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Innovating for customers: Pen Top Cutlery

Lee McEwan in his Serendipity Book spots an interesting approach to innovating for customers based on adding something. I think Vijay Govindarajan at Tuck Business School, currently seconded to help GE with their innovation, calls this ‘adjacency innovation’ – Take two unrelated things and stick them together to produce a novelty.

“Turn your favourite office tool from your desk into common cutlery…this is din-ink. A set of pen caps, including a fork-cap, a knife-cap and a spoon-cap, that replaces the normal pen cap during lunch time! All caps are made by annually renewable resources, like natural starch and fibres, to be 100% biodegradable and atoxic, warranting the best alimentary use. Dispensing each set in a compostable packaging the whole set is designed to respect the environment. Now give your office ballpoint pen a good excuse to be gnawed by your teeth: use them for din-ink.”


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