The below examples are provided based upon many internet resources. I am unaware of the source but just search on-line if you want to know more.

Many talk about innovation to justify their existence and/or the idea of innovation. Often they are not entrepreneurs.  They are often looking for complex solutions that are often risky and (huge) investment bound. Resource crippling.

I like to think about actual solutions to create value. Here are some simple, odd and rather curious ideas to to stimulate innovation through simplistic incrementalism:

  • You can flip a toaster on its side and grill cheese in it.
  • You can divide and store ground meat in a Ziplock bag. Just break off how much you need and keep the rest in the freezer for later!
  • If you place a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water, it won’t boil over!
  • Marshmallows can cure a sore throat. Perfect for kids who don’t like medicine. Really?
  • You can run a paper bag through your printer!
  • Cereal canisters make the perfect rubbish bin for your car!
  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the shop. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster…
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminium foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mould! (But you can scrape off any mould and still eat the cheese without changes in flavour!)
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are stronger flavoured.
  • Add a teaspoon of water when frying minced beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • Place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on, and keep paint off the side of the can
  • Use a staple remover to save your fingernails when trying to add things to your key ring!
  • Use a micro-fibre cloth to prevent frost from forming on the windshield.
  • Use a comb to keep a nail steady for hammering
  • Use a post-it note to catch drilling debris.

To me a good example of innovation through simplistic incrementalism is Google (search) and Facebook (community). They took existing ideas and asked: How could these concepts be simply transformed? Incrementally, the core simple step evolved and evolved, and so on…..

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