“What if we turn the negative into a positive?”

Blessing in Disguise: Harness harmful or undesired byproducts or waste.

Waste heat not wasted

Waste heat from electrical generation can also be used to heat offices and buildings.

Cars’ internal combustion engines produce heat that must be rejected to avoid failure. This heat is used to warm the passenger compartment when the weather is cold.

Another application of engine waste heat comes in the form of turbocharging. Heat and pressure in the engine’s exhaust gas which would otherwise be wasted is channeled through a turbine which in turn rotates a compressor. The compressor forces air into the engine which can be used to create more power.

Turbochargers use what would otherwise be wasted. This is distinct from how a supercharger works, as the supercharger draws its energy to drive a compressor from the engine crank, robbing the engine of some of its power.


In the production of timber almost all the remaining fibers of the tree are used to make other materials like particle board and strand board.

Scrap tires are crumbled for paving material.

The plastic of discarded plastic bottles can be spun into fabrics for clothing.


While receiving negative feedback from customers can be disconcerting, it is often a rich source of information on customers’ true needs that can be used to develop future offerings.

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?