Quick Fixes Can Lead To Great Innovations
Most innovation happens because someone wants a better way of doingsomething that matters to him or her personally. Most individual attempts toinnovate are makeshift, quick fixes. They not ideal but reveal what the user canaccept and at least one solution that works.
In India, the CEO of the Tata Corporation noticed people meeting theirtransportation needs in a dangerous, yet creative way, "I observed families ridingon two-wheelers - the father driving the scooter, his young kid standing in front of him, his wife seated behind him holding a little baby”This kind of wild, improvised quick fix is common enough in Indian culture to haveits own name. Jugaad is a Hindi word meaning a ‘quick-and-dirty work around’.Quick fixes that become necessary because of a lack of resources, crazybureaucracy, or because the existing solution doesn’t meet people’s needs.Local Jugaadu, people who are good at quick fixes, build Jugaad cars, woodencarts with engines converted from water pumps. On the bad side, a top speed of 24mph and the brakes that fail much of the time. On the good side, there’s noroad tax and the $1000 price tag is just within reach even in a country with anaverage annual wage of $1700.The CEO, Ratan Tata, inspired by the Jugaad quick fixes wanted to build a “safe,affordable, all-weather form of transport”. He announced his company woulddesign, build, and sell a fully functioning modern motor car for only $2,500.Four years later his company unveiled the world's cheapest motor car, the TataNano, complete with four doors, five-seats, a 33bhp, 624cc, rear engine, with aprice tag that was still only $2,500. Because they were able to see the variousJugaad solutions in practice, the designers made clear-headed decisions to notprovide conditioning, electric windows, or power steering, and in a bolddemonstration of 21
Century Jugaad uses plastics held together by glue.Ratan has been able to deliver a people’s car for India, more than a century afterHenry Ford did so with his Model T and eighty years after Professor Porsche