A simple solution for a simple problem is sometimes the hardest to find.
The Municipality of Copenhagen wants citizens to sort more of their food waste instead of slipping it into their regular waste bin. Their idea for a solution was some kind of tool which would make it possible to hang two waste baskets side by side. One for regular waste and one for bio-waste.
A first glance, the problem is really simple and could be solved in an afternoon with a handful of spare parts from the local hardware store.
However, the real challenge was solving the problem in the right way: It needed to be sturdy, simple enough for everyone to use and possible to produce and ship in huge quantities at a low cost.
Sometimes, hard constraints like that lead to pretty amazing discoveries. At least, it’s been a first for us to obtain the ultimate simplicity: A product consisting of a single plastic component.
Simple is hard
At the beginning of a development project, the product has the potential to move in all directions. For our bucket holder though, we had at least one clear direction from the get-go: Simplicity. And it might seem like the obvious final product when looking at the holder today, but it took hundreds if not thousands of development hours to get to this point.
First, we needed to chip away at the concept to unearth its most bare form. Then we iterated countless times to make sure every little detail was perfect – both from a manufacturing, shipping and usage perspective.
Eventually, we ended up with just a single component, that can be moulded as a single piece. It is really easy to understand, manufacture and ship – at very low costs per unit. Which makes it possible for the Municipality of Copenhagen to give away for free.
Of course, this level of simplicity is rarely possible. Smart//Mover and Opløft would have been impossible to simplify to that extent. But with a simple and well-defined problem to solve and a desire to make the solution available to everyone we had some great drivers to really simplify to this extent.
Needless to say: We are pretty excited to ship our first product consisting of just a single component.