Thursday, June 9, 2016

Innovation's in Our Bones

Whenever I despair of our species, I remember that innovation is in our bones and such a marvelous thing, as two case studies illustrate.

Case Study No. 1

For the past 15 years, UPS drivers have been forbidden to turn left.

That's because company engineers discovered in 2001 that left-hand turns were inefficient, as a UPS spokesman told Fortune.

Left-hand turns wasted time and money.

So the engineers used GPS software to re-route drivers, eliminating left-hand turns.

The move—annually—shaved 20 million miles off drivers' routes; increased deliveries by 350,000 packages; saved 10 million gallons of gas; and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 metric tons.

Case Study No. 2

In 1940, film comedian W.C. Fields built an exercise room in his Hollywood home. 

He equipped the room with a stationary bike, a rowing machine and a steam cabinet, and hired a personal trainer to help him get buff.

Fields followed the trainer's instructions faithfully, but added touches of his own.

As directed, Fields dressed in sweats and mounted the stationary bike for long rides; but also drank several martinis en route.

He would work out in the rowing machine, but drink gin and sing sea chanteys while at it.

And he'd sit in the steam cabinet for an hour, sipping highballs the whole time.

"This is wonderful—these workouts are going to increase my liquor consumption two or three hundred percent!" Fields told the trainer.
Powered by Blogger.