Innovation 13 – Dualities provoking Extensible thought

Use a set of ‘Dualities’ for features of the current commonly used solution to innovate

Innovation often starts from a pressing need which is not currently addressed by a particular solution, or any known solution, which fits a certain set of constraints.  Often the constraints are fairly stable over time, and much of society runs on past innovations which have become super stable and normal over time.  Suddenly there is a pressing need, for change, or something changed, provoking a change or response, which once again can be decided as a new need.

One way of looking at fast innovation is to look at the dual characteristics of something which exists and which would approximate that need.  Maybe something changed ? only a minor thing, not a major thing.

Write down the characteristics of the current normal object or thing, listing features, listing characteristics as much as possible.  Write down all of these separate characteristics in a two column list.

Then in the second column of the list, write down the opposite of the feature in the first column.

Once you get a list of opposites or the ‘dual’ of the feature in the second column.  Look through it and see if you can guess what combination of dual features might help you solve the new need.

Often innovations require a change of more than one feature or a set of features to change to cover the new need at the expense of other older needs which really we don’t solve any more. So with this approach, you can build new solutions and designs quickly based on a selection of ‘duals’ which can be rapidly prototyped.

Another method, slightly related is to take the feature dual, like {fast,slow} and expand it to {fast,slow,faster,slower}

Its just an idea, but it helps you understand WHY some features are important to the current usage, and which ones could be relaxed without too much trouble, and which if relaxed could allow new approaches and innovations to be created.

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what do you reckon then ?

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