2014, October, 10

Inspiration from an undergarment

One of the three key Slingshot principles for re-imagining boundaries is the embrace what I call “the innovation shortcut”:  To link seemingly unrelated, already existing components to create new customer value.

Here is a perfect illustration of this principle in action.  It is told by Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, which has become the third biggest athletic brand in the world behind Nike and Adidas, in an interview for Inc.com:

Be Open to Wild Ideas

The idea for our new SpeedForm running shoe came from one of our manufacturers in China, one of the best bra makers in the world. He thought that the same kind of molding that creates comfort and support in athletic bras could work for shoes. So I put a team on his idea to see if we could design something new. It forced us to completely deconstruct the product and the process. We realized, if there's one thing that anchors a running shoe, it's the heel cup. Like a bra cup, what we came up with is molded and doesn't have a stitch in it. The way we applied the mid- and outsole was different as well. The shoe is lightweight but supportive. It's a whole new way of making footwear.

To read the rest of the interview with Kevin Planks at Inc.com:
http://www.inc.com/magazine/201407/tom-foster/kevin-planks-formula-for-under-armours-innovative-design.html

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