We have all experienced it, most have been inconvenienced by it and yet for years it seemed we all just assumed nothing could be done about it. In fact, the thought rarely crossed our minds to question the issue; we all just knew that it came with the territory – paint smells. This is not necessarily so anymore. Now there is low-odor and odorless paint on the shelves in your local home improvement store. Sure this benefit may cost you a few more dollars (Approximately $20 for a gallon of odorless primer compared to $16 for the original), but the point is it exists.
What many of us complacently complained about with no thought of action someone decided to reformulate into a better product. Which has us thinking, what else can be improved upon by deformulating, or reverse engineering, an existing product and adapting the formulation to produce an entirely new, and better, product?
This novel idea of questioning limitations opens worlds of possibilities. What if this means self-sealing envelopes don’t have to taste gross, or bug killer could be completely harmless to humans. What if air fresheners actually provided health benefits instead of allergic reactions or maybe a breakfast juice really does exist that coupled with your freshly brushed teeth would not taste disgusting. What if the nuisances we run into every day with the products we use were not approached as givens but questioned for continuous improvement?
We see this starting to happen. Pinterest is filled with items pinned, shared, liked, commented upon, by hundreds and thousands of individuals finding natural alternatives for just about anything. Homemade play dough is making a comeback as well homemade laundry detergent. Even herbal remedies are on the rise due to people using social networks to share healthy options for common ailments. We see more hypo-allergenic and gluten-free items on the supermarket shelves and hear active groups on twitter and Facebook working to reform the top 10 retailers. It seems obvious that people are ready for improvements in just about every field of product development but how can we actually make the change?
The first step is to continue what has naturally erupted, the questioning and investigation into what we think can be improved upon. After questioning, comprehensive analysis must be performed to assess harmful ingredients, aggravating odors, and any other unsatisfactory elements in order to determine what needs to change. Specialized paint testing labs and independent chemical analysis laboratories can perform deformulation to determine the precise ingredients of just about any sample. Once this happens better alternatives can be found and exact methodology for product development determined before the manufacturing of a new and improved product can begin.
The great thing is, products are no longer bound to their flaws. Due to improvements in chemical analysis and instrumentation it is possible to identify a problem’s source and determine a viable solution. From paints and cleaning agents to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, just about any product can undergo this type of intensive testing and evaluation to determine the possible improvements.
If paint doesn’t have to stink what else could change?
We would love to hear your ideas for improvements in product development, leave a comment and let us know what you think.