I’m a fan of market-based solutions to health and development, but I’m not a huge fan of the LifeStraw, which made a previous appearance on MethodLogical.
Frankly, everytime I saw some adorable African child leaning over a puddle of muddle sipping at it I had a huge aversion to this product – it’s pretty ridiculous that anyone thought this would have usability or appeal. Seriously, how much was this lady paid or pressured to get up in that stream?
Kevin Starr did a great job at PopTech discussing LifeStraw, failed ideas, and how to support which good ideas. It’s a video worth checking out:
I think design and innovation are two areas that the non-profits and governments really, really struggle with. IDEO, widely considered one of the world’s best design firms (invented the mouse and tons of other things you take for granted), is currently embarking on a design challenge for maternal health. I’m curious how it turns out.