Recently I stumbled across a book with which I was impressed and intrigued by their approach to solving problems and establishing creative solutions! Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg have written a book entitled “Inside the Box” (love the title!!) which offers an enterprising approach to doing things differently AND to innovate new products/services based on necessity as viewed from ‘inside the box’ (versus ‘outside the box’!). Many of my clients are wrestling with the same old issues and in many cases are approaching their resolution in the same old way. This book challenges us and encourages us to get out of our rut and look at things differently!
Drew and Jacob offer 5 new ways of thinking to help take our blinders off and open new pathways to solve problems AND innovate new solutions!
1. “Less may create more” – so, subtract versus add in the way we think about product sets and/or service offerings. They tout the innovation of taking the soap out of detergent to create fabric softener sheets. What about the ear bud’ which are just a skinny-down version of headphones?
2. Reconfigure a product or solution component – so, divide not multiply. Often we think we need to “add to” to make a product or service more enticing. However, their thought is to simply reconfigure what we have to offer. One example they offer is the single service items from Kraft – such as single serving cheese slices. Taking the large block of cheese and simply skinnying this down to address a new market!
3. Change and copy a component – so, multiply in this case! It is not enough to just have more; we need to also change the actual components, too! For example – the 3-way light bulb has 2 filaments, not just 1, AND offers different levels of light for dimming.
4. Add things to together – or in their words, “Task Unification.” In layman’s terms this simply means to try to kill two birds with one stone to get the results you want! Most of us use examples of this approach every day: SPF moisturizers, conditioning shampoo, and calcium-fortified orange juice. We have basically taken two unique products and put them into one – so that we simplify the consumer’s life AND offer double the experience!
5. “Attribute dependency” – or as one thing changes, the change triggers another. The best example: all the mobile apps which provide suggestions about accommodations, shopping, and restaurants all geared around where the GPS locates you! What a novel concept AND this has now become a staple in how we travel and find things in the mobile world.
I loved this book and thank the Dallas Morning News for calling it to my attention. The techniques in this book ask us to view our challenges, obstacles, problems, AND opportunities from where we ARE and what we HAVE – not just from the perspective of what we need!
How can we apply this to our businesses? How can we apply this to our lives? What ideas come to your mind?