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The Innovator's Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth, 2nd Edition by Neil DeCarlo, Philip Samuel, David Silverstein

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Technique 14

Resource Optimization

Make sure you use all available resources.

 

Resource optimization is the use of existing resources to solve an innovation problem and increase the value of a solution relative to existing options. For instance, when manufacturers came up with reverse bottles (spout on bottom instead of top) for ketchup, shampoo, and other liquid substances, they used the free and available resource of gravity to solve the problem of getting every last drop out with ease and no frustration.

Use resource optimization when you need to come up with solution ideas that provide higher value than those in existence today—or when you need to refine and optimize a specific solution design. The key is to make sure you list as many resources as possible within and outside your immediate system or sphere of focus. After this, you can use any number of idea-generation techniques to figure out how your available resources can be applied to your inventive problem.

Background

In the vast majority of problematic situations where a creative idea is sorely needed, resource optimization is seldom if ever seriously considered. Most of the time, it never even makes the radar screen, because the typical approach is to throw money at a problem and fix it through adding complexity.

It's always easier to solve a problem through additive approaches rather than through elegant solutions that utilize readily available resources.

So what really is a resource? Machines, people, equipment, ...

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