I finished reading this book last night. (Yes, it’s called Why Not?”) It caught my attention because of a review I read about it in a magazine a few months ago. The description on Amazon was interesting and the customer reviews were favorable. Although I found a few interesting tidbits, I’d give it no more than a “B” overall.
The most interesting concept they presented was the notion of “Would Flipping It Work?” where they consider solutions “the other way around”. A good example of this is what they propose with 900-xxx-xxxx phone numbers. When you call one of these, your phone bill gets charged. Could you imagine a scenario where the opposite would occur: you receive a call from a 900 number and your phone bill gets credited? How about with the dreaded telemarketer? If a telemarketer calls your home and you listen to their pitch you’d get a credit on your phone bill.
Although most of us wouldn’t opt for this, there’s probably some percentage of the public who would. Further, it would help offset the difficulties many telemarketers now face with all the “Do Not Call” registries across the country. Other examples in this chapter opened my eyes to interesting options that open up when you completely turn things around.
Although this book won’t make my favorites list, I plan to be a frequent visitor to the outstanding companion website. The authors refer to it as the “Why Not Open Source Movement” because they built it as a place for everyone to post new ideas and critique ideas from others. There are loads of ideas already on the site and more are being posted every month. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite sites, and yes, they do offer an RSS feed.
Even if you don’t find ideas that are directly related to your own business, you’re sure to find some that will spark your imagination. For example, check out the suggestion for an audio-in jack in cars (something I was complaining about recently!) and the great idea for a better brake light system.