Necessity: The Mother Of Invention
One glorious summer day, Sara Wolf and her family were lazing on the sand when she looked around at her fellow beach-goers and noticed something profoundly bizarre. You see, while many women were dressed in comfortable, quick-drying swimwear that allowed them to freely enjoy their preferred shore-side activities, a significant portion of their female comrades were weighted down by oversized t-shirts and baggy bottoms that they wore over their swimsuits. This wasn’t new to Sara, of course. In fact, she, herself, was cloaked in this familiar uniform. But this time, Sara was peering through new eyes; eyes that sought solution rather than passive acceptance. Right then and there, she called Daniella Teutsch, her business partner and they began to brainstorm. There just had to be a means of providing women with sun and body coverage without sacrificing comfort and freedom. And that’s how, on a sunny day, in one of the very locations it was most needed, the concept of HydroChic was conceived.
Some of our most prized possessions were born the very same way HydroChic was – out of pure necessity. While some entrepreneurs struggle actively to conjure up new innovations to offer the public, others simply find themselves stumbling onto a business idea while attempting to solve a problem they’ve experienced one too many times.
Here’s a list of a few highly appreciated products that are the brilliant results of people getting fed up:
The Sweep Easy
Shark Tank fans may be familiar with this helpful, little twist to the traditional broom. After acquiring the esteemed position of “stay-at-home-dad”, and learning his way around all the various tasks that difficult job entails, Shane Panell decided something needed be done about those bits of dried food and other shenanigans that prove too stubborn for broom bristles to scrape from the floor. Not content with having to put his broom aside, get down on his hands and knees, and physically detach odds and ends from the tile, Panell got to work. After turning his garage into a workshop, he created prototype after prototype of the Sweep Easy, a broom with a built-in scraper that can be released with the push of button. Panell may be the father of the Sweep Easy, but the mother of this invention was undoubtedly necessity!
If you haven’t stood on a sidewalk with your finger in the air, desperately trying to hail a cab for at least twenty minutes, well…you’ve probably never been in New York City in the rain. Waiting for a cab when you’ve got somewhere to be (or are simply out of patience) can be a highly frustrating experience. It was, at least, for Shahar Waiser, who failed to get a taxi to the Palo Alto airport in California for over a half hour. Fortunately for the rest of the taxi-using world, Waiser didn’t simply moan about this exasperating struggle to his friends or post a bitter rant about it on Facebook. No, along with Roi More, he created Gett (originally known as GetTaxi). The app is pretty straightforward: It uses location services and GPS to connect consumers to nearby taxi drivers, offering the former real-time estimates of the length of time it will take for the cabs to reach them, as well as the convenient means of paying for the ride through the application itself. Gett has been widely embraced by commuters across the globe and is another shining example of how someone can channel an immediate frustration into the drive to fill a hole in the marketplace.
After getting fired from his job at a grocery store, Mike Lindell decided to spend his last paycheck on a new pillow, hoping that investing in an expensive brand would finally provide the good night’s sleep he’d been desperately craving. Unfortunately for him, the investment went sour, with the pricey new pillow offering up the same results as all the others; it would get flat and hot, and leave him sore and stiff in the morning. He did, however, manage to sleep long enough to dream up his vision for MyPillow, the world’s most comfortable pillow, which stays cool, doesn’t go flat and is even machine washable. With some hard work and determination, Mike managed to educate consumers about his product and before long, people were scrambling to get their heads on one. What started as an urgent need for a good night’s sleep became a company worth millions, all because Mike Lindell dreamed big.
It takes more than a grating problem to bare invention; it takes the right person, someone who is going to face that problem head-on and commit to solving it. Many of the most basic inventions we use today, ones we take for granted, would not be on our store shelves were it not for the individuals who were able to see a common dilemma as an opportunity. So, the next time you’re in a bind, resist the urge to groan and look for a way out – It may be just what the world is waiting for.
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