Bicycle is a type of transportation. The basic Outcomes for all forms of transportation are the same. There are only two Outcomes, an item is at one location then is at a different location.
Drawing 3: High-level Outcomes for Transportation
Even though the most basic Outcome diagram has only two Outcomes there are many other performance Outcomes to achieve the ideal for transportation.
The chunked down or zoomed in Outcome diagram looks like this:
Drawing 4: Chunked down Outcomes for Transportation
Notice that the first 4 Outcomes are a more detailed description of “Item is at a location” and the second 4 Outcomes are a more detailed description of “Item is at a different location”.
I've left out of the diagram the cost of pollution and energy because it's not part of the required Outcomes to achieve the goal of transportation. Those extra Outcomes are important fertile areas of innovation.
Another very important point to consider is the purpose of transportation. The basic Outcome of transportation is to move an item from one location to a different location. Often people will perform a task because it satisfies another desire. Many people ride bicycles for exercise or entertainment. Optimizing the different Outcomes for exercise or entertainment is very different from riding a bicycle purely for transportation.
A perfect example of the Outcomes being different based on the purpose is a stationary exercise bicycle. A stationary bicycle is useless for transportation but ideal for many Conditions of exercise or entertainment.
The Functions of a bicycle are determined by the Outcomes. A stationary exercise bicycle has different Functions than a bicycle used for transportation. Both share some Functions such as acquiring energy from the user.
Drawing 5: Bicycle Function Diagram
Even though a stationary bicycle doesn't move the user still needs it to stop and wants it pointed in the desired direction. Also the energy isn't transferred to the ground but something must be done with the energy collected from the user pedaling.
The ideal statement can help identify the Elements. Who and what are Objects. Where and when are Conditions or Begin and End States. Cost and hassle are undesired End States.
There are many Resources available in transportation including: passenger, weather, other vehicles, gravity, time of day, surface of the road, etc.
Once you have the Functions defined you can perform the Function using Components. The 15 Alternatives and 7 Elements also apply to Components so you can start with an existing device like a bicycle and find Alternatives for each Component.
A bicycle has many Components. Lets look at 9 of the major Components.
Objects for wheel:
Size, shape, weight, solid, spoked, material
Single wheel directly moves bicycle
Single wheel, unicycle
Wheel is added to the bicycle.
Single indirect wheel
Wheel drives treads
Single Other than wheel, ski
Other part of the bicycle
Wheel stays with the bicycle, welded on
Becomes a single wheel, once
One wheel stabilizes, once, one condition
One wheel, once, one condition
Many wheels directly move bicycle (2 wheel drive)
Many wheels (tricycle, quad-cycle, etc)
Indirect, wheel not part of bicycle. Road is wheels like a conveyor.
Many other, skis
Many same, multiple fixed wheels
Partial same, part of wheel is fixed.
Wheel doesn't change many times, some conditions
Wheel stabilizes many times, many conditions, many wheels
Becomes many wheels
Becomes a wheel many times, many conditions
Becomes part of a wheel
Wheel repairs many times, or conditions
Replace part of wheel
Wheel changeable, many options
All wheel bicycle (sphere like Illustration 29: Cage keeps tigers out)
Any indirect, wheel drive treads, or propeller, etc.
Any other, choose any option
All other, all options included
Any wheel stable
Wheel always same, last for lifetime
No wheel same, customized
Becomes any wheel, any condition
Becomes all wheel(s)
Becomes no wheel: track, float
Any wheel repaired
All wheels repaired
No wheel repairs, see Keep Stable
Who wants to learn a skill? What desires are they trying to satisfy by performing the task of learning?
Look at the different reasons for learning a skill. Are the reasons satisfied in the same way? Can we group them into functionally similar reasons? Are the differences qualitative or quantitative?
There appear to be two different types of reasons to learn a skill. The first is practical and the second is social.
The practical reasons for learning a skill are different from each other based on level of skill needed when complete. They can be ranked in order:
Even though the skill levels needed are ranked, there isn't a clear unit of measure so we can't quantitatively measure the differences. The difference is by qualitative type.
