The Netflix and Dinner Problem

Over the past eight months or so, I’ve been reading a lot on innovation and entrepreneurship. I’ve also been sharing my thoughts and views in these subjects on my blog. There are two reasons for why I’ve been doing this. First, I wanted to share my own opinions. Second, I wanted to offer valuable insight for my readers. Now, eight months later, I decided that there is a better way to do that. Instead of simply sharing my ideas, I will be applying the principles that I’ve read in all of those books to launch a product. I would be documentingthe on-goings with a project as opposed to creating content. This will be both simpler for me and more valuable for you. Before we jump into technicalities, I wanted to share the story behind the project…

I moved into a tiny apartment earlier this year.

Within a month, I had the essentials set up: A bed, dining table, sofa, coffee table and, of course, a TV. I went all out – especially on that TV.

It’s been almost eight months since, and I’ve had a meal on the dining table three or four times tops. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been binge-watching TV shows non-stop. The coffee table became the dining table, and the dining table collected dust. At first, I used to set my food, prepare an episode on TV, and sit on the ground with legs crossed in front of the coffee table. Whenever I finished whatever I was eating, I would pause Netflix, move everything to the kitchen, clean the glass top of the coffee table, and then continue watching TV. This worked for a while. Then my butt started hurting.

I evolved my setup and started using the sofa.

Again, I would set the food on the coffee table, prepare an episode, and sit on the sofa with legs crossed. I’d pull my bulky coffee table towards me and voila! This worked for a while until I started missing scenes of my episodes and spilling multiple different sauces on the table, carpet, and sofa. You see, my coffee table was at a lower level than the sofa (thank you, European-style furniture), so I had to bend forward to have a bite of whatever sandwich or meal I was having. Things got sloppy, and my eyesight wasn’t aligned with my TV (the struggle is real people!).

With Netflix and dinner being the thing I look forward to the most at the end of a long working day, I decided enough was enough. I shall take it upon myself to end the madness! That is why I decided to design a table to solve this problem. I’ve also decided to involve YOU in the process of designing this piece of furniture that shall end our misery. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time we elevated our “dining and TV watching” game.

Innovation, creativity and invention happen in the uncertain pursuit of truth and with the desire to solve a problem. – Bernadette Jiwa

What does this have to do with innovation?

I will be implementing tools and approaches to develop the solution for this problem using what I’ve learned from the books I’ve read. As you have already read, we are starting with a hunch and a problem. A hunch is no more than a gut feeling about something. That is usually the place where potential innovations start. Innovations don’t start as ideas but rather as problems and hypotheses regarding those problems.

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