On occasion, I like to build stuff – usually out of wood. To my credit, I’ve made a few pieces of furniture in my day (a baby change table, a curio cabinet, a chest of drawers, and a few other things). But not everything I do in the garage results in a usable piece of furniture. Sometimes it seems like I’m out there – “puttering”. In same cases, it’s making a new tool to make the next job easier. Other times, it’s tidying up after making a mess. On the rare occasion, I’ll do some sort of experiment – like trying to polish a coconut or making a homemade frame saw. These experiments don’t always result in some sort of usable product, but there is learning to be had.
Sometimes I wonder why people creating some products. The “Juicero ” seems to be the latest Silicon Valley punching bag. For those not familiar with it, it’s basically a machine that punches a small hole in a pouch of juice and pours it into a cup. It’s easy to see how the idea came to be. Coffee machines that use the little pods seem to be the latest rage, and a good money maker. But not everyone drinks coffee. So why not little pods of juice? The problem is that there’s no work needed. At least with a coffee machine, it has to mix the contents of the pod with water and heat it up. With the juice… nothing. It basically just pours you a cup of juice. That’s not a problem that needed solving. It offers little to no value.
So what happens if you are being forced by upper management to build a product that you see that has little to no value?
That’s a question I don’t have an answer for.