The social reasons, Entertainment and Share an Experience, are satisfied in different ways from the practical reasons. Even though learning the skill is desirable it is not essential to being entertained or sharing an experience. Enjoying the process is an essential Outcome for the social reasons. Enjoyment is beneficial but not required for the purely practical reasons to learn a skill so there is an overlap.
Drawing 1: Learning a Skill Outcome Diagram
Since there are two different sets of Outcomes lets start with the practical reasons. Draw an Outcome diagram for the task. These Outcomes define successfully performing the task.
The Outcomes for Learning a Skill do not include all related Outcomes. Motivation to learn and perception of the process of learning are factors that should be considered but are not essential to the core set of Outcomes.
The Outcome diagram defines the Objects. The next step is to draw a Function diagram for the process of achieving the Outcomes. The last step of a Function diagram is achieving an Outcome.
Drawing 2: Learning a Skill Function Diagram
Consider that you might need a Function diagram for each Outcome.
Expand the Elements for each of the Outcomes and each of the Functions. Element expansion is a form of structured idea generation. It is not free-form. The goal is to list items for each of the 7 Elements, which are related to the Outcomes and Functions. This focuses your work and keeps it organized for finding patterns later.
Since many people are accustomed to brainstorming it can be helpful to temporarily skip the Outcome and Function diagram, and start by listing Elements. This can help people clarify their thinking before drawing the Function diagram.
You will need some knowledge of the subject matter you are innovating to be able to identify Elements. If you are innovating an engine you will need to understand some amount of mechanics.
There are several combinations of these begin and End States. Depending on the purpose what is desired, undesired, and neutral changes.
Read, Watch, Hear, Touch, Do it, Taste, Smell, Imagine, Measure
Books, magazines, websites, radio, TV, video, pictures, audio recordings, lectures, demonstrations, games, models, activities, samples, measurement devices, tests.
Purpose, demographics, health of learner, other knowledge, past experiences, distractions, time available, comfort, emotions, format of information, language, physical environment, quality of information (incomplete or incorrect)
Medium of information, learner, other knowledge, emotions, physical environment, lecturer, friends, all of the Conditions.
Compare & contrast, Questions and answers, Thought experiment
Logic, restating in own words, lists, diagrams, conversations, email, text chat, phone, if...then statements, language, symbols
Purpose, demographics, health of learner, other knowledge, past experiences, distractions, time available, comfort, emotions, format of information, language
All the Conditions, learner, emotions, physical environment, teacher, friends
Play, simulation, exercise, do the real thing, mental rehearsal
Games, simulation, real thing, simplified version of real thing, slow motion, weights, puzzles
Difficulty of task, environment, health of learner
Objective measures of ability: time to complete an exercise, complexity of exercise completed, percentage of accurate results; measure of the difficulty of a type of practice: number of variables, amount of time given to complete task, number of mistakes allowed.
The final step in the Function diagram is satisfying both of the Outcomes of the Outcome diagram. Achieve Ability is complete when the learner can perform the task and does not need assistance.
There might not be a quantitative measure for ability but it can be broken down into four functionally distinct levels.
Do a task
Complete a test
Test, Questions, Measurement, Score, Mirror, Camera
Time available, level of other abilities, number of skills being learned, wording of the test, time between receiving feedback
Feedback from others, results of previous attempts
Learner is involved in every Outcome in Learning a Skill; so, it makes sense to start finding Alternatives for Learner.
When I first tried to apply the Directions to Learner I was confused. I had difficulty figuring out what was a direct Learner versus a Stable Learner. The problem was I needed to chunk down Learner into Person and Learning. A learner is a person who is learning. Once I chunked down into the two parts it was easy to figure out. Chunking up and down is a useful approach to remember.
