Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Invention’

2
Jun

Creative Problem Solving and Trash Collection

Big Belly Solar Compactor in Lytle Park

Image by elycefeliz via Flickr

Last week, I stopped by a local food truck for lunch. After eating, I looked around for a trash can to toss the rubbish. Typically, it is easy to spot the receptacle because it is overflowing with trash. Not this time though. As I looked around, I found a Big Belly Solar Compactor. I didn’t think much about what a solar trash compactor was because I was running late for a meeting.

Then, over the weekend, my son and I had a picnic at our local park. When we were finished with our picnic, I looked around for  someplace to throw the trash. In the distance, I spotted a trash can with piles of wrappers and food debris. Sadly, we couldn’t jam another bit of trash into the can if we tried. Rather than adding to the growing pile forming around the receptacle, my son and I looked for another trash can. We found a pristine Big Belly Solar Compactor. Problem solved.

Read more »

31
May

Retailers Tap into Creativity to Drive Revenue

grocery aisle

Image by The Consumerist via Flickr

More and more retailers are turning to private labeling and exclusive products to drive revenue. With this move comes an investment in building internal product development functions. It is estimated that by 2013, 40% of retailers will generate half of their revenue from private labeling and exclusive products. At FEI11, Michael Kitz, of OfficeMax, talked about this model in his presentation, Retailer Driven Innovation – A Powerful New Business Model.

Read more »

27
May

Failure Leads to Innovation

There’s been quite a bit of talk lately in the innovation world about the importance of failure. In thinking about failure, I’m struck by the negative connotation. Though many of us consider failure a bad thing, sometimes there is an unintended consequence to failure. Namely, failure can lead to new thinking and innovation. I was reminded of the beauty of failure by my son.

Read more »

25
May

Popsicle Sticks as Toys? Really?

Color The Snow

Image by Joe_Andrews via Flickr

Article first published as Popsicle Sticks as Toys? Really? on Technorati.

My youngest son came home beaming last week. He had a wonderful day at school and was even chosen to be “Star of the Day.” At the dinner table, he showed us his prize for being the star. Sitting next to him were 6 popsicle sticks that he had arranged into a pattern. We oohed and ahhed as my son manipulated the popsicle sticks into stars, planes and birds.

Watching my son playing with the popsicle sticks brought back memories of my childhood. As a child, whenever I went to the pediatrician, he would give me a bunch of tongue depressors as a treat for being good. I shared this memory with my family. My oldest son said, “Really?!? That’s all he gave you? What kind of prize is that?”

Read more »

17
May

Sustainability Thrives on Creativity

airplane

Image by shyb via Flickr

The first time I flew to Australia, I remember dreading the layover and wishing we could fly non-stop from Boston.  As I peered out the plane window and saw the brilliant sunshine, I couldn’t fathom how decades later a solar plane would make its first international flight. Just the other day the solar-powered  Solar Impulse completed a flight from Switzerland to Brussels. The plane generated energy from the sun and stored the power in order to charge lithium batteries for night flight. No fuel and no pollution. Creativity at its finest.

Read more »

2
May

Expressions of Happiness

Coca Cola: Machine of the Friendship

Image by Buou via Flickr

There are all kinds of things that make people happy. Movies, books, comedians, experiences. When I think of happy experiences, Disney is top of mind. Makes sense, right? Amusement park, rides, great characters…all built around an imagined world dedicated to children. Disney is a large-scale business built around happiness. But, how might a soft drink company leverage happiness? A few days ago a friend shared an article about Coca Cola’s Happiness campaign.  I was skeptical until I saw this video.

Read more »

20
Apr

How to Evaluate Creative Work

High on the Happy Side

Image via Wikipedia

I work in a creative industry. In many ways, advertising and  marketing serves as a pinnacle of creativity. Each and every day folks within the ad agency world develop creative work. Whether digital experiences, web sites, online advertising, social media campaigns, television commercials, radio spots or inventive outdoor installations, there is no lack of creativity. With all these creative works, the question becomes what criteria should we use to evaluate them? It isn’t a question many folks stop to ask. In fact, evaluating creative work is often very subjective.

Here are a few tips for taking the subjectivity out of the evaluation and fairly critiquing creative work:

  1. Read more »
19
Apr

The Role of Grandparents in Nurturing Creativity

A stereotypical caricature of a pirate.

Image via Wikipedia

Growing up, my grandparents lived with us. I spent most of my first 18 years under their tutelage. I still fondly remember my grandfather helping me learn math by cutting the bottom off a Twinkies box and writing down the multiplication table. I also remember my grandmother spending endless hours teaching me to sew, playing Othello, and showing me how to pick beans from the garden.

Fast-forward many years, and now I have children of my own. I always hoped my sons would have the same relationship with their grandparents as I did with mine. I am elated to share, they definitely do…and then some! My boys are fortunate to have grandparents who love spending time with them and who give the most precious gifts of time and patience. Papa, Nana, and Grandma nurture the boys in another way too. They inspire my boys to tap into their creativity and to use their imaginations!

Read more »

13
Apr

Are You Prewired for Innovation?

Phone-wire tangle, exterior riser, London, UK ...

Image by gruntzooki via Flickr

Just the other day, I saw a bit of text that I haven’t seen in a while. Take a read:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

This text originally circulated on the Web in 2003. As it turns out, there wasn’t really a Cambridge University study. You can read more about that here. But, the notion of our minds reading the whole versus every letter by itself made me think. Are we prewired to notice some things and not others? What does this mean for innovation?

Read more »

12
Apr

How Mother Nature Helps with Invention

Procrastination 1

Image by fatedsnowfox via Flickr

When I woke up today, my 5 year old (yes, he just had a birthday!) greeted me with a, “meow meow meow.” I promptly replied, “meow meow meow, meow.” We were speaking to each other using our secret cat language. The first set of meows means, “I love you” and my reply was, “I love you, too.” Funny thing is we sometimes slip into speaking cat in public without even knowing it. When you think about it, speaking cat is pretty odd. Or is it?

Read more »