Viewpoints on Innovation

Saluting Innovation @ Oru Kayak

Process Improvement Organizational Effectiveness Consumer Goods Chief Innovation Officer

Saluting Innovation at Oru Kayak for inventing an origami-inspired kayak that folds into a compact carrying case. The founder of Oru, Andrew Willis, was a recreational kayaker who was forced to exile his kayak to storage when he moved to a small apartment in San Francisco. Instead of taking up another sport, Willis, an architect and product designer, viewed his kayak dilemma as an extremely interesting design problem. Inspired by an article discussing the recent advances in the art and science of origami, Willis began drafting sketches for a folding kayak. After months of prototyping, testing, and even one sinking disaster in the Berkeley’s Aquatic Park, Willis designed a twelve-foot long, twelve-inch wide, 25-pound portable kayak that can be folded up, stashed in a closet or even checked on a plane. Naturally, the product launched on Kickstarter and met its goal in only five hours. This incredibly simple to assemble kayak with the same standards of durability and stability as existing models makes the Oru a beginner-friendly boat that’s a truly progressive innovation. We salute Willis and the Oru Kayak team for delivering on their mission to make nature more accessible to city dwellers. 

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Originally published on October 29th, 2014

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Topics: Chief Innovation Officer, Design, InnoSalute, Innovation, Innovation by Association, New Product Development, Origami, Oru Kayak, Product Development, Product Innovation, Saluting Innovation

About the Author

Jamie Lahiere

Jamie Lahiere

Jamie specializes in Innovation Results Transformation as well as Change Leadership and Adoption. She is currently helping to author The Chief Innovation Officer's Playbook.
More Viewpoints by Jamie Lahiere

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