Single person instructed
Prohibited Class or individual
Learns how to find person who can do it
Individual discovers skill
One person always learns
Single learns until a point
Single person learns existing information
Individual returns to learning
Skills restored for an individual
Many people instructed
Instructed many times
Learn to find many people who can do it
Many prohibited people
Group makes discovery
Many people always learn
Many people learn until a point
Many people learn existing information
Learn existing information as a group
Group returns to learning
Many people return to learning
Skills are restored for many people
Continually instructed, never independent
Everyone learns by observing
Everyone discovers for themselves
Everyone always learns
Everyone learns until a point then stops
Everyone learns existing information
Everyone returns to learning
No one returns to learning
Commanded one time
Commanded for one task
Commanded for one part of task
Individual doing other activity
Doing one other activity
Doing other activity once
Apply existing knowledge
Teach someone else
Skill becomes permanent
Skill becomes permanent after single time
Part of skill becomes permanent
Regain single skill
Regain skill once
Commanded for part of task
Commanded many times
Doing many other activities
Doing pieces of other activities
Replace many incorrect
Many steps to replace incorrect
Already know some of skill
Already know many skills
Teach many people
Teach many skills
Many skills become permanent
Skill becomes permanent after many times
Skills become permanent in multiple parts
Regain many skills
Regain skill many times
Commanded for everything
Commanded for entire task
Commanded until remembered
Doing every other activity
Doing any other activity
Do nothing, passive learning
Continuously replace incorrect
Replace all incorrect
Already know everything
Already know nothing
Already know anything
All skills become permanent
No skills become permanent
Any skill becomes permanent
Entire skill becomes permanent
Continually regaining skill
Everyone regaining skills
Regain any skill
Reminders for everything
Information to remember
One more detail
Grade / performance
What not to do, contrast
How to find information
Reason for skill
One gains acceptance
Remembered after first time
Reminder, flash card
Information changes once
One part changes
Many new things
Many parts are new
More information many things
Information about the information
Multiple ways to find the information
Told many times before remembered
Many things remembered
Accepted as fact for many Conditions
Many parts change
Changes many times
Many parts uncertain
Always new information
Applies to everyone
All information about the information
Always same information
All information remembered
Becomes considered law
Information always changing
Plain single meaning
Meaningful in one Condition
Opposite / Sarcasm
One thing unknown
Confused about one thing
Doesn't change for one Condition
One meaning stays the same
Takes time to understand
Meaning changes once
Understands after one error
Plain meaning multiple Conditions
Increases meaning multiple Conditions
Many things increase meaning
Partially wrong meaning
Wrong meaning many things
Same meaning many Conditions
Many meaning stay the same
Parts of meaning stay the same
Multiple exposures to understand
Multiple parts before understanding
Part of information before understanding
Corrects meaning many times/ways
Meaning changes many Conditions
Parts change meaning
Always increasing meaning
Increase meaning everything
Meaning is hidden
Same meaning all situations
Understood by everyone
Needs all to understand
Meaning constantly changing
Everything changes meaning
Always becomes clear again
Skill level improves once
One part of skill improves
Other skill change
Task becomes easier
One part of task becomes harder (exercise)
Single skill level stays the same
Skill same in one situation
One skill increases to point (learn once)
Skill increases to a point for one Condition
Skill level fluctuates once
One skill level fluctuates
Many skills improve
Skill improves many times
Skill partially improves
Many other skills change
Skill decreases many times
Parts of task become harder
Parts of task become easier
Partial skill level stays the same
Multiple skill levels stay the same
Skill same in many situations
Multiple skill levels increase to point
Skill plateaus multiple times
Skill level fluctuates many times
Many skill levels fluctuate
Skill level always improves
Completely loses skill
Improves all other skills
Skill level never changes
Skill same in all situations
Maximum skill level achieved
All skills increased to a point
Become expert in all aspects
Skill level never consistent
Continuous practice needed
Do it, experience, see yourself
Read, told, watch video, theory
Fixed belief, one thing, one time
Confirm belief once
Single change or difference
Average one variable
Experience many things directly
Many indirect sources
Indirectly experience many things
Fixed belief, many things
Consistent many times
Confirm belief many times
Confirm many beliefs
Many changes or differences
Average many variables
No direct experience
Believes everything, never changes
Confirm all beliefs
Rate of change
Real thing once
One type of practice
Real thing many times
Parts of real
Simulate multiple aspects
Do same thing many times
Repeat different parts
Simulate all aspects
Same thing every time
Do it once
Lose ability once
Complete practice once
Test completed once
Done many times
Lose many abilities
Complete practice multiple times
Multiple tests completed
Done all aspects
All aspects simulated
Any aspect simulated
Lose all ability
Lose any ability
Complete all practice
All tests completed
Perfect score on test
Test before each time
This video can help you get a quick overview and understand how the Alternatives were derived. The 15 Alternatives in the rest of the chapter is a condensed version of the 36 Alternatives.
