If laziness is the mother of design, who is design’s daddy?

I’m a wannabe designer (thanks to my physics, especially mechanics obsessed dad).

I had had it with cables around my desk lying spineless on the floor. For instance, my Macbook charger’s MagSafe-end [in itself an example of good design] would plunge miles down to the floor when I disconnect the computer to take it out. The MagSafe would flirt with my USB cable and entwine when no one’s looking. Curious earphones would slid off the desk cliff every now and then. I’m too lazy to bend down and look for them. Why shouldn’t I expect the MagSafe to be within a 3 inch radius from my hand on the keyboard? If it wasn’t for laziness we’d never have invented the wheel. I’m sure at least one school believes the best design is one that satisfies the laziest.


I designed a little cable-trapper that I could fix to the adjacent wall just above my desk. I cut out a flap from a cardboard box and made a groove to slide the cable in. I realized that while this held the MagSafe it would only hold it when disconnected. Once I connect, it would come off the groove and fall off when I disconnect

The simple groove evolved to the hook with a lower slant that seemed more natural.

Next, I thought I needed to smooth the right angles of the hook so sliding the cable in the groove would be easier.

I also needed to make a scalable version that would rest several cables. As I considered that I felt the hook was consuming too much length on the board; I would need a very long board to accommodate ten cables. The simple groove was the most economical design; if I could change the feeding I could make the simple groove work. That evolved to:

Being a future creative brand manager I had to name it. For disciplining the cables, I’m calling it “SnakeCharmer”, and this is version 2.0 😛

I’m most thrilled for my USB cable; the two ends won’t be far from reach, and the extra length can be pulled down to hang from behind the grooves. I had to make a wide mouth in the center so I could feed electric plugs through it. The flimsiness of the cardboard won’t let me leave one end of the cavity open to feed the cables from.

I’m not saying this isn’t cluttered. But SnakeCharmer 2.0 ( 😛 ) makes it easier to find the cable ends, that is all.

Of course, if we could have this now, SnakeCharmer 2.0 wouldn’t be necessary.

Making even this tiny little thing was so exciting, I can hardly wait for the day when the Fab@Home would be more common.

After I was done, I wondered if there already were such cord trappers in the market and there sure was at least one. But SnakeCharmer 2.0 is free!

Let me know what you 17 readers of my blog think about SnakeCharmer 2.0. All suggestions to improve the design are welcome.

As I close, I’ll suggest checking out this article on “jugaad” innovation . Jugaad is a Hindi word loosely meaning arranging for something with whatever resources are at hand. Understanding jugaad gives one a deep insight into the Indian culture, rather Eastern culture where the best is made out of the resources one is fortunate to have. I contrast that with the American way of creating all the devices needed to get to a point, or get there faster. I guess that’s the reason an Indian carpenter never asked for a nail gun and Detroit has found it tough to make fuel efficient cars.

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5 thoughts on “If laziness is the mother of design, who is design’s daddy?

  1. Thanks a lot Oakie! Unfortunately, and as expected, the cardboard is not holding up well to the weight of the cables.

  2. If by haziness, ckvenkat means influence, then I attest to that with my favor for classic rock. SnakeChatmer 3.0 is imminent. The cardboard has taken a toll.

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