The Biognosis Toolbox is my brain child, born in 2011 – declaring the year of the first prototype as birth year. Conceived … well, as such things go, that happened months earlier.
This is a product development story. Not successful yet, in terms of revenue. But I am convinced it is a sound product and am guilty of steadfast determination (or unteachable stubbornness).
For those of you who want to have a look at the tools first, please visit:
Overview & Links
- Biognosis CATALYST Kit – ideate with nature
- Biognosis TRIZ Set – invent with nature
- Biognosis Book – bio-inspired problem-solving basics
- Biognosis KIDS Kit – play with nature
- Biognosis CIP Set – optimise with nature
- Biognosis SDG Set – design sustainably with nature
Since my studies of innovation management I’ve often worked as a creative problem-solving coach, using many different tools to work with people, getting them on board with methodical ideation and evaluation – plus realisation planning (aka project management).
I love to use the trigger picture analysis as a starter. It works very nicely as such, easing people into an open, constructive association mood. To look at and think about randomly chosen pictures, putting them in context with a specific question, does that for you.
It kind of limbers your brain up, and that in turn is very helpful in initiating the idea ping-pong, building on each others ideas, getting both more vigilant and more focused. Dodging the meh-mood, so to say.
So, it was quite logical – from my point of view – to use this effect in combination with biomimicry, the learning from nature, my favourite method. Which I call by the old Greek-based word BIOGNOSIS, and use as a philosophy.
We all know stuff about plants, animals and other living beings. About a cheetah. Or a snail. And there is often an emotional connection – which is quite beneficial in creative problem-solving.
To enhance the experience, my cards provide the user with additional information on the back, describing the special survival of the fittest strategy and offering an examplary translation into technology, business and design terminology.
On Hold, But Not Idle
The product idea itself has gone into hibernation for some years. Or incubation, if you prefer.
I’ve kept up my biognosis channels (» Twitter and Facebook – now » Instagram instead), created this website and financed an online newspaper tool » The Biognosis Blog Daily – which services, unfortunately, were suspended in April 2023.
In 2018, I thought the time to be ripe and revisited the product idea. Tried crowdfunding to pre-finance development work and production costs. Talked to banks. Wrote a funding application. Result: zilch. I won’t claim it didn’t rattle me.
Nevertheless, I kept working steadily on my toolbox, and it evolved.
Digital = Open Content
As the manufacturing of tangible tools is still out of reach, I’ve decided to continue publishing digital content. As it supports my personal creation process quite well, I’ve chosen » Instagram to do so.
Analog Quality Demand
As I think it important that a product shows what it wants to stand for. Therefore, there’s multifunctionality like in nature, a modular approach to support usage longevity and especially no compromise in manufacturing.
When the cards are printed, they are printed by a Cradle-to-Cradle certified printing company here in Austria. The materials chosen – like the wooden dice – are as low-impact as possible. That is simply important. You can’t preach clear water and drink cheap wine, now can you?
The Biognosis Toolbox is my retirement plan. Something I can care about until I’m really, really tired of thinking, researching, learning, designing. Or the clock stops.
As crowdfunding did not work out, I will have to save money by excessive bootstrapping, financing the first small-scale production myself. Unfortunately, that will take many moons. I sincerely hope my crowdfunding backers are not offended by this, but keep being interested!
Looking on the bright side, I’ve seen other, different but similar products in the last few months – beautifully crafted ones. Guess the market is developing now, hoping it at least.
Because … such tools are important if we want to dampen the effects of climate change. Therefore, the more there are, for grown-ups and for kids, the better. And there’s room for many tools – as we biognosis minds know, diversity rules!
P. S. If you happen to be an investor, let’s talk. Seed and/or smart money is more than welcome. Be warned – I myself am quite the retro analog girl, especially when it comes to creative problem-solving. Tangible products support the ideation process. However, I have first ideas how to do cool digital versions, using augmented reality. Which may be more interesting for an investor. So, if you are looking for new products to launch & market … we should talk.