Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Design and innovation: make time to try something new - combine technologies from different fields

So, Ian in here in Openmind Networks posted and interesting thought about how the Hardware Hackathon is effective about stimulating new inventions because it crosses the disciplines of software and hardware. 

That reminded me of a certain somewhat unexpected design and innovation company. Key things being:
 * crossing/combining disciplines, breaking out of one area
 * making some time to explore different areas and try something new
 * accepting failure - :-) perhaps :-) , I hear it can  get pretty competitive at the hackathons.
Have you ever heard of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company? :-) I think anyone studying Design comes across their story.
Known for design and innovation. The rest of us engineers/scientists/whatever who don't study design but end up doing it in different forms may or may not stumble across it.

They have a few inventions of note. They seem quite simple but involve a mix of materials and combine technologies that come from different fields. (e.g. put a farmer and a software developer and a mechanic together for a while and see what happens). Read the story linked below about the invention of the Post-it.
* accidental invention of weak adhesive
* at first no use for the new invention - shelved for a few years - a few ideas tried but didn't work out (i.e. FAILed)
* when a use was thought of - difficulty in bonding adhesive to paper make the simple invention not quite so simple
What could that MMMystery company be called?
Hmmm. I wwwonder? :-)

Pretty funky stories pages:


A different invention - more of an evolution story:
Duck cloth soaked in different adhesives for different purposes over the years.