In the mid 90’s the bottle water wars took off between coke and pepsi. Following the environmental effects of the huge uptick in plastic usage upon its acceptance, some niche markets took to creating more permanent containers – True2o considered something else.
Instead of their product offering ending when its delivered to the store, they reclaim their bottles and thus turn water into a service model. Ironically, its a small modification to the larger water cooler days that have almost disappeared across silicon valley. In addition to it being better for the environment, it benefits both the manufacturer and consumer. The manufacturer saves on raw materials, and the consumer doesn’t really experience much change. Especially if they are getting True2o from their employer, which is a big part of their roll out strategy.
It raises the question what happens to a brands equity as it moves from being a product to a service? As a product becomes a commodity, a brand needs to differentiate itself from the competition. If within a incremental price point, sustainability or a brand’s mission can be valuable enough to a consumer to give it a try. Today’s consumer loves a brand with a conscious.
Sometimes the best ideas are not only the simplest, but come from those that are approaching a problem for the first time. The so called experts in a field sometimes over-think or have clouded judgement or think too small. Only sometimes. As a strong believer in meritocracy, we have an obligation to support those ideas that truly can make a difference AND contribute to social good.
This is part of a crowdfunding campaign.
Check out The Ocean Cleanup Project Here
The big discussion often associated with the “sharing economy” is about sharing services rather then the goods that provide those services – ie. the holes, not the drill.
Few companies have embraced these ideals with how they approach packaging and material science. If your product is disposable, what is the minimal impact you can leave on the world?
Moving from a bottle to a bag can have a massive impact. Reconsider.
Its easy for large nations to push global warming aside. But when a few inches can determine your existence it becomes something more real. I am specifically talking about the island nations of the world.
This was an eye opener. Global warming is only one part of this discussion.
It made me remember the TED talk of William McDunough, for creating a better tomorrow through considering product cycles and “crade to crade” production.
Our Society will have many large problems to start to tackle in the next few decades. Follow and believe in the people who are trying to solve them.
The “rewind” buttons remains, but the stop button is no longer with us – it has been replaced by play/pause. Although there is nothing to rewind anymore ( media wise ) some legacy terms will be here to stay. Other functions like the stop button are gone because the playhead that used to be lifted off of cassette tapes are no longer there. No stop is needed. There is no longer a difference between pause and stop anymore in a media context.
So whether thinking about the floppy disc icon on your computer, or something as ridiculous as America not using the metric system, things that we design sometimes stick around.
I will end this post with a message from Green Architect William McDunnough. Somethings we create will temporally be here for less then a moment. But the question of human intention and quality design can differentiate if something becomes a legacy going forward or a legacy in the history books. One is timeless, and the other is dated.
Well I think
we realize that design is a signal of intention
but it also has to occur
within a world
and we have to understand that world
in order to imbue our designs
with inherent intelligence
so when we look back
at the basic state of affairs
in which we design
we, in a way, need to go
to the primordial condition
to understand the operating system
and the frame conditions
of the planet
and the exiting part of that
is the good news that’s there
because the news is the news of
and not the news of limits
and I think as our culture
tortures itself now
and concerns over limits
we can add this other dimension of abundance
that is coherent
driven by the sun
and start to imagine what that would be like