It’s hard for me not to play favorites when it comes to the five creativity techniques of the SIT method. After all, they’re just like children – each is unique with their own potential and personality. But when it comes to versatility, the one that may do it the best is Task Unification. It tends to produce ideas that are both clever and resourceful, often harnessing resources in the immediate vicinity of the problem in a unique. These ideas tend to make you slap your forehead and say, “Gee, why didn’t I think of that?”
Task Unification is defined as “assigning an additional job to an existing resource.” That resource could a component within the product or service, or something else nearby. Here are three very different examples, but each one clearly exhibits the Task Unification pattern.
The Aivvy Q is a pair of headphones that keeps your music within the unit itself. There’s no need to plug into an external player or smartphone. Here’s how it works:
The next is called Nerdalize. It works by taking heat from computer servers and using it to heat homes. Take a look at this short video.
And finally, here is Bioconcrete. It uses bacteria to heal itself in case it cracks. If that happens, the bacteria germinate, multiply and feed on the lactate, and in doing so they combine the calcium with carbonate ions to form calcite, or limestone, which closes up the cracks. Take a look:
Now THAT is versatile!