One of the things about being a small independent physical product based company (mouthful) is that I’ve come to find I don’t need to make that much new stuff. As I mentioned in the previous post, I can talk myself out of making just about anything, because just about everything already exists.

Friends often ask me why I never got into lighting, and my answer is typically - “I don’t have anything I want to say with lighting that isn’t already being said”. So when I look at this particular list of “10 New Things”, there is a reason I haven’t made some of things before. Either I don’t want or I don’t have to. And perhaps somewhere in between those two.

The above serving tray is the last thing I made in the group. I didn’t have any good ideas for it - and I thought something might come up by making the other things first.

Here’s how my thought process flowed:

Is there anything I have to say with a serving tray? No.

Is there anything I can do to make it cooler? Not that I can think of.

And then I thought of this scene from the movie Gentleman Broncos:

”The Suffix Principle” - Add a suffix to any old word and it becomes magical. This is basically how I see most product design working today. Take everyday items and add a suffix. The thing is fine. It works fine. And yet we add some bling to it - literally, we are just bedazzling stuff. And a lot of the times, it takes a thing that works and makes it more complicated.

Back to the serving tray - I figured I didn’t have any good ideas for how to make it more useful, beautiful, functional, etc… I couldn’t figure out anything that would make it better.

So I did what a lot of people do today - if you can’t make it better, just make it weird.

Getting weird right is hard to do. There is a lot of bad weird. Good weird is really hard to do too.

It’s like being effortlessly cool - there are like 17 people on the planet that can do that.

So I pointed my boat towards weird harbor, it seemed like good place to dock for this item.

Published on by Eric Trine.

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