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Ideo Shopping Cart

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IDEO Shopping Cart

The IDEO Shopping Cart was a successful invention. It was successful because it was able to answer the problems of the normal shopping cart we see in various stores. Although it did not sell in the States, its idea went on and was found in France though a different variation. The IDEO cart was the invention that sparked others to build upon, that made it a success. What kept it from becoming mainstream in the U.S. was the use of the small baskets. The full size shopping carts were able to handle bulky items with ease such as 50lb dog food bags, televisions, and other items that were too large or heavy for the baskets. Most stores that require shopping carts carry heavy bulky items that the little baskets wouldn’t be able to handle. Considering that these larger items where usually the profit makers for stores, the store owners did not see the benefit. IDEO should have marketed the cart to stores that required carts but rarely sold items that would not fit in a single basket. Some wonder if it was ahead of its time. The shopping cart for the most part was ahead of its time. People are used to grabbing a cart and shopping, no stopping to put baskets in and out, no worries about hanging bags tearing from the cart on the way to the car. People were used to the simple big basket cart. It worked for them for decades and they did not see any reason to change something that is/was working. The big selling point to most people would have been the ability to scan and bag while shopping. This part was way ahead of the technology that was out at the time. Only the last 10 years or so have people been able to scan, bag, and pay for their items without assistance from anyone else. If IDEO would have further developed that idea, they could have taken the shopping cart and shopping experience to a higher level. If IDEO were to redesign a product for myself, I would have complete confidence in their work. IDEO has all the ingredients to be successful. Their brainstorming is loose but monitored for time so that ideas are not just constantly moving without coming to fruition. The team is made up of people from various backgrounds and professional specialties that would not normally be paired together. This makeup of people leads to ideas that would not be realized had they been a team of engineers, or scientist for example. They also build upon ideas and are reluctant to criticize another person’s solution or idea. The problem with being too advanced is that selling the product for a profit will take time and that can become very costly. IDEO should’ve patented its invention if it had not done so, and shelved it for a prime opportunity. The concern then is when is a good time, and is waiting the right thing to do? Further market research would have benefitted IDEO during this time. So if one were to pay IDEO to make something would that bring faster results? The real question is if one doesn’t pay IDEO to assist them, would they be able to accomplish the same result in the same time? Companies have teams that can do the same thing as IDEO but when the company can no longer make it possible outside eyes are useful to companies. So if a company isn’t able to produce the results, they must consider IDEO for the well-being of the company and its people as well as its customers.
Source:
ABC. Nightline, IDEO Shopping Cart 1998.

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