Michael Plishka

Designing the Future? Check out these 5 Websites for Innovative and Inspiring Materials

Reflect for a moment on where you are now: Probably sitting somewhere….Wearing something (if not, I hope you are not in public)…Your feet are resting upon something…You're looking at a screen, touching it perhaps..you are smelling and feeling the hot cup of coffee in your...

Innovation, Design, Beauty and More From the International Home + Housewares Show

I went to the Home + Housewares Show today. I love this show – the new ideas, the color, the food and cooking, it's a veritable smorgasbord of design. Because of an impending snowstorm I was only able to attend today and as...

Tips for Innovative Problem Solving, or, How to Shovel Snow Without a Shovel

This past evening, just shy of midnight, I was getting ready to head outside for my second round of shoveling. I had already shoveled a good 7 inches of snow around 5pm and it looked like another 5 or so had fallen since. I...

Makers – The New Industrial Revolution (Book Review)

The other day I picked up a copy of Makers – The New Industrial Revolution, by Chris Anderson. It's an exploration of the Maker movement and its place on the world-wide stage. If I could sum up this book with one word it would be:…

Finding the Real Niches for 3D Printing

3-D printing is cool and it has its place, but we keep asking it to do everything. We want it to be the go-to technology for making toys, utensils, art, food, etc. And yes, there are companies like Ponoko that are...

The Goal: Making Innovation Disappear

Some years back I was involved in an inter-religious dialogue with a Muslim group. During the course of many conversations, one thing became clear. My Muslim friends didn't think of themselves as belonging to a religion, per se. They simply were...

Virtuous Innovation – A Way to Sustainable Design and Development

Click to go the Virtuous Innovation Tool For every good idea brought to fruition, for every implemented idea that sees the light of day, there exists the possibility that the product may be used for something other than what it's intended for. It's difficult...

Innovation and Weeds

First on the scene – last to leave Opportunistic Propagate brilliantly Efficient Thrive where others struggle Become the new 'normal' Difficult to get rid of WEEDS Who wouldn't want their organization/product/service to have the above traits – to thrive like a weed in a field…

Innovation (and Living!) Starts with Seeing

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." – Henry David Thoreau At the end of August I was watching a bumble bee go from flower to flower. "Hmmm…" I said out loud. I went inside and grabbed a camera. ...

Innovating Healthcare Using Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles of Good Design

The above scene is from the home of a person who has some pretty serious lung problems. This equipment is sitting next to the front door. This is what the inhabitants of the house see every day. It's what guests see when they...

Building Empathy on the Road to Innovation (and a Better World)

While the woman on the table braced herself for the extremely invasive transvaginal ultrasound, the technician tried to calm her: "You know, when I was in school, they had us go through this exact same procedure so that we can understand what you're feeling while...

Four Insights Into Great Innovation From Ernest Hemingway

"The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice."–Ernest Hemingway I came across the above quote from Hemingway and it dawned on me how you could substitute "Innovators" for "The best...

When US Healthcare Delivery Meets The Cheesecake Factory: The Stuff Innovation is Made of

What do the U.S. healthcare delivery system and The Cheesecake Factory have in common? According to Dr. Atul Gawande, potentially a great deal. The Dr. recently penned an article over at The New Yorker called, "Big Med." Inspired by his experience at The...

Looking to Outliers For Innovative Brilliance

  (Before reading please watch the above short video) I can't help but smile every time I watch this video.  The innocence of Butters (the character that sits 'backwards' on toilets,) is key.  He does something that seems totally normal and makes perfect sense.  With…

Want to Innovate? No Excuses, Make it Happen!

I recently looked at some simulation software to help me do some analysis for a project I'm working on. I wasn't looking for a full-blown exact solution. I was instead looking for possible directions – ways to help me 'zero in' on ways...

Great New Tool for Collaboration (and More!) – Use a ‘Big Marker’

What do GoTo Meeting, Dropbox, and Ning have in common? Not much really. So, if you want to web conference, share files and create a community presence on the web, you need to subscribe to all the above services and maybe more. Enter Big Marker.…

A Look at Different Approaches to Innovation via NeoCon 2012

Yesterday, I was at the NeoCon 2012 Design Expo. While many, if not most, of the companies touted themselves as being innovative, there were a handful that caught my eye for different reasons. People need people to heal, so anything that helps family...

Censoring the Censor – The Key to Increasing Creativity

Inside your brain there's a creativity censor. With finger poised above the 'Bleep' button, he's constantly protecting you from ideas that he deems useless, or worse: foolish. He knows what every boss wants, what every friend thinks of you, what strangers see...

Is There a Will For The “Why?” – Uncovering Innovative Product Opportunities

One of the best ways to generate innovative ideas is, in some ways, the simplest (but not necessarily the easiest!) When confronted with a problem, don't just brainstorm to solve the problem. Ask, "Why is it important to solve this problem?" For example, if someone...

What Makes Successful Products, Services and Brands?

"If I eat a pink cake, the taste of it is pink; the light sugary perfume, the oiliness of the butter cream are the pink. Thus I eat the pink as I see the sugary." –(Jean-Paul Sartre, "The Hole," in Existentialism and Human Emotions...

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