Another Answer in the Everyday...LiveProud

My students are regularly reminded (by me) that all around us are answers in the everyday. I coined this term 4 years ago after coming across story after story of people who solved a problem or found an answer in their everyday experiences and/or through everyday materials.

The basic premise of the Answers in the Everyday concept is that all of us have, at our disposal in our everyday experience, materials, palettes, canvases, and tools to create answers to both big and small problems.

The classic example that I use is of the good folks at TerraCycle who use "trash" to create new products, including backpacks, lunchboxes, kites, and picture frames. If you don't know the full story of TerraCycle, click here and you'll learn about the founder, Tom Szaky, and his vision for TerraCycle.

Another Answer in the Everyday story that I like to share is that of Scott Wade. Have you heard of him? [If you've been reading this blog for a few years, you may recall a mention of Scott here.] Scott's an interesting guy who noticed that he had access to a unique answer in the everyday, simply because of where he chose to live. As his website relays:
"Scott lives on a mile and a half of dirt road-caliche, as the locals call it, road-base: a blend of limestone dust and gravel and clay. Driving over this surface results in a fine, white dust that billows up behind any vehicle driven faster than a galloping turtle, coating the rear window."

So, what would you do with this coating of dust on the back window of your car? I'd wash it off. Scott's different. Instead, Scott looks at it as a perfect opportunity to create something from nothing. To take what was given to him, what he had access to, and what he was presented with and use it as his canvas. Check out his gallery and you'll be impressed with what can be done with a little dust on a car window.

I was reminded of this concept this morning while reviewing the BusinessWeek's 2010 America's Best Young Entrepreneurs Finalists. If you haven't read the short bios for each of the finalists, I suggest you do. If you don't have time to read all of them, at least check out the two founders of LiveProud. These two young guys created a performance sportswear company that uses fabric made from discarded plastic bottles and other "trash". With their two brands, TrekProud and SailProud, already in the market, these two young entrepreneurs plan to launch a yoga apparel line in the not too distant future.

I applaud these guys for seeing beyond the trash and finding an Answer in the Everyday.

So, let me ask you, what do you have in your everyday experience today that can serve as a solution to a problem? What's your canvas? What's your palette? What has someone cast aside that you can repurpose and reuse?

1 comment:

Phil said...

Brilliant post - and my sincere thanks for including LiveProud.

Your "Answers in the Everyday" philosophy is a game changer for our company is all about taking what's abundantly available, and affordable, and making products of value.

This mindset will be the main driver of "true" innovation in the future...and is a fantastic way to differentiate against competition right now.

Of course, though, I'm a little biased....