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12.1.1. TAO Spiral: Exploring


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 12. The TAO Design Process > 12.1. The Big Picture > 12.1.1. TAO Spiral: Exploring

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Fig. 12.1 Spiralling TAO process

Exploring is a broad wallowing in the overall situation in which you are inventing. You know that you have done some good exploring when things start to look familiar and when you feel you have a good general understanding of the big picture.

If you are starting by saying ‘Right. Let’s invent something,’ then in this stage you might be investigating general areas in which there may be scope for useful invention. For example, you might consider ‘home appliances’, then finding that area rather over-done you could wander further afield and think about the potential of the internet.

Alternatively, if you already have a known problem, your exploration may be to find out all you can about the situation in its broadest sense. For example when looking at improving the timbre of telephone speakers, you might look at the physics of sound, hi-fi systems, at transducers in general (including non-sound ones), and so on.

The very best exploring happens when you are not looking for anything, because when you are looking for something then your mind filters out all of the other possibilities that pass before your eyes. Cast your attention widely, see things without judgement and just be curious. Sometimes you might even be lucky enough to find a nugget of gold lying on the ground, just waiting to be picked up.

The stages of the TAO Process are:

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