I recently came across Good Housekeeping’s VIP (Very Innovative products) for 2012. They listed a number of products including an oven, a thermostat, cleaning supplies and even a hall of fame product scotch tape.  All of these products appear to have something in common.  They resulted from someone observing a product or a problem, looking for a creative solution or improvement.   They are innovations that are not necessarily revolutionary, but improvements to existing products.

The key to such innovations seems to be to look at a product people use every day, accept it as good and find a way to make it better.  Sometimes we need to get up from our desk or get out of our lab and observe what it is we are trying to improve and see how our customers use it.  Keep this thought from Edison in mind, “I would rather examine something myself for even a brief moment rather than listen to somebody tell me about it for two hours.”