Love playing with toys? Want to go back to playschool? Do you remember Blocks? We made tiny houses or any physically feasible thing that we saw as kids. They are called interlocking plastic bricks. Did I confuse you? Have you heard of Lego? That’s Right! They are the building blocks to our happiness whether a kid or an adult, Lego is for everyone. Let’s talk about the multi-million company boosting innovation and how you can be inspired by minuscule.
The name Lego is derived from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. The workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter from Denmark, began the Lego Group by making wooden toys in 1932. It further expanded by producing plastic toys. The Lego Group’s motto is det bedste er ikke for godt which means roughly “only the best is the best” (more literally “the best is never too good”). Wow, so Enthusiastic!
- Pieces of Lego are manufactured from a strong, resilient plastic known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
- Despite variation in the design and the purposes of individual pieces over the years, each piece remains compatible in some way with existing pieces.
- Six pieces of 2×4 bricks can be combined in 915,103,765 ways.
- Machines manufacturing the Lego bricks have tolerances as small as 10 micrometers.
Lego has released thousands of sets with a variety of themes including space, robots, pirates, trains, Vikings, castle, dinosaurs, undersea exploration, and wild west. The Group didn’t just stop here but went on licensing themes from numerous cartoon and film franchises and even some from video games. These include Batman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Mine-craft. Lego has also initiated Robotics themes whose roots of the product originate from a programmable brick developed at the MIT Media Lab. The programmable Lego brick which is at the heart of these robotics sets has undergone several updates and redesigns, with the latest being called the ‘EV3’ brick, being sold under the name of Lego Mindstorms EV3. The set includes sensors that detect touch, light, sound and ultrasonic waves, with several others being sold separately, including an RFID reader.
Resources for Innovators:
These are a few set of resources that will help you:
- Generic innovation matrix: Lego has defined its own innovation matrix. The management team has created 8 categories that they used to spur creativity, guide their teams, and, ultimately, organize their innovative effort. You can check out their matrix.
- Tools and Techniques: All the best anthropological, creativity and prototyping is available on a free iPad app. You can get it from here or directly from iTunes.
- Want to read innovative: Check out your favorite innovative books.
After all the perfect toy one can find is LEGO!
Image Courtesy: Lego.com