# Multiplication in action

## Video: Multiplication in action

So let's apply the multiplication technique to a common household appliance, a refrigerator. You begin by listing the product's internal components, then you multiply one of the components but change it in some non-obvious counterintuitive way. Using function follows form, ask yourself two questions. The first question is should we do it? What would be the benefit of a refrigerator with this copied component? Who would want this, and why? If you identify some benefit, you ask yourself the second question, can we do it? Is it feasible to make the refrigerator with this copied component? You try to modify and improve the concept to yield an innovative idea.

## Multiplication in action

So let's apply the multiplication technique to a common household appliance, a refrigerator. You begin by listing the product's internal components, then you multiply one of the components but change it in some non-obvious counterintuitive way. Using function follows form, ask yourself two questions. The first question is should we do it? What would be the benefit of a refrigerator with this copied component? Who would want this, and why? If you identify some benefit, you ask yourself the second question, can we do it? Is it feasible to make the refrigerator with this copied component? You try to modify and improve the concept to yield an innovative idea.

Here is our component list: compressor, the door, door handle, shelves, drawers, ice maker, light bulb, and temperature control. And here is our table that shows each component and its attributes, the things that vary about that component. That will give us ideas on how to change the copied component.

Let's try a few examples. First, let's make a copy of the door. Most refrigerators already have two or even three doors, so let's make a copy of the main door and find a new idea. We need to change something about it though, so let's try different locations. How about a door on the side of the refrigerator? What would be the benefit? Well, maybe it would be easier to get certain items like beverages out of the smaller side door.

You wouldn't have to move things around all the time to get stuff in the back. One of the reasons I really like this technique is that it helps us break structural fixedness. We're so used to having the door of a refrigerator on the front, so this concept gives us an idea we may not have thought of before. Let's try another location. How about if we put a door just inside the outer door? That would give us more storage space, perhaps for items used most often.

It might be more energy-efficient, letting less cool air get out. Let's try another component. How about the ice maker? I want you to imagine having two ice makers, the original one plus another one that is different in some way. How can you make it different? Let's change the type of ice it produces. It would create different types of ice cubes. Perhaps it uses something other than water. What if Mom wanted to make frozen lemonade ice cubes, for example? Hmm.

You could also change the location. Some refrigerators let you dispense ice from right outside of the door, so we don't need to repeat that idea. What if the second ice maker was somewhere else in the kitchen, by the sink perhaps? That might make it more convenient for the family, but you always have to ask yourself the second question, is it feasible? From a technical point of view, it could be done, but the additional cost might outweigh the benefit in this example.

Finally, let's try something a little more bold. Let's select a component, and instead of making just one, let's make 15 copies and see what happens. Each copy has to be different from the original and from all the others. How about the temperature control? Fifteen of them? Seriously? Let's look at our table for some ideas on how to change the copies. What if you made each one control temperature for a different food item? Scientists have shown how many foods have an optimal temperature to taste the best.

What if this new refrigerator allows the homeowner to precisely set the temperature for every food item in the fridge? This last idea may not be practical for homeowners, but perhaps a restaurant that needs to store and serve food all day might love this idea, to help it serve better tasting food. And this is the key to this and the other techniques. Finding ideas that deliver more value to your customers, that makes you and your company more competitive.

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#### This video is part of

58 video lessons · 2241 viewers

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1. ### Introduction

1m 41s
1. Welcome
1m 22s
2. Using the exercise files
19s
2. ### 1. Understanding How Innovation Occurs

21m 37s
1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
3m 21s
2. The principle of function follows form
4m 8s
3. The closed-world principle
4m 16s
4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
3m 51s
5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
3m 11s
6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
2m 50s
3. ### 2. Using the Subtraction Technique

11m 55s
1. Functional fixedeness
2m 26s
2. The subtraction technique
2m 59s
3. Subtraction in action
4m 8s
2m 22s
4. ### 3. Using the Division Technique

10m 35s
1. Structural fixedness
2m 32s
2. The division technique
2m 43s
3. Division in action
3m 3s
2m 17s
5. ### 4. Using the Multiplication Technique

16m 25s
1. The multiplication technique
4m 24s
2. Multiplication in action
4m 39s
3. Zooming in and zooming out
4m 51s
2m 31s

15m 45s
4m 19s
4m 14s
4m 27s
2m 45s
7. ### 6. Using the Attribute Dependency Technique

17m 49s
1. The attribute dependency technique
3m 32s
2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
3m 37s
3. Types of dependencies
4m 12s
4. Attribute dependency in action
4m 31s
1m 57s
8. ### 7. Innovating at Work

27m 7s
1. Running ideation workshops
4m 13s
2. Which technique to use
3m 26s
3. Creating new services and processes
3m 17s
4. Creating digital innovations
5m 12s
5. Involving customers
5m 49s
6. Evaluating ideas
5m 10s
9. ### 8. Mastering Innovation

14m 48s
1. Mastering innovative thinking
3m 42s
2. Building a pilot program
3m 56s
3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
4m 3s
4. Next steps
3m 7s
10. ### Bonus: Interview with Drew Boyd

52m 41s
2m 9s
2. What is innovation?
51s
3. What got Drew started in innovation?
2m 15s
4. On innovation as a skill
1m 53s
1m 58s
6. On resistance to innovation
3m 31s
7. On innovation's tainted image
2m 34s
8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
2m 31s
9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
3m 6s
10. On favorite innovation experiences
3m 51s
11. On innovation vs. strategy
3m 36s
12. On working with innovation consultants
3m 20s
13. On trends in innovation
3m 26s
14. On innovation as competition
2m 32s
15. On innovative companies
2m 43s
16. On generating vs. executing ideas
3m 2s
17. Can you overdo innovation?
2m 1s
18. How do you start innovating?
3m 44s
19. On the most innovative products
3m 38s

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