Playing on the floor

I know Christmas has passed, but I’m still in the Christmas spirit, so I’m passing along a great Christmas story my friend Jeremy Leonard shared with me last week. As a continued supporter of the LEGO products, and as a former employee (and kid who said from the age of 7 on that he’d one day work at LEGO), I get a lot of these great stories coming my way. I love every one of them.

I have always meant to tell you that last Christmas I bought each of my kids the 2nd generation of MindStorms. I thought they would love it because they are very computer literate and they like building things.

It turns out that they do love the kits, but not because they love robots. It is because they love playing with me. I don’t think they would care if built birdhouses, we get to sit around and combine hardware, software, testing and adjustments. If I lived 30 years ago, we would be doing this with old cars in the driveway.

This is a wonderful lesson for the world of product/service design too: Create a great product, put it in front of people and see what happens. Just because it doesn’t do exactly what you’d planned, adjust. Success might not come in the form you originally envisioned, but success is success.