Skip to main content

Unbroken: Break, Repair & Repeat


“Unbroken" can be defined as either having never been broken or, to have been broken and subsequently put back together.
To create a successful product, process or business - one that is truly exquisite - is rare and to be celebrated.
Success is relative and transitory, it exists in a specific context and moment in time. Eventually every achievement will be challenged, it will “break.”
A great accomplishment in want of repair is a significant loss, and a wondrous opportunity.
In Japan, “Tsukuroi” is the art of repair; it is so revered that it is believed to create a new, and possibly higher, form of beauty. The same is true for business.

An artist applying tsukuroi technique to a broken tea cup.




As customer desire, technology, competitive and sourcing environments change, once successful products and business models must evolve and adapt: breakage is to be expected.

Eventual failure is inevitable, a healthy by-product of experimentation and adaptation. It may be argued that more is learned from having been broken and repaired than to never have suffered and overcome “breaking.”
Entire companies can break and un-break. Ford Motor Company broke, and then un-broke. So did FedEx, Disney and Apple.
Bill Gates once said, "Constant success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."
The question is how to break, learn, adapt, reinvent and become “unbroken.” "Un-broken" is an important business application of tsukuroi: invent, perfect, break, learn, reinvent, and repeat.
2015 will bring accelerated disruption - increased breakage.

Lesson learned. It's ok to break. In 2015, putting it back together, in a new way, is a required skill. Beautiful. Humpty Dumpty never had it this good.
An "un-broken" tsukuroi "repaired" vase
Please share your stories of products, brands, processes and companies that have broken and un-broken.
(c) David J. Katz – New York City, December 23, 2014

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Annotated Guide To Men's Belts

The Complete Guide To Men’s BeltsArticle By  on 11th March 2014 | @gabrielweil

IMAGE: AUSTIN REED SS14

Warning, Car Porn

The signature feature is the Rolls Royce Wraith’s Starlight Headliner, consisting of 1,340 LEDs hand-sewn to create an effect of owning one’s personal night sky filled with stars...

Warning, content below represents a man's libidinous fascination with an automobile. It is not Lolita; after all Bradley Berman, the author, is not Nabokov and the Wraith is not underaged. Nonetheless, I find myself simultaneously repulsed... and seduced. David J. Katz

3D Printed Dinner & Neckwear

Dinner Is Printed By A. J. JACOBS - New York Times
THE hype over 3-D printing intensifies by the day. Will it save the world? Will it bring on the apocalypse, with millions manufacturing their own AK-47s? Or is it all an absurd hubbub about a machine that spits out chintzy plastic trinkets? I decided to investigate. My plan: I would immerse myself in the world of 3-D printing. I would live for a week using nothing but 3-D-printed objects — toothbrushes, furniture, bicycles, vitamin pills — in order to judge the technology’s potential and pitfalls.
I approached Hod Lipson, a Cornell engineering professor and one of the nation’s top 3-D printing experts, with my idea. He thought it sounded like a great project. It would cost me a mere $50,000 or so. Unless I was going to 3-D print counterfeit FabergĂ© eggs for the black market, I’d need a Plan B. Which is how I settled on the idea of creating a 3-D-printed meal. I’d make 3-D-printed plates, forks, place mats, napkin rings, candlesticks —…