vitamin or aspirin?

In the HUMAN-CENTERED approach, the real value of an idea relies on the impact it has on people’s lives. In that sense, we can use the VITAMIN or ASPIRIN metaphor to understand if an idea is good or not, understanding that a GOOD idea is an idea that brings something GOOD to the life of a consumer, something of value.

VITAMIN stands for those ideas that improve an aspect in someone’s life. That is, before the idea exists people satisfy their need somehow, and the new idea brings an enhancement to that situation (eg. shorter lines, faster deliveries, better connections, easier ways, simpler processes, etc.)

ASPIRIN, on the other hand, solves a problem nobody else is solving before the launch of the new idea. In many cases the problem is related to the satisfaction of the need generating another problem (eg. I need to take a taxi in Mexico City, but all the available options represent a personal security problem as I may be robbed or kidnapped, then a solution like Uber solves that insecurity problem with all the filters they put to the selection of the drivers and all the visibility through big data algorythms).

The VITAMIN or ASPIRIN approach takes into account the context of a market to understand the real potential of an idea, and the commercial strategy you need to follow in order to win a market. For example, while Uber may be ASPIRIN in Mexico City and many other Latinamerican cities, due to the security problems mentioned before, it is probably VITAMIN in other cities such as London or Barcelona, where the current taxi services already work very proficiently.