incremental innovation?

I remember, with some vaguely distorting nostalgia, enjoying the pogo-stick as a child. So, when my daughter spotted the Zoingo Boingo Flexible Pogo Stick by Australian toy innovators Tucker Toys, I was drawn into her heart-felt request.

My own preconceptions of what a real pogo-stick should look and work-like provided the foregrounding for my skepticism upon seeing an object that had little in common with the pogo-sticks of my past. That is, the acceptability of this Zoinggo Boingo was immediately tempered by its departure from the form and material factors I saw as necessary to pogo-sticks. This then resulted in my questioning of its functional ability, 'that thing will never work'. 

However, my daughter's persuasive optimism (lacking the reference anchor of pogo-stick acceptability that I commanded) won out and we took it home.

After a few false starts, we were soon both bouncing. And, I was proven wrong. The variation on the origional bouncer both looked and felt different, but worked very well. 

This is an interesting example of interactions between Raymond Loewy's MAYA (most advanced yet acceptable) principle and Robert Verganti's model of innovation as incremental vs. radical. The radical difference in form factors and materials made the hopper unacceptably different for my own idiosyncratic understanding of Pogo-stickness, and thus skeptical of its potential to meet functional expectations. However, the product's function is not radically different from the original pogo stick design. Instead, Tucker Toys were able to provide radical difference in form and materials, while maintaining original functionality. That is to say, products can be more or less radical and/or acceptable at different dimension and on various levels. The point is to provide products that work well as well as look great...