The key to good maintenance engineering is conquering the weak link.

There will be one weak area in a sophisticated system which will continue to plague and mar your metrics till you go after it and conquer it.

So it is with the pants you wear every day.

The weakest area is the seam which will fray. I hate to throw away pants and will extend the life by carefully doing a scissor trim till my wife secretly got rid of them and I secretly hoped she would.

With all the progress in modern technology my pants still fray.

For many years my uncle from the good old USA would ship me his used pants (they were not frayed) and our friendly local tailor would alter them. And my friends would ask me where I shopped 🙂

And when I did save up enough for pants I extended the experience by spending time in choosing the fabric and made endless visits to our friendly neighborhood tailor with the typical “naalaiku vaanga” stunt. (That is in Tamil and means “come tomorrow”)

Nowadays it is a visit to Sam’s club trying to choose a 34×29 which again seems to be a rare size. My wife gets a thrill in pointing out to me that the rest of the world is taller than me.

Coming to the “Design Thinking” problem.

How do we design pants which do not fray

  • Kevlar reinforcement?
  • Double stitch
  • Leather Liner
  • Velcro add on liner
  • Advanced chemical treatment?
  • Men start wearing Capri’s
  • Silicone lubricated shoes
  • Or go back to the good old Indian “Veshti” (This is a cloth which can be wrapped around ones waist and is actually pretty cool as it can be wrapped in quite a few ways)

Have to probably commission IDEO on this one.

Good Old Tim Brown may even make a book or a lecture out of it.

Is this Service Design or Product Design?

And that would mean endless discussions on what “Design Thinking” is all about