Designs for the bottom of the pyramid


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LifestrawFind out what makes the Q-Drum, the Lifestraw, the MoneyMaker Hip Pump and the Big Boda Bicycle suitable inventions for 90 percent of the world's population.

In a video, the philanthropist and entrepreneur Paul Polack explains why it's better to sell these items than to give them away.

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Cat Laine
June 06, 2007

For people who won't make it out to NYC before the show's end in September, check out the photos of the exhibit I took this afternoon on Flickr:

June 06, 2007

With respect to product pricing, see recent research from Chicago:

(and blogged about by us on June 3rd)

For another perspective on design, here is a recent article by a Kenyan author on these "pure products" and his opinion on how they eventually fade from sight/use; a small excerpt and link:

"Biogas. A windup radio. A magic laptop. These pure products are meant to solve everything. They almost always fail, but they satisfy the giver. To the recipients, the things have no context, no relationship to their ideas of themselves or their possibilities."

It is great that this exhibit has been brought to the public and equally important it is necessary to discuss why some of these amazing technologies may never be used to their full potential (infrastructure problems, poor design, politics, etc. etc.).