Dixie Darr

In creativity on May 8, 2007 at 9:40 am

Next Big Thing

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

Thomas Edison

“I got the idea watching my dog scoot across the floor on his butt,” said Gwen, inventor of the Color Bug, a radio-controlled art product and one of eight finalists for Oprah’s Next Big Idea competition. That was the best story of the contestants, who were trying to win a contract to sell their products on QVC, and a good example of adapting an idea observed in one area to a completely different field. She wasn’t the winner, however. Maybe the audience, like me, thought kids should use their hands to hold their magic markers when they draw a picture, instead of using a remote control device to direct the marker.

The winner and my personal favorite was the Lock ‘n Bake Baking Pan, with sides that fold down for easy access to your cake or lasagna. This is a simple, practical device that will probably do very well on QVC.

What I like best about this invention is that it illustrates the point that useful, creative inventions are not usually completely new; they are improvements on something we already use that make it easier, faster, safer or more attractive. The best new products are probably tweakings of familiar products.

© Copyright 2007 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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