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1.2. Attribute Analysis


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 1. Analytic Invention > 1.2. Attribute Analysis

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If you are looking at a chair and have chunked down to the legs, the next level of detail may be found by examining the attributes of the chair legs. These may include simple, measurable factors such as length, thickness and density. More complex attributes may also be considered, such as shape, connection method and load-bearing characteristics. You could even look at the aesthetic attributes, including texture, colour and attractiveness.

When you have identified attributes of interest, you can then find the values that the attributes can have, and then decide how you might change these. Some can be changed continuously, such as the thickness of a chair leg, whilst others are changed in discrete chunks, such as the use of either hardwood or metal for the legs.

When you are inventing for a particular marketplace, Attribute Analysis can be used in combination with other techniques, such as Customer Needs Analysis, to discover which attributes are particularly important (and hence where people would be prepared pay more).

Fig 1.2 shows how you can break down a problem area into parts, attributes and potential values which you can then change.

Fig. 1.2 Breakdown to find attributes and values

Service industries have many intangible attributes, and it could be said that this is virtually all that you have with which to invent. Deliveries have timescales and reliability, customers have satisfaction and loyalty, processes have cost and capability.

Other logical/analytic tools:

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