2 Comments

  1. colleenl7
    2/20/2014
    Reply

    I really enjoyed this post.

    “Being an experienced product developer, it’s difficult for me to disagree with his assessment; he makes some valid points. However, as an industrial designer it should be incumbent upon me to question what on the surface seems to be good common sense. ”

    Although that quote is not the main focus of this post, it is interesting to see the struggle that an industrial designer has to go through in product development. In regards to both the industrial design and engineering aspects during the product development process, I am curious to know your thoughts on the “perfect recipe” for innovation? Let me know if my question is not clear.

    • csvenjohnson
      2/28/2014
      Reply

      If I had a good answer to your question, Colleen, I’d have a long line of people beating a path to my door.

      My own feeling is that there isn’t a “perfect recipe” for innovation. For one thing, a recipe assumes there is uniformity and repeatability. People come in too many varieties for this approach, as far as I’m concerned. Some engineers are more creative than some industrial designers, I’ve encountered. And I know industrial designers (without engineering degrees) who think more logically than some engineers.

      One approach that I’ve read about is called “creative abrasion”. It’s a term coined by Gerald Hirshberg, Nissan’s former head of design in the U.S. His approach was to pair individuals with the kinds of differences that might spark an innovation. However, this still requires that management has a good assessment of the individuals being paired to yield the kind of innovative results they want. That’s not so much having a good … or perfect … recipe, as having a great cook.

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