Eliminate It For Creativity



Originally, the doughnut had no hole. As legend would have it, a small boy noticed that the center of his mother’s donuts weren’t completely done so he poked it out with a fork. Sometimes, as the doughnut illustrates, eliminating something makes for a more successful product.

Are there things you can eliminate from your product or service that strips it down to its essence? For instance, take away the armament from a tank and you have a tractor. The founder of Toyota took a hint from American grocery stores. He noticed that they didn’t store perishables on site. Instead, the grocery pushed the storage and delivery back onto vendors. This so-called “just-in-time” concept cut Toyota’s costs drastically.

How can we divide it, split it, or cut back on it to improve it? The potato chip was born when a chef was tired of a diner sending deep fried potato slices back to the kitchen saying they were too thick. The chef, in a pique, cut them wafer thin, fried them and took them out. They were a hit, and the rest is history.

Here are some other questions to ask in your attempt to eliminate creatively:

– What if this were smaller?

– What can we leave out?

– What can we bypass?

– Can we separate it into different parts? How useful is each of the parts? Could we improve it one part at a time?

– What isn’t the problem?

Have you ever used this technique to improve your product or service? Let us know.

Here is where you’ll find the rest of this series.

Part 1 of the series – SCAMMPERR For Creativity

Part 2 of the series – Combine It For Creativity

Part 3 of the series – Adapt It For Creativity

Part 4 of the series – Magnify It For Creativity

Part 5 of the series – Modify It For Creativity

Part 6 of the series – Put It To Other Uses For Creativity

About the Author

Harry Hoover
Harry Hoover is a partner in My Creative Team, the agency that makes Fortune 1000 clients look good. His communications career spans 35 years and runs the gamut from print and broadcast journalism, government and corporate communications to advertising and public relations agencies. He is the author of Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself and Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide.

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