Last evening, on one of those rare occasions where I was forced to watch TV, I was flipping through the channels and came across CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donney Deutsch. I’ve seen snippets before, and although it can be slightly interesting, generally I just roll my eyes at the "big idea."
This episode did not appear to be an exception. In the "Minutes to Millions" segment where people get to present a quick overview of their new product, some entrepreneuress was pushing a t-shirt designed for singles. Each shirt had catchy phrases designed to supposedly start a conversation such as "Say Hello" and "Single." Nothing like looking desperate, eh? They might as well add one that says "I’m 39 and eventually want kids… after a walk on the beach at sunset." Call me old-fashioned, I guess.
The kicker with the show is that these "big ideas" get judged by a panel including Mr. Deutsch, as well as other ubiquitous dignitaries such as an editor of Cosmo and someone that makes vodka. Good luck with that the collective intellectual power of that lineup. Which is probably why they unanimously thought selling a simple t-shirt screenprinted with some estrogen-scented phrase for $28 was a great idea.
I was laughing at the idiocy of it all until I realized that I was wearing a… $28 Life is Good t-shirt screenprinted with a silly happy face sitting on a kayak. Hmmm….
So the next person up was Miri Ben-Ari, and this was a truly interesting segment. A world-class violinist playing the most classical of classical instruments, therefore you’d expect her to be playing Brahms and Chopin. And you would be wrong.
Ms. Ben-Ari thinks outside of the box. Way outside. Where would be the least likely place to find a violinist? How about playing hip-hop in the Bronx theatre. In fact, she has just released an album called The Hip-Hop Violinist… and it even has explicit lyrics!
Truly remarkable, and thought-provoking. Where can a skill or method be applied? 5S, kaizen, value stream mapping… and most of lean manufacturing for that matter… is being applied to all sorts of organizations and systems outside of manufacturing. The same goes for basically any skill.
Stretch the limits of your imagination.