“There’s a way to do it better—find it.”
— Thomas Edison
“The essential part of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”
— Edwin H. Land
These are two inspirational quotes from great innovators of our history. They constantly thought outside of the box and outside of what had been working for them for years. I found these quotes after a cookout at a friend’s house this past weekend. We (The 2 fathers) were sitting on his patio talking about motorcycles and other daily life, watching his 3-year-old son play on his play set and in the yard. Of course his 3-year-old would bounce from playing cars and monster trucks in his sand table, to crawling through a tent like it’s a cave. All of a sudden he goes down the slide and when he gets to the bottom he walks to us and asks his dad if he can make the slide faster.
Not totally understanding what was going on I sat and watched as my friend went in the house and got out the Pledge furniture polish and sprayed down the entire plastic slide on the play set. His son couldn’t wait for him to get done wiping it down. It was like watching a car line up at the drag strip.
He couldn’t wait to get that green light. Once his dad was done he was on his way down that slide. While it did make the slide slicker I felt that we could still get him going down the slide faster.
This is where the brainstorming started. I started asking my friend what all he had tried to apply to the slide. He had stated they tried washing it down and then drying off which did nothing; he said they applied about 8 coats of car wax. Still nothing worked as good as the furniture polish. I asked him if he had tried Armor All. He said no that he hadn’t tried that yet. Well I learned the first time I washed my motorcycle that Armor All and a seat do not make a good combination when you want to stay still. So he went into the garage and got the closest thing he had to it. Next thing we knew his son nearly flew off the slide he was going so fast when he hit the last hump in it. While he was still playing safely and it wasn’t fast enough to do any serious damage, he was astounded that he could go so fast.
While we don’t have a slide here at EXAIR (although we should) we do constantly think of ways to innovate or create new products, or make improvements on existing ones. This is how we have been able to go from a 48 page catalog to a 180 page catalog that is constantly being expanded and changed. We don’t depend on any one person to come up with all of our ideas either. Anyone who is an employee at EXAIR is permitted to submit ideas for ways to better our product or for new products. While other companies stick well within their comfort zone of one or two product lines. We are constantly traveling into new areas and expanding existing ones.
This is just one more reason that we have been able to help and serve all of our existing and new customers since 1983.