In this article, I will cover, in my opinion, the 10 most innovative products. But not just any ten products, because there are sure a heck of a lot awesome products out there. When I chose these 10 innovative products, I chose 10 products that followed one simple process: they were created by removing a component from an already existing product. I will touch on this process more at the end of the article, but for now, see how the idea behind these 10 products you use everyday were created.
Top 10 Most Innovative Products
1. IPod Touch
First on my list is probably my favorite innovation: the IPod Touch. You may have heard me say this elsewhere, maybe in my Innovation for Students course. But what makes this product so innovative, aside from the obvious sleek and modern design and engineering? Well first, Apple had built the rather successful IPhone. And what did they do? They went against the grain and removed the phone feature completely from the IPhone. Now why in the world would you remove the most essential component from such a successful product? Because it allowed for the creation of an equally innovative and successful product, the IPod Touch.
Twitter. Maybe you clicked on this article from Twitter. Twitter is now a rather large company, yet the initial idea at its heart followed one simple step. Traditional blog posts were lengthy, and not something a lot of people are inclined to write. Why? Because it took time to write a quality blog post, however, people still had opinions they wanted to share. Think about this for a moment. If people have opinions, yet feel as if they don’t have time to write a full length blog post, what do they do nowadays? Tweet. And that’s where Twitter came in. By removing the length of a blog post, and limiting it to a 280 character post, people are now able to update their friends with their thoughts, opinions, and activities in their daily lives. Who would’ve thought a simple removal/reduction of the length of a post could result in one of the most popular and innovative social media platforms.
This one will seem rather obvious. A traditional sink and faucet is turned on by twisting a handle or knob. By removing the handle or knob component from a faucet, innovators had to think of a way to make up for the missing component. How would the faucet turn on without a handle or knob? What benefits would a handle-less faucet bring to consumers? Essentially a motion detector would activate the faucet when it detected an incoming part, in this case, a hand. Seems rather obvious on the outside, yet regardless, it follows that one simple method: removal of an essential component from an already existing product.
Traditional investing and trading can be costly for first-time investors. Why? Because there tends to be added fees when you execute trades, on top of the shares you are already purchasing. What an innovative platform decided to do is simply remove these fees to execute trades. And viola, Robinhood was born. Robinhood can be great for beginners to get their feet wet in investing with no trading fees. If you want to get started investing with a FREE stock with Robinhood, start here!
Another Apple product, Apple AirPods. This one is also rather obvious. By removing the wires from the traditional wired headphones, Apple essentially birthed the AirPods. Once again, though the surface-level analysis seems obvious, the process that it follows is still important to keep in mind as I’m discussing these innovations. Take a trip to your local coffee shop or cafe and your’re bound to see most people wearing these.
6. Alcohol free mouthwash
Traditional mouthwash had an unnecessary component: alcohol. Not that this ingredient will intoxicate regular fluoride users, but because it may actually counteract the benefits of mouthwash. Alcohol dries your mouth out, so when you use fluoride that contains alcohol, though your breath feels fresh immediately after use, if you wait a bit, you may start to notice a dry mouth. And bad breath accompanies a dry mouth. Thus why companies created alcohol free fluoride, created by the simple removal of alcohol from fluoride. Simple, yet still innovative.
Though doorway pull-up bars like the one pictured here may seem like a simple household staple, it is still an innovative product. By removing the foundation and support base of a traditional pull up bar structure, it allowed creators to innovate a way to allow users to perform pull-ups otherwise. The doorway ledge was an excellent resource for innovators to use in designing such an innovative product. I have a doorway pull-up bar (you can get one on Amazon) in my bedroom doorway and it helps to decompress the spine and keep my blood flowing while I’m writing blogs like this one.
8. Lace-less shoes
What are lace-less shoes? Shoes without laces. In other words, lace-shoes are when laces are removed from the shoe. No hassle, no tying. Perfect for younger kids or anyone who doesn’t want to worry about tying their shoes tight enough. Velcro shoes are one way lace-less shoes have adapted, however, there are literal lace-less shoes that simply fit to the feet without even a Velcro. Now, most companies, like Adidas and Reebok, have adopted the idea of lace-less shoes and its success has sky-rocketed.
This one may come as a surprise to you, but the initial idea behind Amazon follows the very same process we used to work through the past eight innovations. Traditional bookstores had their books delivered directly to the bookstore, from which they were sold from. What Amazon did, is think of possible new values if they removed the physical brick and mortar bookstore. Where would the delivery trucks deliver the books to now? As you probably guessed, an online portal or website allowed shoppers to order their books and thus be delivered to their homes, rather than a physical bookstore. So Amazon, at its heart and core, is here because of the application of this one process. And of course nowadays Amazon has developed into the leading e-commerce company in the world.
10. Gaming consoles
Gaming consoles include the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. Most people play on these consoles daily without even knowing how such a product was innovated. Well, now you will. Traditional gaming devices, like the Nintendo DS, were handheld, meaning, everything you needed was there. However, there were some limitations, specifically the small screen. So what did gaming companies do? They completely removed the screen from such a gaming device. There’s a conflict here: how will gamers see the game? Simple. Because televisions are ubiquitous in peoples home, gaming companies can now make a product that utilizes these televisions. Bigger screens and higher quality. Win-win for both parties.
Wrapping up my top 10 most innovative products
If you noticed, each of my top 10 most innovative products resulted from the removal of a part from an original product. This process is called the Subtraction technique of Systematic Inventive Thinking. It’s a great tool to not only analyze products and innovations around, but also innovate products of your own.