Innovate Like a Child

When sitting with my gorgeous little cherubs during lockdown, I was reminded of the state of the child like brain, and how limitless the possibilities are in a child’s world. My 4-year-old approached me to play with his ‘camera’, which was in fact created out of Duplo, of course. Furthermore, he went on to play with it as if it were a Polaroid camera, handing the prints to me straight from the camera as he was ‘taking’ them. This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, except, we do not own a Polaroid camera, and he has never, to the best of my knowledge, been shown one in a real or virtual setting.

Surely there is a lesson here? If we can all adopt the child-like innocence when inventing, we have the power to realise pure innovation. In those famous words of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it you can do it”. The child-like mind is only concerned with the concept. They are not bothered by the reality of how the product may actually function and whether it is possible; they are idealist’s, conceptualisers, dreamers and little limitless innovators. Starting with the ‘what if’ scenario to determine your end result and working backwards surely is innovation at its most pure. In the industry, you may hear this referred to as the ‘Looks-Like’ model. The next step then incorporates the ‘Works-Like’ design phase, which examines how the product should function. Put the two together and you have arrived at your Proof of Concept (POC) which is how you are usually able to demonstrate the full functionality of the product – tadaa! The POC is often used to help foster further investment in a project, or to get sign off for moving forward to manufacture.

Image: Victoria Borodinova via Pexels   
Header Image: Porapak Apichodilok via Pexels

But there are more learnings that we can take from our little inventors; their innovative approach is so raw and pure, but they will simply not take no for an answer. If you know kids, you will know that not getting involved in whatever madcap scenario they are playing at, simply isn’t a reality. Unless you want to hear about it for the next hour whilst trying to get them to do something else. Easier then surely, to get involved and be the ‘cheese monster on the space station’, that they have determined you so clearly are! Maybe as inventors we need push back more often – don’t take no for an answer and keep researching, pushing and seeking out better options, in order to arrive at the outcome your concept truly deserves.

Last but not least, kids are natural marketers. You will buy the product. You do need the product. No matter the logical explanation you provide as to why that giant robotic dinosaur is actually not a necessity, sure enough, your tiny human will undoubtedly provide you with a reason they do need it, which is hard to reckon with, either because they are on some weird level, right, or because quite frankly you just can’t say no! We can take this lesson when we are looking at how we take our concepts to market. If the obvious route to market isn’t working for you, where else can you market your product, have you considered all audiences, is the price point suited to the demographic, is your offering in demand, and so on.  The mind of a child, whilst taking a somewhat less structured approach, certainly takes into account so much more than you could ever imagine!

So let’s get your concept up and running!  At Conficio we will work with you to take your idea from concept to reality, all with the persistence that a child would be proud of! Ready to take that leap? Drop us a line today – contact andy@conficio.design and we will help you make your idea a reality.

Cleo Whelan, Marketing Manager, Conficio

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