Toast and Egg has been a classic American breakfast for decades. Yet never has anyone thought that the process of making an egg over the stove while toasting toast in a toaster could be improved. Could be more innovative. Today, we will break down an innovative product, the toaster egg poacher, that not only makes breakfast making more efficient, but shows us that innovation can be found anywhere.
A traditional toaster
First, let’s briefly analyze the traditional toaster. This should be easy. You simply insert one or two slices of bread, set the time you wish, and wait for the bread to toast. There was absolutely nothing wrong with such a product. Though it could have been “modernized” with some technological advancements, traditional toasters were the classic example of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, I’ve got some news for you. If you go by that slogan, you need to ditch it right now. Real innovation follows the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, still fix it.” And thus, that is how the toaster egg poacher was created. Let’s dive into that now.
A toaster egg poacher
To break down the toaster egg poacher, I am going to be using an innovation technique of Systematic Inventive Thinking, the Task Unification Technique. If you have no idea what I am talking about, I recommend you read this post about Systematic Inventive Thinking. But to quickly break it down, Systematic Inventive Thinking is an innovation method comprised of five techniques, and Task Unification is one of them. Task Unification involves assigning a component of a product a new or additional task. Now, when you look at the picture of the toaster egg poacher below, it may seem obvious how such a product was innovated. By assigning the front part of the toaster the additional task of poaching an egg, this new product is the all in one for any breakfast. Simple, yet incredibly innovative. That is also the beauty of the techniques of Systematic Inventive Thinking. You can analyze all sorts of products and services around us using just those five techniques.