The Alternatives Grid describes every possible way to satisfy a single Condition.
Each box in the grid represents a general way or approach to achieving a goal or result. Five columns and three rows means there are at least 15 ways to achieve any goal.
Each box in the Alternatives Grid is a general description. It describes a type of Alternative. There can be many examples of each type. All the possible Alternatives can be categorized into one of the 15 types.
The 15 Alternatives describe all the possible ways to achieve a goal because they are all the basic approaches.
To understand how you can describe every possible combination think about giving directions to go somewhere. If you give someone directions you can break all the steps into six basic movements: up, down, left, right, forwards and backwards.
By combining the six basic movements, you can travel anywhere. The same concept works for Alternatives. The 15 Alternatives describe every possible type of Alternative. It’s a framework for solving every problem.
Just because there are 15 types doesn’t mean that is the limit. Each box only describes a general type. There could be lots of individual ways that fit in each box. There could be many Continuous Stable Alternatives or Many Single Direct Alternatives.
The boxes of the Alternatives Grid describe every way. This helps you find the ways you can use. Knowing there are at least 15 Alternatives helps you find really good solutions.
If you can’t think of something for a box then there’s a solution you overlooked. Sometimes one of the Alternatives isn't possible using current technology. You can still describe the basics of how it will work and watch for the technology to become available.
There are three main ways to use the Alternatives Grid.
Sometimes you just want to get something done. When any good Alternative will satisfy your criteria we call that problem solving or solution finding. The way you were trying wasn’t working; so, you need a different choice. Use the Alternatives Grid to find an option you like.
When solution finding you don't need to look at every Alternative. Just because there are 15 boxes doesn’t mean you must find something for every box. If you find a really good Alternative, use it. If you need another, the Alternatives Grid is always there to guide you to more options.
When making a plan you might want to make sure you have the best choice and Alternatives in case you need to change your plan. The Alternatives Grid is a great tool for planning. Use it to find the best choice. Because it describes all the possible Alternatives, it helps you make sure to consider every option.
If any of the boxes in the Alternatives Grid is empty there is definitely something you missed. This could be a breakthrough waiting to happen. Since you have described what the box must contain you have the upper hand in finding it first.
The 3 rows of the Alternatives Grid are called Scales. The three Scales are: Single, Multiple, and Continuous. We use the symbols 1, M, and either ∞ or C to represent the scales.
Each of the three scales are functionally distinct from each other. Having only one of something is very different from having more than one. Doing something in one step is often very different from breaking it up into multiple steps. You can't step over a hole in two steps. You either step over it in one step or fall in. One is functionally distinct from multiple and continuous.
Most things fit in the many or multiple scale. Once you have a quantity of something there isn't a Functional Distinction between a small amount or a large amount. The big difference happens when you have all of something.
Having all of something is very different than having many. One type of continuous is all. When you have all of something you can do things that are not possible when you have many or even most of it. Having all of something is different from many and it is different from having the one and only. Continuous also means no divisions or breaks, it's smooth. Continuous is the difference between a digital gauge and a dial with a needle.
Breaking things into these categories helps you think about how they function, and what can be done. These Functional Distinctions are important for finding solutions.
There is a Single Alternative for each of the directions. Words used to describe Single are: single, one, once, only, exclusive, or unique.
Apply Single to: who, what, why, where, when, and with.
Single Element: Object, Begin State, End State, Action, Tool, Condition, Resource
Think of a Single: person, purpose, place, use, time, piece, or step.
Illustration 10: Single use, disposable
Disposable plastic eating utensils are Single use. These are also a Single piece and made from a Single material. Each of these have a Single purpose.
Illustration 11: One of a kind shoes
Custom made items are one of a kind. These items are exclusive. When used to make an item unique, Single can increase value.
Illustration 12: Elastic waistband, one piece shorts
The elastic band in the waist hold up one pair of shorts. The shorts are one-piece.
