I saw this photo the other day at This Is Broken. It’s a walker, with tennis balls on the feet. I had to stop and think, but yep, I’m pretty sure that EVERY SINGLE WALKER I’VE EVER SEEN has had tennis balls on the feet. (Granted, most of them are green, but that’s neither here nor there.)
I have lots of questions (Why tennis balls? Who decided tennis balls would do the job? How in the world did the idea spread to every single walker user in the universe?), but the most important question is the one that apparently hasn’t been asked.
“If the people who use our walkers feel the need to add a tennis balls to make them better (I’m presuming it’s not a fashion statement), why don’t we think about re-designing our walker to better suit the needs of our customers?”
Meanwhile, tennis ball manufacturers the world over are screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
As an ardent enthusiast of Seth Godin, I suspect that it’s too late to ask the question anyway. The story has already spread. Thanks to tennis balls, people no longer have a walker foot problem. And if a company did change the design to one that wouldn’t require tennis balls, I bet no one would buy it. Because the walker wouldn’t seem right without the tennis balls. People would probably add tennis balls anyway.
My big point is this: why didn’t the walker manufacturers start asking these questions long ago, before the use of tennis balls on walker legs become more popular than American Idol? Maybe Adultitis is the culprit once again. One of the symptoms of Adultitis is the suppression of curiosity and the unwillingness to ask questions. Somewhere along the line, it seems that people in the walker making business stopped asking questions.
What questions do you need to be asking about your products, your business, your life?
[tags]walkers, tennis balls, curiosity, questions, This Is Broken, Seth Godin, Adultitis[/tags]