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Japanese Watermelon June 30, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.


The novelty of the square watermelon is of course, an Attribute Dependency change.  The story behind the square watermelon is just as interesting;

Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than their  US counterparts and therefore don’t have room to waste. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach.  ”If the supermarkets want a space efficient watermelon,”  they asked themselves, “How can we provide one?” It wasn’t long before they invented the square watermelon.

The solution to the problem of round watermelons wasn’t nearly as difficult to solve for those who didn’t assume the problem was impossible to begin with and simply asked how it could be done. It turns out that all you need to do is place them into a square box when they are growing and the watermelon will take on the shape of the box.

Read more about the lessons of the square watermelon at Hard Knox Life.  Or, learn how to grow them yourself here.  We don’t suggest trying to buy one, as they cost about 10,000 yen ($90).


Black Cat, Black Belt, Black Tissue? June 24, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Attribute Dependency.
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Most layman’s knowlegde of the facial tissue industry begins and ends with how the Kleenex brand literally redefined the tissue (i.e. people ask for a Kleenex).  Well, Kleenex better watch out for Daishowa, a Japanese brand overturning color conventions by offering black tissues.

Clearly, a case of Attribute Dependency change, but why?  According to the Japan Trend Shop;

Black is back in Japan, with everyday household items and health goods taking on a darker tone to show casual luxury and sophistication.

black tissues

We admit, these tissues do look pretty sleek.  Plus, the color black certainly suits American cultural associations between tissues, mourning, and funeral attire.  Kleenex is currently running a “Let It Out” campaign, can black tissues for American consumers be far behind?

It’s interesting that when an Attribute Dependency crosses international borders, the meaning of the Attribute change can well, change, but it can still produce a meaningful innovation in the end.

More Hands-Free Technology June 17, 2008

Posted by goodmind in Subtraction.
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The Hands-Free Umbrella is a great idea, not to mention a great example of Subtraction.  It’s also kind of interesting to note that it’s invention was preceded by the need for a hands-free mobile phone. Legislation can speed up the process of Inventive Thinking, but that even a 4,000 year old product can be improved by applying one of the Five Patterns.

(via swissmiss)