Illustration 13: Ford Model T One Color
The Ford Model T came in one color, black, to simplify manufacturing and reduce cost.
Multiple or many is more than one. Multiple provides flexibility with limits, choices with structure.
Multiple items usually have quantities you can count. Multiple can be many of the same item or many related items. Many can also mean parts. So instead of a single piece it has many pieces or many steps to perform a task.
Multiple applies to who, what, why, where, when, and with.
Think of multiple choice, pieces, steps, customers, locations, prices, or models.
Illustration 14: Menu
Menus provide multiple choices. There are options with limits. There is flexibility but structure.
Illustration 15: Cars in multiple colors
Multiple colors of cars are offered by manufacturers. This provides variety without complexity.Most cars have options for different components. This allows flexibility for customers but control for manufacturers. Cars carry multiple passengers.
Illustration 16: Belts are used on multiple pants
A belt can be worn with many different pairs of pants.A reversible belt is more than one color.
Adjustable sizes fit many waists.
Continuous is the extreme in any direction, not just more but the most possible.
Continuous items are measured by volume or weight if they are measured at all. Words used to describe continuous are:
Continuous applies to who, what, where, when, why, and with. All 7 Elements of an Outcome apply to continuous. Continuous Scale is similar to Stable Direction
Illustration 17: All You Can Eat Buffet
An all-you-can-eat buffet has many examples of continuous.
Illustration 18: Skype, free chat, voice and video conferencing
Skype provides free chat, voice and video conferences between users and unlimited long distance phone calls for a fixed price.
Illustration 19: Handicap Unisex Bathroom
Restroom is accessible to anyone. The sign can be read by people who can see and cannot. Unisex so anyone can use it.
Illustration 20: Vinyl siding,
The color of vinyl siding is forever. You never need to paint it.
Illustration 21: Custom made T-Shirt
Custom made items allow you to have anything. If the product is information, like the design on the T-Shirt, you can make unlimited copies.
Illustration 22: Wireless headset
Wireless headset has no wires and requires no hands to use. If it is used with a mobile phone it can be taken anywhere. A headset allows you to talk while driving so it's anytime.
Illustration 23: Tattoo , always, forever
A tattoo is an example of continuous in several ways. It is permanent, always, and forever.
The 5 columns of the Alternatives Grid are called Directions. The five directions are: Direct, Indirect, Keep Stable, Make Stable, and Return to Stable. Like the 3 scales the 5 Directions are functionally distinct from each other.
The symbols we use for the Directions only hint at the true functionality of each Direction. The first three, Direct +, Indirect -, and Stable = cover the ideas of more, less, and same. More, less, and same are obviously functionally distinct from each other. Makes Stable → and Return to Stable ~ are functionally distinct versions of Stable.
Understanding the differences of the Directions involves learning an aspect of multidimensional thinking. When thinking in only one dimension we have opposites of each other such as more and less, + and -. Clearly more and less are opposites of each other. But stable, =, is the opposite of change. So Stable, =, is the opposite of both more +, and less -.
Stable can also be thought of as zero (0). If you add or subtract zero from anything it does not change. You can achieve a stable position by making a change or by undoing a change. In that way the change is zero.
Makes Stable starts at a State then ends in the final Stable State. Return to Stable starts at a State then changes and finally returns to the original State. Most often we think of the initial State as being the desired State but it could be any State.
Each of the 15 Alternatives apply to all of the 7 Elements. It's also helpful to think of the 6 Ws: Who, What, Where, Why, When, and With. Who uses it, buys it, decides to use it, and wants it? What is it being done by or to? Where is it being done? When is it being done? With which products, people, or processes is it being used? Why use it? Why is how to decide the Alternative to use.
It directly satisfies the condition. You can also think of direct as positive such as doing something versus not doing something. Also think of add, increase, or more. If the Direct Function is stopped the desired condition stops.
Illustration 24: Paper Clip Directly Holds Paper
Paper clips directly hold the paper together. If it is removed the pieces come apart. Also a paper clip is added to the paper.
Illustration 25: Heater directly warms
Heater directly makes you warm. It adds heat.
Indirect is just what it seems like. It’s the opposite of the direct approach. Think words such as remove, decrease, and other.
