We recently had our car vandalized while it was parked outside of our home. Our kids were upset, so we tried to turn a negative experience into positive learning. I asked my son Oliver, then eleven years old, to design a system that would help to protect the car from future attack. Being a boy of a certain age, he dreamt up a rather sophisticated solution, and, of course, went on to build a model of it using his extensive collection of Lego bricks. His solution consisted of a variety of deadly weapons and other military grade equipment, including laser cannons, infrared detectors commandoes, and helicopters. It was a very exciting design.
Oliver was pleased with his solution, but I felt he could do better if he used the theories of innovation. So I asked him a simple question. “Oliver,” I asked, “What are the useful and harmful features of your solution?”
Download a PDF (22 pages) for the full story and pictures of Oliver's Garage.