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Lesson of the Square Watermelons

imageYou can do anything.  We can do anything.

When you hear about energy shortages, global warming, and all the other social problems in the world, think about square watermelons.

If we can figure out how to make a watermelon fit in a fridge, stack neatly to reduce shipping costs, and still taste delicious, we can do anything.

David Knox passed along this great lesson on great thinking:

1. Don’t Assume:

The major problem was that most people had always seen round watermelons so they automatically assumed that square watermelons were impossible before even thinking about the question. Things that you have been doing a certain way your entire life have taken on the aura of the round watermelon and you likely don’t even take the time to consider if there is another way to do it. Breaking yourself from assuming this way can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things. 

2. Question Habits:

The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way that you live your life. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them. 

3. Be Creative:

When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking outside the box. Most people who viewed this question likely thought they were being asked how they could genetically alter water melons to grow square which would be a much more difficult process to accomplish.  By looking at the question from an alternative perspective, however, the solution was quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can’t see them. 

4. Look for a Better Way:

The square watermelon question was simply seeking a better and more convenient way to do something. The stores had flagged a problem they were having and asked if a solution was possible. It’s impossible to find a better way if you are never asking the question in the first place . Always ask if there is a better way of doing the things that you do and  constantly write down the things you wish you could do (but currently can’t) since these are usually hints about steps you need to change. Get into the habit of asking yourself, “Is there a better way I could be doing this?” and you will find there often is. 

5. Impossibilities Often Aren’t:

If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error.

Let’s stop talking about problems and start playing with creative answers.

As Steward Brand said in the Whole Earth Catalog: "We are as gods and might as well get good at it."

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Comments

  1. Lionel Menchaca July 19, 2008 at 8:49 am #

    Neat story and good perspective on how creative thinking can lead to innovation. I have a question though… how much of a premium do people have to pay for those square watermelons?

  2. Dave Knox July 19, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Andy – Thanks for the link and glad you like my thinking on lessons of the square watermelon
    Lionel – I haven’t seen the watermelons in person but I hear the premium is pretty high in order to get the convenience. Someone over on my site mentioned they can run as high as $100! I dont know how much a regular watermelon costs over there though…I doubt it is $5 like at Walmart here in the states

  3. Small Business UnMarketing July 20, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    Take Your Business To Infinity…And Beyond

    I was reading Andy Sernovitz’s blog post about the square watermelons and realized that we can do anything we want to grow and develop our businesses – especially online. Andy has passed on a lesson by David Knox on great

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