November 23, 2005

Just Disappear!

Reading this story on blowing colored bubbles was really entertaining, heartwarming, and inspiring. It also pointed out something that I hadn't thought about for some time, the unique value of the ephemeral. I first thought about this upon reading the history of the sticky note and finding out how much of a revelation it was to work towards an adhesive that wasn't too sticky. Colored bubbles are a similar story.

The original inventor could figure out how to make colored bubbles but his bubbles would stain. On his own, the best he could figure out was something that was washable. The random chaos of bubble landings quickly demonstrated that washable just wasn't good enough for moms. Color had to disappear without effort. The solution created an entirely new class of dyes and colored bubbles turned out to be just the door opener in an enterprise that should be changing our aesthetic world starting in 2006 and for the rest of our lives.

We spend so much of our effort inventing things that will last longer, create lasting value, be a permanent monument to this or that. What if we've been missing an entire world of the ephemeral? What if looking at ordinary things and asking how to improve them by making them temporary is the great overlooked opportunity of our time?

Somethign to think about...

Posted by TMLutas at November 23, 2005 12:23 PM