How to Learn from the Failures of others


I bought a neat filter bottle called Bobble. I liked it and it worked well, but it broke 🙁

There was a great story behind the product – cut down on wasted bottles, filtered water on demand. 


Aesthetically it was well designed…by Karim! (a fellow OCAD alumnus …). Looks cool, well marketed. 


They say it’s smart engineering:


but … we all make mistakes. 


I thought it could maybe be just a coincidence…one defective unit. But my wife’s broke in the exact same way, pointing to a design flaw. 

Product Issues:

Low Strength of Polymer vs. User’s tightening force = Cap Rupture

Softness of Polymer = (easily scratched – see top of cap from 1 drop outdoors)

Lessons Learned:

1) You can’t do too much to validate your product at every step. Maybe they prototyped this product but maybe didn’t use the exact polymer type as production…

2) Prioritizing form over function isn’t always a great strategy and can lead to product recalls and potentially a failed venture.