The Problem with Solving Problems

1 Jul


McDonalds food

If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out? –Will Rogers

For those old enough to remember, McDonald’s used to package Big Mac hamburgers in a sort of paper girdle before wrapping it in foil and placing it in a red box. This multi-layer packaging was meant to keep the Big Mac looking somewhat close to how it was depicted in commercials and on billboards.

And for the most part it worked.

But there was a problem, as author Henry Petroski explains in The Evolution of Useful Things:

The elaborate packaging took considerable time to assemble and not inconsiderable amount of time to open. In short, the medium failed to convey the proper message for a fast food restaurant.

In short, McDonald’s fast food wasn’t fast enough.

So in 1975, McDonald’s introduced a polystyrene box that handily solved the ‘slow food’ problem. The Big…

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