Many of us live in environments where we’re surrounded by all types of technology, so we tend to take the accessibility it provides to information for granted. We often forget that technology enables us in so many ways, not just to communicate with one another, but to work for ourselves and enrich our own lives.
Ludwick Marishane is a South African entrepreneur came up with the idea for DryBath, a product that allows individuals to take a bath without access to water, one day when a friend mentioned that they’d like to have something they could just rub on their skin. It’s no doubt that Marishane’s story is amazing because of what he created, which addresses the issue that 2.5 billion people globally don’t have access to proper water and sanitation where diseases like Trachoma, which leave 8 million blind every year, thrive. Diseases like Trachoma, as Marishane points out in this video, can be solved just by washing your face. Without a doubt, DryBath is an amazing product that’s not only innovative but has the potential to solve global problems.
But what’s also amazing about the story of DryBath is how Marishane got there. He had an idea, quite simply, but that idea was just that – an idea. His next step was to do his research, write a business plan, and a patent. This is no simple task for anyone everywhere, but Marishane did it – on his tiny cell phone.
All of his research, his forty page business plan, his patent – everything was done using a phone that’s barely considered “smart” by some. And it makes you wonder, without that access to technology, how would Marishane’s story be different? Considering the ambition and talent Marishane demonstrates, as well as his ingenuity, I don’t doubt that eventually DryBath would have become a reality, but the road he took to get there might have been a bit more rough and a bit more difficult. On a basic level, the story of Marishane’s innovative product, DryBath, demonstrates the fundamental role technology plays in developing ideas that turn into realities.
That’s one of the reasons why innovation management software is also important. Having access to resources, ideas, and technology makes the difference between an idea that’s just a thought and a dream that becomes a reality. It’s easy to take constant access to technology for granted, as much as it’s easy to take constant access to water for granted. The story of DryBath teaches us that if we really want ideas that change and shape the world, we need to make sure we create environments where they can thrive.
DryBath has the potential not just to address critical issues like Trachoma, but to aid in sustainability. With over 80 litres of water saved from individuals foregoing baths and using the product instead and hours of time saved, the product’s potential is astounding and it leads to the question that Marishane asks at the end of his TED talk: “On the gravel roads of Limpopo, on an allowance of 50 rand a week, I came up with a way for the world not to bath. What’s stopping you?”
image credit: huffington post
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Lola Olson is a freelance writer who creates content, manages social media, and advises on marketing strategies. She works Wazoku, Find Invest Grow, Pink Therapy, and several other organisations.