Emerging Tech

Field Observations With Fresh Eyes

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Executive Summary

Design firm IDEO's General Manager Tom Kelley shares a case study that demonstrates the value opportunities that can arise when designers, innovators, and entrepreneurs see with fresh eyes. He cites his company's challenge to design a new children's toothbrush. Rather than scaling the product back - going with the industry standard that smaller people needed a smaller product - his team did hands-on field research, and noticed that children tended to grip a toothbrush in their fist, necessitating a chunkier, wider design. The new take on an old product re-invented it, made it the best-seller in its field, and re-designed the entire shelf spectrum of all other children's toothbrush manufacturers.

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