Coming Clean on Innovation

Adam Lowry, co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products -- one of the biggest success stories from the worlds of innovation and green products, shared one of the secrets of his firm's succes at the State of Green Business Forum: Designing products with the end user in mind

Prior to launching Method, headquartered in San Francisco, Lowry worked as a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution, developing software products for the modeling of climate change. Lowry was passionate about environmental issues, but wanted to do more than just work on computer software models, he said.

So he took his ideas for sustainable design and focused then on the home. He helped Method Products develop a number of successful laundry detergent products using new innovative approaches to old ways of thinking. "People often forget about innovation," said Lowry. "Innovation is not a process that happens in the absence of human beings. It's created by human beings, and more importantly for human beings."

According to Lowry, people should design with adoption in mind. Lowry said people have step-by-step directions on how to do laundry. In order to adopt a new product, people must acknowledge change.

Method Products came up with a new concept in laundry detergent by designing a super-concentrated version that's sold in many retail stores, including Walmart and Target.

Concentrated products are more consumer-friendly than the original big detergent jug consumers have to carry, he said. According to Lowry, Method products are so small, they're able to fit in your back pocket and super easy to use.

"We need to save the world through laundry detergent," Lowry said.