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12.4.3. Analytic: Analysis


How To Invent (Almost) Anything > 12. The TAO Design Process > 12.4. The Analytic Sequence > 12.4.3. Analysis

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Having found the opportunity for invention, the next step is to understand it in sufficient detail so the invention you create will be finely targeted at specific problems.

Fig. 12.3 The Analytic sequence

Continue chunking and questioning. Use Value Analysis to determine actual value and gaps. Determine real causes. Use critical thinking to explore the problem. Seek to define the actual problem that, if solved, would be valuable enough to the target customer that they would pay well for the solution.

Keep asking ‘why?’ ‘Why’ is a question with many levels. I have a phone. At one level it functions as a way for me to speak to people. Why do I want to speak to people? If I want to send them information I can fax or Email or write. If I want to gauge how they respond to my message I like to hear their voice. Maybe I would like to see their face. Maybe I want to hear their heart rate or see it on a graph, especially if I am a doctor or maybe a salesperson.

Ask why things are wanted. When you have the answer then ask why that answer is given. What benefits does it bring? If these benefits had been gained years ago, what else would have been possible? If they were available now, how would they change things? Are there circumstances in which other benefits would be preferable? Or more of the same benefits? Keep asking why again and again and do not be too easily pleased with your answers.

For example, the race-goer may be found to have two needs: satisfying hunger and thirst, and being comfortable. The food and drink resolves the first need but, in its present form, exacerbates the second one. Analysis of what they are carrying might show that the bulk of the lunch-bag is taken up with insulation of vacuum flask to keep drinks hot.

Other parts of the analytic sequence:

Other sections in this chapter are:

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