How about developing a product by asking the "hard questions" I wrote about the other day?
What important truth do very few people agree with you on?
Let's add some "wake-up" spice to this question to use for a product design, even if it is not a great invention that will change the world. Many people don't live their lives thinking about the future ten years from now. By adding something that seems a little less good now but could be a trend a bit further down the line, you can create a more realistic product that will 'wake people up' rather than a fanciful vision. To put it another way, instead of being three steps ahead in ten years, we will be one step ahead in one year.
The truths that no one knows maybe everywhere. For example, the price of these three sponges or brushes for washing dishes gives us a hint. These can all be bought in Canggu, Bali.
The sponge on the first left, made of pink plastic material, can be found anywhere in the world and costs less than a dollar. The brush in the middle, made from coconut fibre, was used in many households in the past. The third on the right is also made from coconut fibre and costs about $3. But, if you look on Amazon.com, you can find them about five times that.
For example, there is a truth that "some people don't want to use plastic brushes because they pollute the earth if they are not disposed of properly". And if you are just about to make a new toothbrush, this truth helps design.
Let's consider the five steps of a vision. The first stage of the vision is to create a toothbrush that does not cause environmental problems. Let's think about the current situation in the third stage. A Coconut Fiber Brush is sold for twice the price of a standard plastic sponge, or even ten times more, depending on the design. Many people still think that it is normal to brush their teeth with a cheap plastic toothbrush. But in ten years, we may all be using ultraviolet light to sterilise and clean our mouths instead of using a rubbish toothbrush. However, as a business, people won't be interested in a product that will be available ten years from now. So we decided to go one step ahead and sell a toothbrush made from coconut fibre, the same material used to make the Coconut Fiber Brush.
How about product design with a bit of forethought?