Why Is It I Always Get My Best Ideas While Shaving?

by Jim Clark, Gillette Research and Development Head

Einstein famously noted that he gets his best ideas while shaving. Not to compare myself to one of the world’s greatest thinkers, but I have to agree! So many of my most lucrative ideas for new product innovations at Gillette struck me while performing that most mundane ritual of facial grooming. Isn’t that odd?

Maybe it’s the steam from the hot water opening my creative pores. Or maybe it’s because my morning cup o’ joe is juuuuuust kicking in. Whatever it is, it must be working!

You know those ProShield™ strips that lubricate before and after the blade? Just popped into my head one morning while unfogging my bathroom mirror. FlexBall™ joints that respond to every contour on your face? Another random shaving brainwave! The infamous Mach 5™? Sure, I may have had fighter pilot lingo on the brain from watching Top Gun the night before, but the idea for that fifth blade didn’t hit me until my groggy creative mind was stimulated by the meditative strokes of a nice clean… you guessed it…. shave!

And how ironic that my office at the Gillette research lab is outfitted with all the latest equipment designed to “facilitate inspiration”: The latest CAD software, expensive standing desks and drafting tables, huge conference rooms for me and my team to brainstorm designs for new razors all day. Bet they’d save their money if they knew about my secret idea factory a.k.a. my bathroom sink!

I guess it’s just one of life’s little mysteries. Archimedes had his bath, Newton had his apple tree, and Einstein and I have our facial hair. Go figure!