James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

The Idea Seed! To Idea farm!

Posted on | September 16, 2010 | No Comments

There is no question that today ideas are a very important commodity, yet there has been little done to tap into the huge number of ideas out there.

One of the problems of course is people/investors don’t know where to find the ideas.

Another problem is that people with ideas don’t know where to find investors.

And then of course the modern investor today is firmly rooted int he school of short-term return on investment and all sorts of other business complexities.

What if  business creaated an environment for ideas to be explored, even those ideas that there is no clear market for yet?

Crazy talk you are probably saying.

Huggies Diapers has taken this very crazy talk and created nothing short of an idea farm called the MomInspired Grant Program!

And it is such a simple idea!

The Huggies® MomInspired™ Grant Program accepts grant proposals for thoroughly considered product ideas and small businesses that nurture the relationship between mother and child. Eligible applicants are women who are 21 years of age or older and currently reside in the United States. Applicants with business partners are welcome to submit grant proposals as long as those business partners meet the above criteria as well.

Sure this could be called a variation of the micro finance idea, maybe with a twist.

What I find intriguing is that this program has been pulled together around the theme of Mom’s and Children first.

I also wonder why other businesses, like Huggies, have never thought of ways to tap into their tribes/communities of flowers in a manner that is beyond the use or consumption of the product they sell.

Check out the examples.

I like these two!

Lynette Mattke :: PicPocket Books

Keeping your toddler entertained while on the go can call for toys, books and any number of other gadgets, which means one thing – more weight you have to carry. Harnessing the convenience of today’s portable devices, mother of 3 and aspiring entrepreneur Lynette Mattke is offering parents the ability to shed some of this weight while out-and-about by bringing children’s books to iTunes.

PicPocket Books is being further developed and is scoped to add new features soon

Q. Has your design been successful and what are your plans for the future?

A. I believe so. Marketing through social networks and a group I helped cofound called MomsWithApps, which supports app developers who are also parents, we’ve released a total of about 30 applications. Currently, I am further developing PicPocket Books by adding new features, and am hoping to hire additional programmers. As for the future, I plan on publishing 50 picture book apps per year, possibly partnering with a publishing house to offer their full line of books, and expanding our marketing efforts.

Q.What inspired your Huggies® MomInspired™ award-winning design?

A. Basically, I wanted to make quality picture books available to children by using the iTunes platform. Partially because of the convenience it offers parents on the go, but also because of the interactive and educational elements.

And this one!

Amy Baxter :: Buzzy Pain Relief

Visiting the doctor’s office can be a period of intense stress for children. Add getting a shot, and things can quickly become disastrous. Pediatrician and mom Amy Baxter researches needle pain. When her oldest, now 13, developed a fear of needles, she brainstormed to find something to help him. Recently she developed a solution that is both cute and extremely effective at reducing the sharp pain and fear children experience with shots.

Buzzy Pain Relief has been adopted by 4 hospitals and is on trial in another 80 around the country

Q. Has your design been successful and what are your plans for the future?

A. We hear every week from moms and nurses using Buzzy! Initially there were mostly “good shot” stories, but now people are using Buzzy and the distraction cards for first aid at home, too. MMJ Labs, our company, has grown by at least 20% a month since we launched in May of 2009. Buzzy has been adopted by 4 hospitals and is on trial in another 80 around the country. Looking to the future, we’d like to increase our presence in pharmacies and hospitals, and offer personal pain products for home splinter, scrape, and sting first aid. Eventually I’d like to hire a new CEO so that I can continue researching the body’s pain relief systems.

Q.What inspired your Huggies® MomInspired™ award-winning design?

A.When my kids got shots I’d use the numbing creams or distraction toys research supports. Consequently, they were all really good shot takers until one person refused to wait and told my son his shots would really hurt. He developed a huge phobia, and I developed a passion to find pain relief moms could use quickly without delaying medical procedures. Combining a variety of accepted medical theories I created Buzzy, a small plastic bee that uses vibration and cooling to block sharp pain. It works the same way putting a burned finger under cold water instantly makes burns feel better.

Hat off to Huggies for creating the Idea farm.

Wouldn’t it be great if more business jumped into the ring in their particular domain of interest?


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