You may have heard about the Japanese solution to round watermelons. The article originally surfaced in 2001:
Japan has again shown off one of its greatest innovations – square watermelons.
For years consumers struggled to fit the large round fruit in their refrigerators. And then there was the problem of trying to cut the fruit when it kept rolling around.
But 20 years ago a forward-thinking farmer on Japan's south-western island of Shikoku solved the problem.
The farmer, from Zentsuji in Kagawa prefecture, came up with the idea of making a cube-shaped watermelon which could easily be packed and stored.
To make it happen, farmers grew thein glass boxes and the fruit then naturally assumed the same shape. Today the cuboid watermelons are hand-picked and shipped all over Japan.
They found a simple problem – not an earth shattering cure for cancer problem – but just an everyday annoyance and created a solution that now nets them many times over the cost of a regular watermelon. According to the article a round watermelon sells for $15 to $25 where a round watermelon sells for $82!
Talk to your customers. What simple annoyances do they have that you might solve? Ask them: if you could find a solution, would they be willing to pay for it? If so – start putting your creative minds together to discover your square watermelon solution.
Deborah Chaddock Brown