Indirect is very flexible. The direct approach makes the goal happen when you use it. Indirect could make it happen by not doing something. Or it could take the goal away by doing something.
But indirect doesn’t apply just to Actions. It could apply to things you use. For instance you want paint that sticks to a surface better. Instead of looking at the paint, look at the surface. Maybe you can do something to the surface to make the paint stick better. Or to the brush or to the room you are painting in.
A very powerful use of Indirect is to check your goal. Some times we state our goal in a way that is limiting. An example is The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for “preventing bad medicine from being sold”. That sounds like a good goal but is that really what you want?
Isn’t the real goal to promote good medicine? If you set up your Alternatives Grid to “promote good medicine” you suddenly have 12 boxes full of good medicine instead of trying to stop bad medicines. See how that could be much more productive?
But sometimes you could use the indirect goal for another purpose. If you were looking for ways to heat food the indirect is to make it cold. Can you see value in making food cold?
Look for all indirect Alternatives including:
Illustration 26: Attract bugs to zapper instead of repelling with chemicals
Instead of using toxic chemicals to repel bugs, attract them to a bug zapper.
Illustration 27: Make water not stick
Instead of drying dishes, make water not stick.
Illustration 28: Junk mail fuel
Instead of stopping junk mail, get more then use it as free fuel.
Illustration 29: Cage keeps tigers out
Illustration 30: Cage keeps tiger in
Keep the desired condition. If you start with what you want you want to keep it. Ways to keep the desired goal fit the description of Stable.
Stable options are described with words such as:
The Stable Alternative can apply to all 7 Elements.
Illustration 31: Seat belt keeps passenger safe
Illustration 32: Sippy cup
Starting from some undesired State it creates a stable desired State. Change a property of an element to bring it to a stable State.
Make Stable options are described with words such as:
The Make Stable Alternative applies to all 7 Elements.
Illustration 33: Glue makes stables
Glue makes things stick together permanently.
Illustration 34: Vaccine
Vaccine causes immunity to disease.
Illustration 35: Fossil, make stable
Fossils happen when water with minerals soaks into the object then the water dries and the object decays away the minerals are left behind as a fossil.
Bring the desired State back if it changes. Like all stable Alternatives you might have used a direct or indirect to reach the desired State.
Return to Stable options are described with words such as:
Return to Stable Alternative applies to all 7 Elements.
Illustration 36: Springs
Illustration 37: Generator
Generator returns power if it fails.
Illustration 38: Thermostat
Thermostat turns on heat if it gets too cold or air conditioning if it gets too hot. Returns temperature to the desired setting.
Innovation is always dealing with change so the passage of time is a fundamental concept for innovation. Time is specifically referenced in the directions, especially the Stable Alternatives. Keep Stable, Make Stable and Return to Stable focus on changes in relation to time. Direct and Indirect are less concerned with time and focus on now. Direct Alternatives achieve the goal when the Action is performed and stop when the Action stops. Indirect is the opposite or different from Direct so regarding time it might be not now meaning before or after. When Continuous is applied to time it overlaps the three Stable Alternatives. It's helpful to think about how time is considered for each of the directions.
By combining the 3 Scales and the 5 Directions you have 15 Alternatives. For an example look at coloring a wall. Walls can be colored in many different ways. The typical approach is paint. The end user of the wall does not care how the wall gets the desired color, only that it is the desired color without any other negative effects.
This is only a sample of each type. In reality there are at least 105 types with multiple variations for each. As you read these samples think of other ways of doing the same type or other types for each Alternative. Space has been left for you to write down your ideas.
Make paint stick better to one type of surface. Paint sticks during a Single Condition such as temperature or humidity. Paint sticks after one coat.
Make paint stick better to multiple surfaces. Paint sticks during multiple Conditions, such as hot and cold or low and high humidity. Two step process, primer then paint.
Paint sticks to any surface. Paint sticks during any Condition.
Wall holds paint better. The brush makes the paint stick better.
Wall holds multiple types of coloring such as paint or wallpaper.
Wall holds any color or type of coloring. No paint, color is projected on the wall.
Make the wall from a material that is the desired color.
