… Not because his car is particularly good looking, because it definitely got beat with the ugly stick a few times, but because he adapted an old (1992!) car to enable him to hypermile by changing the body style of the car– No engine mods necessary. This is what Amory Lovins has been campaigning for– If only automakers would listen. There have to be better ways to reduce gas mileage than changing to hybrid engines — which are still not as efficient as they could be.
For the past several days, I’ve been trying to declutter my parents house of old stuff that’s been sitting around forever. Admittedly, a lot of the stuff is mine that they didn’t know they were allowed to throw out because I was away at college, working in KC or Bangalore, or at school in Chicago.
I’m particularly sad to put my Pearl drum set on Craigslist. I don’t know why actually, because it’s not like I was ever that great at drumming. Probably mediocre at best, but it was a fun outlet.
Some part of me thought I would one day pick up the sticks again and start playing, maybe in some improv jazz band. On the other hand, seeing these drums sit here and go to waste without some potentially talented kid banging on them makes me cringe.
Here’s to hoping I pick up an instrument again and play it with the same spirit and passion I had at seventeen when I got my first drum set.
When I showed my brother this, we both immediately (but separately) thought there were some pretty interesting learnings to be had from this kid’s gradual re-introduction into society. If only there were a way to do it without making it too Truman Show-ey or Big Brother-ish.
When I was growing up, I used to travel back to India on occasion to see the large percentage of my family that still resides there. I distinctly remember going to my uncles house and having to walk a short distance outdoors to get to the shower. (Yeah, I guess that’s kinda like an outhouse, but it seemed much larger than an outhouse and the facility to bathe oneself was the goal of the small shelter).
Back then, I must have thought it was a huge hassle but now as I think back to those wonderful mornings and breathing the fresh air outside on the way to the shower, I remember how clean everything felt. Of all things, I especially remember smelling the glycerine soap that used to be (and perhaps still is) popular there, Pears.
You can imagine my shock and excitement when I saw Pears bar soaps in a Chicago Walgreen’s a few months ago. I bought several bars to stock up, but when I went back recently to replenish my stock, I was told they were all out of bars. They were, in fact, discontinuing the bars because not many people were buying them. Geez. You people don’t know what you’re missing.
Instead, they had this Pears Shower gel. I picked up the package and thought it was pretty unique. There’s a hook built into the lid so I can hang it right in my shower. This old, has-been brand had the gumption and the pizzazz to create a cool new form factor and packaging. Okay, I realize this isn’t terribly innovative, but it is a little shocking that other more well recognized brands didn’t come up with this idea first. All the other shower gels out there sit on the shelf get knocked off while the Pears stays.
So, maybe I’m just taking a page out of Sriram’s book here and enjoy taking pictures in the shower.
Can I just say, that sometimes, I feel like I’m in Pee Wee’s playhouse when I’m reading some random blog entry, design observer, or the latest McK Quarterly and I see the word “innovation“. All the fun creatures and puppets in the playhouse start screaming and yelling around me and I become anxious and excited at the same time. (Kinda how I got when I was in the workshop late at night in Foundation working on product design)
Everyone’s always calling stuff innovation that isn’t really innovation.. Err is it? We need more words to define the now, quite broad sphere that “innovation” seems to encompass.
Why on God’s great earth does it matter? Well, because classification can be important. Classification yields findability and associativeness. There are long rants written frequently about semantics in the design world. Is it Innovation? Is it Design? Maybe it’s just Design thinking? So, then it’s Tempered Optimism then? It’s confusing and obfuscated even to practitioners — Imagine what this might be like to potential clients?
Until I figure this out, I’m going to start interjecting other words in sentences instead of using the word innovation. So, if you hear me toss around Human-centered platypus or The 10 Types of Gorillas dear reader, you know what I mean. *wink*