The accidental innovations of the “Will it Blend” guy

Will it Blend? Me with Tom Dickson

You might have seen the “Will it Blend?” series of videos with BlendTec CEO, Tom Dickson.

I’ve been watching those for years and so, when my friend Jesse Stay said we could go see him when I visited Salt Lake City this week, I said “awesome.”

I had no idea how funny he’d be in real life. I also had no idea he is an engineer who designed a lot of the things that go into the blender.

But even more, I love hearing how he came up with many of the innovations that go into making a great blender. Mostly they are accidental. Just like the video show was an accident.

What kind of accidents? The winglets on the blade were designed because the blade didn’t fit. When he tried to get rid of the winglets the blender didn’t work as well. So he put them back.

Or, how about the patented “wild side” which makes the blender work better? Well, turns out he just needed room for his hand.

Happy accidents. Are you innovating by looking for happy accidents?

This is a long (about half an hour) video, but one of my favorite CEO interviews. Thanks Jesse for bringing me to Blendtec. By the way, I bought a blender and it just arrived. Anyone up for a margarita party?

Oh, and sorry for messing up the editing. It repeats at minute 34. Yikes, will try to fix that.

About Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, I travel the world with Rocky Barbanica looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology and report that here.

19 thoughts on “The accidental innovations of the “Will it Blend” guy

  1. It’s always great to see the passion behind other entrepreneurs. I remember seeing his iPhone blend and declaring the guy nuts (this was when the first iphone just came out). A few days later, I thought he was a genius.

  2. This guy is the Harbinger of Device Destruciton! LOL I really like this guy. Yeah, I agree with the person speaking in the background of the video, we cannot recognize you without your safety glasses!

  3. Thanks for coming to see us, Robert! It was fun meeting you & showing you around. Glad you enjoyed the interview, too. Tom really is passionate about his work.

  4. Definitely one of your best CEO interview, Tom is definitely passionate about his blenders. Quick iteration is not just for software, it works on hardware too.

  5. awesome guy!

    but robert, for the record: germans innovate and don´t copy. just check who invented the automobile and the bicycle ;)

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