|Plastic Hanging Baskets|
Innovation is intriguing. How does it happen?
The history of innovations is well told by Matt Ridley in "How Innovation Works". He has fascinating stories of how new inventions came into being and increased our standard of living.
He argues that even the light bulb was not a lightning bolt of inspiration. Edison built on all previous knowledge and then trialed and error-ed through 6,000 types of filaments until one worked.
Ridley builds the case that innovative ideas are most likely a rearrangement of previous good ideas. Sometimes ideas were ahead of the technology of machines or materials.
Hanging baskets was such a simple idea. Why didn’t we think to do this before?
Take a pot of flowers and put a hanger on it so it could be hung on your porch.
That word from the movie ‘The Graduate’ was right ---- “Plastics”. The development of plastic pots with flexible hangers saved Spring flower growers by giving them a new income stream.
Ubiquitous plastic containers replaced all those terra-cotta clay pots and associated broken backs lugging them around.
So, with all these hanging baskets, how can a new size be considered an innovation?
When I saw the little basket at Strange’s Garden Center in Richmond, I knew that this is what I’ve been looking for.
Existing hanging baskets for houseplants are too big and too heavy.
Through some detective work, I found that I could import this 10 cm basket from Holland by way of Canada.
This 4” basket will replace our 4.5” and give indoor gardeners that ‘wittle’ hanging houseplant that they didn’t know they wanted.
That’s how innovation works.