Categorized | seriously smart

In the “I wish I thought of that” department . . .

This, in my opinion, is the must-watch video for anyone in the product development or invention line. Our book, The Startup Bible, has a lengthy chapter on product development, but I have never seen anything that so perfectly embodies what makes an invention great or how to go about it: game-changing, useful, inexpensive, and, to paraphrase Don Debelak, loaded with “wow.” And, significantly, it involves simply taking technology we already have and reconfiguring it to solve a problem. If you have to invent a wheel, you’re probably not going to succeed. But if you put a bunch of wheels you already have into a brand new way of doing things, then, like Pranav Mistry, you’re going to have a money mint on your hands.


Many thanks to Charles for pointing this one out.

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2 Responses to “In the “I wish I thought of that” department . . .”

  1. Louis says:

    ummm… Ok, so it’s all very impressive, but I don’t think this is a great product at all.

    I mean who wants to walk around with a projector on their chest?

    You can invent a wheel that grips to the roof, but who’s going to use it? They’ve developed some cool technology, but at the end of the day, nobody is going to buy it in its current form.

  2. Great comment. That was exactly my response when first watching the video — great idea, but a bit of a klutz. I was originally going to plop this into the seriously dumb category because, as you say, who would want to wear a klutzy old projector around their neck? (Same folks who forty years ago wore slide rules in their pockets, thirty years ago wore calculators strapped to their belts, and ten years ago were bopping away on Apple Newtons, I imagine.)

    But as I thought it over, it became apparent that the klutzy aspects of the device are very easily overcome. What we have now is simply proof of concept. Reengineering it into a device that will more smoothly integrate into current lifestyles and praxis is probably something other folks are going to do. Remember, for instance, all the variations on MP3 players before the iPod? There were belt versions, armband versions, wrist versions, pocket versions, even a leg version as developers tried to figure out how best to integrate carrying an MP3 player into the way people live and move. Apple solved the problem by making a box and leaving it up to others to come up with lifestyle integration products. The wonderful thing with proving that a concept can work is that a veritable army of excited entrepreneurs and inventors get on board to fine tune the thing into usable format.

    But I will say this: it’s not going to come from these folks. If Mr. Mistry is happy carrying around this klutz of a product, he isn’t going to be on fire to change it. It’s going to be people like you and me who say, “Great idea, but who wants to walk around with a projector on their chest?” And that’s the kind of person who will figure out what to replace it with.


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