Every once in a while an embarrassing moment serves as a great teacher. Last night I was filming an event put on by VentureFizz and NextView Ventures—“designing product experiences that win.” I had my two cameras set up. One running off direct power and the other on battery. I knew that I was going to need to swap batteries partway through so I switched batteries between the networking portion of the event and the start of the panel to give the spare as much time as possible to charge.
As the power on my camera began to run down, I looked for an opportunity to break away for a moment to grab the battery on charge. I seized my moment and scampered to the room in which I had staged my equipment and found the door was closed. I pushed on the handle to no avail. It wasn’t a push door, so I pulled on it. Nothing. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the door was locked. If it won’t push open and it won’t pull open, it has to be locked right? As I stood outside that door staring at my one spare batter (you can never have enough batteries), a woman next to me chimed in: “It slides.”
It slides. I easily opened the door and retrieved my battery. On the walk back to my camera, I realized how simple the solution to my problem was, but I was constrained by my perception of doors and couldn’t fathom a sliding one at that moment. At rest stops across the country, the doors are all labeled push or pull so that weary travelers don’t have to struggle trying one method in vain. In my mind, those were the only two options for how to open a door. Sometimes, when the two most obvious and seemingly only options don’t work there might be a third very simple option that gets overlooked.
Has there ever been a time when you found a third solution to a problem that seemed to have only two answers?