“Cool stuff fails”–Prof. Fountain. All successful innovations start with a customer NEED.
The Design Evolution of Beer Can Openings (Core 77). This article discusses the development of a “design” that serves an obvious need. That makes me wonder what development is currently in progress in the service of better meeting this need. Fascinating that it wasn’t until the 1990s that the design as we know it was implemented. That’s still a bit beyond the 10-year mark, for the purposes of Unit 1 (remember, you’re looking for something that has hit the market within the last 3-10 years), but something as small-seeming as a beer can opening could lead you in the right direction!
Not Just a Crock: The Viral Word of Mouth Success of Instant Pot (NPR). Part of the innovation here is the virality of the product’s marketing campaign. Even though the small company that makes this product does no traditional advertising, this crockpot is the top-selling ITEM on Amazon’s U.S. site.
Your Next Pair of Shoes Could Come From a 3D Printer (New York Times). This article details several young designers working at the intersection of technological innovation and customizable fashion. It would be really interesting to trace the path of one of the companies discussed in the article, since these designers are pretty articulate about their reasons for leveraging technology in the service of fashion.