Without the playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.
— Carl Jung
Innovation.One of those words that got overused and still we got no alternative for. It applies to wide variety of new, different ideas. We use it for low brow Jugaad to high class smart systems. I was facing this word yet again in the Bangalore Indiblogger‘s meet. I joined this group few months back thinking I will get more regular in writing and it worked for few weeks and then I got into that non blog time. I was getting back to writing and then I saw this meet notice and asked for a seat. I was hoping to meet few seasoned folks and get a little motivated. They said this was for Berger Paints promotion of express painting, spelled with an over sized X and abbreviated to XP.
I was a little late to the venue and yet managed to join a group mid way into their lunch and we sort of made it a circle for the day. After lunch the presentation started and the guy, on stage, said they listen to customers and innovate at Berger paints. Seemed like the twice told corporate tale. What innovations and how much of it can it be applied to a paint ? It is liquid, thick, coloured and you coat things with it. I think going from a brush to a roller is innovation enough. So what will this guy say ?
Normally we say innovation is in the actual thing(product) or in the way we use or do things with the thing. Here the thing is paint. The clean cold setting of the room, or may be company of bloggers but mind went creative at that point.So made a mind-map of innovations possible. I was thinking we could stretch the current nanotechnology wave and mix it with paint. I was playing with fantasies.
Mix nano LEDs to paint and have a painted walls that will use less electricity than regular LEDs and light up the room, uniformly, from all sides. On demand. Softly for romance, brightly for students. Program it and it can glow with multi-colours and we can do a disco. We do have glow in dark paints but this would be active, efficient, programmed, mood enhancer.
We could have a paint that heals itself when scratched. Yes, mix it some plant DNA or microbes and magic: self healing paint. Or one that has live chlorophyll cells and does photosynthesizes, cleans air. Now that would be innovation.OR a pint that has good bacteria in it that keeps house healthy. A paint for outside that has nano solar panels. So the exterior walls generate electricity that interiors can use, to glow.
To be fair Berger does have some good ideas. Easy clean that can be wiped and cleaned. Teflon-like ? The Silk range is scratch resistant, and Breath easy range is non toxic. Their exterior wheathercoat AllGaurd that pushes water away, Smooth repels dust and anti-fungal that resists wall fungi. Impressive. Hope they can go from the passive clean to active clean clean as they keep innovating.
The presentation itself was decent. He talked and showed videos and then we formed teams. To sand putty on a slab to a smooth finish and to paint a pretty picture. It was fun.
Innovation comes from mixing existing things to make our life easy. Wheel may be second biggest deal for us humans after fire. Bags and cases were used ever since we got civilized and materialistic. Yet wheeled luggage is a recent innovation for the air traveler. The Desi jugaad took a water pump and an old car/jeep chassis, steering and brakes and make a rural transport. Here the folks took vacuum cleaner and a sander and created a sander that makes for cleaner putty scraping. Can I use this on wood too ? They took a pump and a paint roller and made a auto roller. Along with them I heard about an airless paint sprayer, a giant blender like thingy for putty mixing.
Only other area to complete this innovation thinking would be in the process we use these tools and the paint. Heard that with an SMS we will get one consulting, advice, quotes and best trained contractors and technicians. Good but felt that these are normal efficient things. So what 7th sense innovations can be made here ?
How about creating fully automating , remote controlled painter robots ? We could rent them for a week and get the house made to look like new. An IOT embedded paints that talk to owners and to the company, suggest on what to do next, schedule the work would be nice. More immediately, I think they can use the DIY movement and set up a learning centers. We ( DIYers) would merrily pay to do hands on learning, buy the paints and tools to paint our houses. Wish we could rent those nifty tools. I also think we could have part DIY and part professional work. So the walls are prepared by trained professional but we do painting our selves. The consulting and advice that is part of their platinum and gold services could be un-bundled.
The final event was for our team to choose one of the 5 themes and paint on hard paper using the base easy clean emulsion and the dyes. We chose faster, cleaner, better theme. My team had an old seasoned blogger and an architect. So painted a picture of faster, cleaner, better Bangalore with Namma Metro, Great lanes for buses, cycles and lot of trees.
The event ended and I ended up little enhanced. Met good bloggers, learnt a bit more about wall paints. Got better acquainted with my team of bloggers. It was little different form my usual bike rides or friends get-togethers. It opened the mind to creative ways a piece of paint can save humanity. It showed how an old process of painting can be made better, faster, cleaner. May be I will send the SMS XP to 56767 and get these folks to come home to paint Dotty dear’s room. And I will pick few tips to do it myself for the next time.