Great Innovation: Getting a job done

Often one hears that everything is already invented and that only incremental improvements are possible. Well, tell this to Mr. Krinner. He has invented two products that just changed the way how jobs are getting done. He invented the Krinner Christmas tree stand and the ground screw.

Krinner Christmas tree stand

Probably, you never heard of Mr. Krinner and his company. But if you have no problem to put up your Christmas tree straight and safely, than you probably use his tree stand. His tree stand is not high tech, it just solves the problem to erect a Christmas tree easily and with high stability.

The second innovation by Mr. Krinner is as simple as the tree stand: The ground screw. What the heck is this? You probably have never heard of this product category before and right, Mr. Krinner invented this product category. But you know the problem Mr. Krinner solved: Fixing something in the ground.

Once he wanted to secure a garden umbrella and a windy dryer in his garden. To do so, he needed a spate to dig the hole, he had to get cement, mix concrete, cast the footing and fix the fastener in the concrete and then wait……. until the concrete is hard.

The Krinner Ground Screw: Just getting its job done

The Kinner Ground Screw

He found the traditional procedure too exhausting and wondered how he could get the job done easier. After some thoughts, trial and error he came up with the ground screw. A very simple idea. Instead of digging a hole and then fixing the footing with concrete, you just drill a big screw into the ground. It is easy to install and easy to remove. So it is also environmental friendly.

What once started with a simple, easy and economical solution of fixing a garden umbrella, is now being used for countless applications: “from securing garden umbrellas, windy dryers and fences; to carports, flag poles and traffic signs. Solar panel systems, advertising boards and even outdoor buildings for events and expositions are quickly and easily erected and removed.”

The credo of Mr. Krinner is “to find solutions for the Consumers daily chores” and not invent products for the sake of it. He does not do classical market research. He believes that when you demonstrate your new product to a potential customer and the customer says: “Wow, unbelievable”. Well, than you have hit the right point.

Lessons-learned: Job to get done

The lesson learned from Mr. Krinner is very simple.

  • Do not ask your customers what new products they want but look which job you can solve for them in a better and more economical way.
  • Segment your market according to the jobs that people are trying to get done. Understand that job not the product category. The market for ground screws was previously a market for spates, concrete and construction workers. If you think in along these market categories you could not have found the job of fixing something in the ground.
  • And then help them to get that job done as efficient and economic as possible. Don’t create with the problem solving new problems.

(article inspired by Brand Eins Das geht: Einfach schrauben“)


  1. Do you have any other examples of a company that justed solved a problem that was pretty obvious but nobody thought of before?
    Looking forward to any ideas. Just use the comment function. Thanks in advance

  2. I totally agree. There is no need to try to invent something new yet to help people solve their problems.

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