Lateral Thinking – 4

Lateral thinking is in action when an individual or a group tries to make incremental changes in a mature product. Did that go over your head? It did for me when I read it for the first time. Read it again, if it helps.

A mature product is utility/item/gadget which has all the possible features one can aspire for, and there is very little that can be added. For example…let us take Yahoo Messenger. Is there a feature you can think of, which the Yahoo team has failed to include?

For our lateral thinking exercise, let us take a product we use every day – Mobiles. Is there any feature that currently doesn`t exist on mobiles but you would want included?

I thought for a while and came up with this:

The Alarm a Friend Feature

Today`s mobiles don`t allow me to send an alarm to a friend`s mobile. Wouldn`t it be great if I could send an alarm to a friend`s mobile which would alert him a day before my birthday? I could send this alarm a week before my birthday – and unlike an SMS, it wouldn`t just lie in his inbox but would start beeping at the time and date I had set.

After one of the comments, I tried my Nokia N70 and there indeed is a ‘Alarm a Friend’ feature. I thought hard…laterally of course….and here is another feature I want my mobile to have:

SMS Signature

I have 479 contacts in my mobile…and I end up sending a universal SMS to all at least once every year (stuff like my baby daughter’s birth). And on an average I send at least 10 SMSes every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a SMS Signature, which would allow me to send my blog url at the end of every SMS? Just like our e-mail signatures. Now, don’t you leave a comment saying the feature already exists. Is there any god damn feature the mobile guys haven’t thought of?????

Anything you can think of?

PS: If innovation & creativity excites you please read The Art of Innovation by Tom Kelly. After reading the book, you might be interested in IDEO – a company that helps innovate through design.

Funny posts you might have missed

# Communicating a baby`s birth to the World
# Conversation: Osama vs Batman
# The master of exaggeration at work
# When I was in a Pakistani prison…
# Ten reasons why you need a girl friend…

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

16 replies on “Lateral Thinking – 4”

I guess this exists as a messaging services with some service providers. Doesnt some phones have a feature of programming sending of messages with a date and time? . Just laterally thinking 🙂

I believe that most phones have a reminder/tasks feature, which could be sent to othe phones via SMS or bluetooth.

I am a bit too lazy, so I always wanted a phone with automatic messaging. You just think of a sentence and it gets typed on your mobile screen. With this kind of a feature it would be so easy send huge massages.

maybe a local yellow pages feature… listing establishments in the radius of 5 km… depending on your current location…

i know the above info can always be obtained by connecting to internet… but as the service provider here knows our current location… it can be much more specific…

Piyadasi & Gokul: You guys are right…there indeed is a send an alarm feature in mobiles. Just checked mine…

Now, would you believe if I said I didn’t know about it till 10 minutes back?

Gaurav: Agree…can be very useful esp because less than 00000.1% of us travel with laptops and Reliance data cards handy.

It would be a great feature to have. But something that can be delivered cost effectively only if the yellow pages guy joins hands with the service provider.

I was just thinking (though it is not related to mobiles) that most of the people in Mumbai have laptops. And also most of the people use internet. So, I was just thinking that the government should make a rule that all the new hotels and restaurants should have wi-fi zone. That would make it really easy for everyone to access the internet from anywhere.

I have an entry for the yahoo messenger wish list:
There is stealth feature which enables you to be invisible to your contacts even if you are online. This is a “selfish” feature. The feature should have a rule that if you are invisible to your contacts, then any of your contact who is online should also be invisible to you. Fair enough?. Orkut has a fair feature. If you don’t want others to know that you have visited their profiles, you can set it so, but then you would also not know who visited your profile. That is fair enough.

Jammy, Sorry to disappoint but you need to think of a new feature – SMS Signature already exists. Both my phones (Motorola A1200 aka Moto Ming and i-mate SP5m) support SMS Signatures.

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