Fri, May 1, 2009
One of the TRIZ lens in my book “Da Vinci and the 40 Answers” is called Merging. It is where you take multiple products, services, and entities and merge them together to make something new.
The Internet is ripe with examples of merging. “Mashups” are the merging of two existing applications to make something new. For instance, somebody took one application, a directory of sex offenders, and overlaid the directory with Google Maps.
Users can punch in their zip code and see a visual map of all the sex offenders in a particular location.
Fast-food chains have also taken advantage of the benefits of merging. KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut can often be found partnered in pairs under one roof. The advantage of the merger is that each restaurant can use the same staff, soda fountain, cooking equipment, and location. Two different brands use the same resources and cater to customers from one location.
As you can see, merging brings things closer together to improve the product or system.
UpTake.com is a travel search and discovery site – the first step for travelers to decide where to go, where to stay, or what to do.
Uptake.com combined 2 major principles of TRIZ when they designed their business model and web site; Merging and Available Resources.
But they did something very unique; instead of looking at just their own available resources, they looked at the resources 5000 others. And they developed a win-win for everyone involved.
They scoured more than 5,000 travel web sites and used their content to develop a unique web portal for the vacation traveler. They merged all of the content together and re-purposed it into unique interesting categories;
• Just getaway
• Family vacation
• Romantic getaway
• Pet Friendly
• Feelin’ Broke
• Girls getaway
Where Orbtiz and Travelocity are about tickets, hotels, and cars, Uptake is about things to do. Now it is a win-win for Uptake and there 5000 partners who provide the actual content, because it gives the content creators/owners additional exposure as well.
If you have a truly unique and creative idea and people don’t hate it,
they weren’t listening.
Look around you; what available resources do you have to take your business to the next level?
Better yet, look for resources from other businesses to find a win-win solution like Uptake.com as done. Try to leverage what is already there instead of starting from scratch.