The Nested Doll principle is usually applied in one of two ways:
1. Place one object inside another; place each object, in turn, inside the other.
a. i.e. Measuring cups or spoons
2. Make on part pass through a cavity in the other
a. i.e. An extending radio antenna
Bill Gates and the Nutty Guys
Perhaps the most obvious application of the Nested Doll lens is Microsoft Windows. Windows has built a monopoly-like empire on this principle. Windows, as the name implies, is simply windows inside windows inside windows. There are multiple screens you can see inside of one computer. Each window is “nested” within another window.
Retractable presentation pointers are also an example of a Nested Doll application. The pointer is actually several pointers, one within the other. The design allows the pointer to extend and retract so that the user can point to a graph or PowerPoint slide on the wall while standing a few feet away.
Another company, Nutty Guys, a Salt Lake City-based nut distribution firm, greatly expanded their business inside of an independent grocery store. The company carries 275 varieties of nuts, seeds, candied nuts, trail mix, and dried fruit products. The founders, two college buddies, built a creative display rack to market their product – and essentially created a store inside of a store.
Similarly, there are several applications nested within the Internet that are examples of a unique product nested within an existing product or system. Netflix is an independent company that operates and relies entirely on the Internet. Skype is also nested within the Net. Skype uses Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology that allows users to make telephone calls using only their Internet connection. With unlimited calls for $30 a year, they generate a hell of a lot of word of mouth.
When you look at your business or product through the Nested Doll lens, ask yourself, “How can I place one object inside another to improve efficiency or make my product more user friendly?” You might be surprised by the creative ideas you’ll uncover.