I read an interesting article this weekend. Supposedly Danes are very good at coming up with ideas to solving everyday problems, like the invention of the induction bicycle light Reelight that solves the problem of replacing batteries.
I guess the reason for Danes being good at this, comes from our profound ability to grumble about almost everything. We love the opportunity to tell how much we hate when this-and-this happens, or how annoying it is when he/she does this etc. etc. It’s an integrated part of our culture…
Luckily this can actually be turned around to something positive. In product design a well known tool is the ‘bug list’: every time something annoys (or ‘bugs’) you, you write it down on the bug list. Whether you have the list on you or your just taking a mental note and writing it down later is not important (as long as you don’t forget it). The important thing is the reflection itself, and the effect it has: a) it makes you feel good to delve in the fact that you are annoyed and are able to pinpoint exactly what annoys you , and b) it gives you a list of ideas that each could develop into an invention or a new product.
And since we are very good at being annoyed, it is quite easy to come up with a long list of things that need improvements – from door knobs to bicycle locks.
Who knows, maybe one of your ‘bugs’ might actually be something worth exploring further (if you live in Denmark there is a lot of help to find at www.opfind.nu on how to take your ideas a bit further).