We love teardowns! They are a cost-effective source of innovative ideas and can create the foundation for completely new products and features. Here are a few pointers for a successful teardown:
1 Include non-engineers such as designers or marketing in the activity. They are more likely to question those seemingly obvious assumptions and see things with fresh eyes. They are also more likely to bring the “what if…” ideas to the table.
2 Get some great benchmarks to teardown. Even if they are not in direct competition, other companies have also attempted to solve the same issues but in different ways. Being able to compare and contrast the solutions directly brings a new -and proven- way of thinking to the table. Choose those benchmarks carefully; you’re more likely to find great ideas tucked away inside an ‘ankle-biter’ competitor than an incumbent who hasn’t needed to innovate.
3 Look at the product holistically. Record the unboxing experience -not just how well is it protected but how easy is it for the user, are there ways of reducing returns, or avoiding damage on returning? Are there disposable parts and are they recyclable or reusable?
4 Photograph everything. Clear photos of assemblies and subassemblies are invaluable, and you’ll go back to them time and time again. It also helps discuss the project with the broader team and allows others to provide input where a BOM list would stifle.
5 Ideate immediately. Bring those initial insights straight to the whiteboard while it’s fresh in people’s minds. Waiting for the documented report will funnel the ideas towards one perspective and kill the momentum. The teardown ‘event’ creates a lot of energy which can generate lots of very creative ideas, innovation that can make a huge impact.
"We enjoy teardowns, it’s a form of archaeology -we uncover long-forgotten ingenuity buried deep inside products, and we can give these ideas a new life." Paul Hatch, TEAMS USA CEO
Having conducted dozens of teardowns we have seen how effective they can be at quickly getting a range of tested ideas onto the table, upon which you can easily springboard onto newer better solutions.
Interested in seeing what kind of innovation you're capable of when our team tears things down? Get in touch with us to learn more.