“What if it could adapt to circumstance?”

Dynamics: Develop the system or product to cope with a varying environment and demands.

Seasons, rush hours and weather

Design systems so they can adjust to different demand patterns. Have more staff on hand for seasonally busy times. Adjust the direction of some rows of traffic to allow for the reverse flow of cars during morning and afternoon rush hours. Close shutters during storms.

Cut of your jib

Sailing boats adjust their sails for the conditions. Many cars have active aero components to reduce drag or lift, or improve cooling. Large plane wings have surfaces that can be extended to increase lift during landing and takeoff but retracted for low drag flight.


Allow the object to adjust to its user. Provide many axes of adjustment in car seats and office chairs. Allow blinds to be reoriented according to the position of the sun.


Adaptive Transmission control will note when a car is driven through a turn and hold a lower gear to provide more power to accelerate onto the straightaway and avoid unnecessary shifts that would be unpleasant to the driver and potentially unsettle the suspension causing traction loss.

Automotive power steering systems will adjust according to the speed of the vehicle, raising effort at high speeds and lowering it for parking maneuvers.

Uber surge pricing

By charging according to demand, Uber is able to make more money and slow demand during peak periods.

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?