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Necessity and invention – no longer related?

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I caught the show last night, and was baffled by what appeared to be a parade of reverse-technologies.

There was the ironing ‘solution’ that was bigger and more cumbersome than an ironing board, and the toilet training aid that was just a ball with a face on it (the USP being that the face pointed upwards when placed in the bowl).

And who could forget the condom pants, or the teaching toolkit that makes a word tin look cutting-edge.

Even more scarily, it’s only upon entering the ‘Den’ that pitchers realise the folly of inventing something that advances human experience buy a factor of zero.

It reminded me of a story former Dragon Doug Richard told me a while back, which is real example of how problems and solutions should relate.

It was the eureka moment that brought about the advent of Hotxt – his evolving product delivering a flat-rate charge for unlimited text messages.

Users save money (it costs £1 a week, equivalent to ten standard messages), but Doug admits this wasn’t why he created the service. He says the initial thunderbolt happened to a friend.

The (nameless) acquaintance discovered his wife was having an affair when he read a text on her mobile phone. His first reaction – so the story goes – was to ponder whether texts should be password protected. Needless to say, Hotxt messages require you to login.

So there you have it: necessity and invention reunited.

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