Originally, the doughnut had no hole. As legend would have it, a small boy noticed that the center of his mother’s donuts weren’t completely done so he poked it out with a fork. Sometimes, as the doughnut illustrates, eliminating something makes for a more successful product.
Are there things you can eliminate from your product or service that strips it down to its essence? For instance, take away the armament from a tank and you have a tractor. The founder of Toyota took a hint from American grocery stores. He noticed that they didn’t store perishables on site. Instead, the grocery pushed the storage and delivery back onto vendors. This so-called “just-in-time” concept cut Toyota’s costs drastically.
How can we divide it, split it, or cut back on it to improve it? The potato chip was born when a chef was tired of a diner sending deep fried potato slices back to the kitchen saying they were too thick. The chef, in a pique, cut them wafer thin, fried them and took them out. They were a hit, and the rest is history.
Here are some other questions to ask in your attempt to eliminate creatively:
- What if this were smaller?
- What can we leave out?
- What can we bypass?
- Can we separate it into different parts? How useful is each of the parts? Could we improve it one part at a time?
- What isn’t the problem?
Have you ever used this technique to improve your product or service? Let us know.
Here is where you’ll find the rest of this series.
Part 1 of the series – SCAMMPERR For Creativity
Part 2 of the series - Combine It For Creativity
Part 3 of the series – Adapt It For Creativity
Part 4 of the series – Magnify It For Creativity
Part 5 of the series - Modify It For Creativity
Part 6 of the series – Put It To Other Uses For Creativity