Make the wall from a material that is multiple colors. Color appears the same in multiple Conditions, reacts to light.
Any color. No color, it is transparent so you can see the desired Object through it. Continuously reacts to Conditions to always appear as desired.
Single treatment makes it stable, stain. Single color. Ceiling paint changes color after drying making it easier to see where you painted.
Multiple colors. Multiple types of surfaces, such as interior, exterior, walls, ceilings, or floors. Multiple treatments to make it stable. Multiple step process.
Treatment permanently colors any surface. Any color stain. Stains the entire room or Object at once.
Returns to color once. Film placed on wall allows dirt to be removed once. Scuff mark removed with heat or a chemical applied to wall once.
Returns to color multiple times. Multiple layers that can be removed. Covering is thick allowing it to be sanded to remove stains or scuff marks. Easy to wash.
Color projected on the surface that automatically adjusts to display the correct color regardless of conditions.
1See Prerequisites section for more explanation of Functional Distinction
Predictive Innovation makes it possible to accurately understand what customers desire now and in the future and how to overcome technical challenges to satisfying those desires. In this way it merges marketing, engineering and business strategy. The key is how it breaks down systems into easy to manage dimensions. All innovation and problem solving uses three specific dimensions:
By using these three specific dimensions, all the innovations for any product or service can be accurately described even if current technology can't build it.
Physical objects can be described using height, width, and depth. Similarly, systems can be described using the three dimensions: Outcomes, 7-Elements, and 15-Alternatives.
Outcome is the result of something happening. For Predictive Innovation we use a broader and more formal meaning.
Outcome is an observable state resulting from a cause.
Speed, color, or temperature are observable States. A State can also be an event that did or did not happen. The State of any Outcome is classified into one of three categories:
Most systems can be described using between 5 and 9 Outcomes. If a system is complex it might require dividing the system into smaller sub-systems to be manageable.
When each of the Outcomes of a system are in the desired State the overall goal is achieved.
Predictive Innovation uses Outcome Diagrams to graphically represent the systems for satisfying people's desires. Outcome diagrams are a type of flow chart. Instead of showing steps in a process it displays all the conditions or “if” statements to achieve the overall goal. In words an Outcome diagram says:
If A and B and C Then my desires are satisfied for this Scenario.
There are 6 dimensions used in Predictive Innovation. Finding What, How, When, and Where primarily deal with 3 of these dimensions. Why and Who requires more depth of all 6 dimensions. The 6 dimensions are:
There are 8 types of Actors. Each Actor can be a single person or multiple people. There is always at least one person who is the User. Users are the central focus of innovation. If the users' desires are not satisfied innovation fails. The 8 types of Actors are:
Customers are divided into four distinct roles: Beneficiary, User, Buyer, and Payer. Roles can be performed by one or more people but someone performs each of the roles. The desires of the person acting in that role are different from the desires related to the other roles.
Users are people who use the product or service. There must be at least one User. Satisfying the desires of the User is essential to innovation. Examples of Users' desires are:
Beneficiaries experience the benefits of the product or service. In most cases the User and the Beneficiary are the same person but not always. Products used in performing a service have a different User than the Beneficiary.
Deciders make the decision to purchase the product or service. Examples of Deciders' desires are:
Payers supply the money or materials for the innovation. For consumer products the User, Buyer and Payer are often the same person. In business these are usually three different people. Examples of Payers' desires are:
Provider is divided into four roles:
Provider can be divided differently but these four provide a sufficiently accurate description to understand the process. Just like customers these could be a single person or multiple people. The provider could also be the same person as the customer and each of the roles could be shared by people acting in other roles. So the User could be Builder and the other 6 roles be someone else.
Designers convert desires into actionable designs. This frequently is more than one person. Examples of Designers' desires are:
Builders convert design into real products. For services the builder does the work. Builders are often many different people. Examples of Builders' desires are:
Sellers deliver the product or service to the User. The Seller is involved in the purchase transaction. Examples of Sellers' desires are:
Communicator gathers information and translates between Actors. Examples of Communicators' desires are:
Customers act as more than just Users. There are markets and innovations for each Actor in a Scenario. Innovation starts by satisfying Users.