A gadget that inspires you to use it creatively

If you’ve ever spent sleepless nights watching infomercials for the Miracle Brownie Pan or Miracle Mop, you’re hit over the head with the notion that you need to take these things you’re already doing, like making brownies or mopping up the ensuing mess — and do them better.

Never mind that every gadget appears to be “miraculous” or “magical” – that’s the marketing department’s handiwork — but if you start with that entirely viable idea of doing something better that you’re already doing and reframe it a bit so that it becomes “How can I take something that I really can’t do at all and do it,” you end up with a gadget like Joby’s Gorillapod, the flexible tripod that permits you to mount your cameras and other devices seemingly anywhere.

There are seven versions of the Gorillapod now, including the original camera mount and models for heavier-duty cameras and handheld devices as well as magnetic version that could turn your car door, say, into a base for a tripod so you can self-time that photo of you and your family at a windy scenic overlook.

One reason Gorillapod seems almost effortlessly life-changing as an invention is that without our realizing it, the makers plant a few possible uses for it in our head and then inspire us to come up with others. The innovation and ideas section of the company’s Web site provides a trove of ideas – take the tree limb with the camera mounted to it; there’s no real context for the photo, but perhaps it’ll put you in mind of the tree in your backyard that can now provide an assist when you want to shoot your family holiday card.

Rather than just make perfect brownies, the Gorillapod can be plugged into almost any situation we get ourselves into – it’s open ended – the mark, one could argue, of an admirable invention.

Image source: Joby

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