Noticing the patterns

In the daily rush of getting the job done, one tends to forget the patterns that one can apply from one area of their life to another, or even with the same area.It is not that we do not know patterns exist, it is just that we do not make an effort to actively search for them.

Foaming hand wash dispenser is a head start

We had always purchased the regular liquid hand wash at our house. Last month howevet my wife purchased a bottle of foaming hand wash. The ones where the soap inside is still liquid, but as it comes out, it passes through an arrangement in the dispenser that causes it to come out as a foam making it easy to lather on to one’s hands.

I had never given any thought to the utility of this fancy dispenser until my 7 yo son commented, “Dad, this soap dispenser gives me a headstart. I do not have to spend time on foaming up the liquid myself, and can finish washing my hands quicker and get to my breakfast”. I am sure the inventors of the foaming hand wash would have never imagined that their invention would be considered as a means to a head start.

It also left me wondering, what other inventions do I have around me, that give me a headstart? Maybe I am not aware of them, and take them for granted. It may be a good time to investigate and appreciate the headstarts I receive.

I also started thinking about what I should do, to give my customers a head start in their daily lives. What is it that they require to lead their competition

I do not have the answers yet, but I am sure to be more mindful of the foaming hand washes around me. Maybe you should to. You never know what you may find that surprises you.

Search engines, search engines and some more

With Google being the search engine that it is, search is no longer what we do, we Google our questions, we Google the weather and also the best name for our newborn.

It is no surprise that not many people know of other search engines that also inhabit this space. There is of course Bing – the search engine that is a default in Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, followed by Yahoo Search which surprisingly is still around (it was one of the earliest in the game). Others such as http://www.ask.com are also around, but not as popular any more.

In addition to these older search engines, you also have a few that have been started with a specific pupose – http://www.duckduckgo.com is what you would use if you are concerned about your privacy on the internet. According to their website, their privacy policy is very simple:

we don’t collect or share any of your personal information.

Plus they do not show any ads and they do not track browsing behaviour in or out of private browsing mode. Sounds fantastic. However the downside is that whenever I want to quickly search for the movie playing at the cinema next to my house, I have to type the name of the movie, cinema, city and country in the search bar. If I do not do that, then http://www.duckduckgo.com points me to a cinema with the same name in a totally different country.

If you are okay with obtrusive ads, but are unhappy that these ads are filling the coffers of large corporations, there is http://www.ecosia.org. They are a browser that funnel 80% of their profits to supporting tree-planting initiatives worldwide. Quite a noble thought I would say. So far they have helped plant ~17.2 Million trees and they have a goal of planting a Billion trees.

So the next time you are in the mood for some “Googling”, pause for a second and think – maybe you could try one of these alternatives.