“Can something be done in advance to protect it?”

Cushion in Advance: Nothing is perfectly reliable, so cushion the blow when things go wrong.

Be prepared

Seat belts and air bags. The spare tire. Battery backup. A pressure relief valve. Crash barriers. A cushioned floor under gymnastics apparatus. A backup lighting system.

Each of these systems are intended to reduce the potential for catastrophe when the accident is unavoidable – or it is too expensive to guarantee will never happen.


A lead apron can protect patients from unnecessary exposure to x-rays. Masking can protect surfaces from paint overspray.

More examples

As I stumble across real world examples of this Inventive Principle in action I add them here.

Your turn

What problems do you face that this inventive principle could help solve? Have you used this principle before?