The EepyBird Approach
What fascinates us is how everyday objects can do extraordinary things. Whether it’s Diet Coke & Mentos or sticky notes, it’s all stuff you can find at the corner store. We just spend long, long hours experimenting, discovering new and surprising things they can do. And after coming up with a hundred bad ideas, we find the one thing that’s really wonderful.
We spent almost six months developing all the different Diet Coke & Mentos effects: cutting holes in bottles, tying them to strings, finding different ways to drop the Mentos into the bottles. We’ve been working for over a year on sticky notes, in between all our travels.
One of our first thoughts was these zigzag pads of sticky notes for pop-up dispensers should be able to flow like a Slinky. But if you do it the way you’d think would work, by trying to tip it straight forward, it gets stuck and doesn’t flow. After three days of experimenting with all kinds of ideas with sticky notes, we finally had that moment of discovery: turn it sideways! By rotating it 90 degrees, now when you tip it, it spreads like an accordion and flows like a waterfall—perfect!
It then took several months to learn all the variables: How far can they fall? How many can you put together? Can they walk down steps? The discoveries can take so long to find and yet seem so obvious when you find them. For example, simply sticking one end of a pad to the other led us to create the pinwheels, one of our favorite effects. It took ages to think of it, but it’s so simple and elegant.