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Frustration / Irritation = Inspiration

It’s fascinating to see how much entrepreneurial verve is released by things that frustrate or irritate us (or worse). In the most recent Fast Company (Sept 2005) there are great examples. Find it nearly impossible to get your personal computer to behave? Geek Squad and Geeks on Call to the rescue. Or – can’t see or open your medicine containers? Target’s ClearRx Prescription System vastly improves the usability of a tablet package.

In the same issue, you can read about things that are frustrating or irritating, but which nobody has yet been creative enough to make money by fixing.For instance, in a piece called “The Lost Picture Show,” writers document multiple ways in which Multiplex movie theaters fail to deliver a great experience — puny screens, crying babies, other customers talking, sticky floors and difficulty seeing the screen over the heads of other patrons are all massively irritating (especially with ticket prices rising ever-upward). Fast company offers some suggestions: enforce no-talking (or crying!) rules, clean the place up and possibly segment different theaters for different usage patterns – maybe even offering waiter service in premium seats. Whatever the industry works out, it’s a sure bet that it will upend those players who haven’t fixed what we call the ‘tolerables’ and ‘dissatisfiers’ in the moviegoing experience.

So, what other forms of irritation or frustration bug you – maybe there’s a great opportunity lurking there somewhere.

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