Great minds think alike.

Quite often in life people have similar ideas & inspirations.

There are some famous cases where several inventors came up with the same discovery – For example: the invention of the telephone is sometimes disputed – Manzetti, Bell & Edison all worked on the idea.

A few times on this blog people have had similar ideas too. Sometimes it has been hotly debated. But the fact is, mostly it’s simply a coincidence.

There have been several times in the past months were we had 2 or more designs submitted that were close to each other. Sometimes we only posted one of them – so to our readers who have cried out “Hey, that’s just like my idea!” – We know.

A few days ago we had 2 people submit rather similar ideas within a few hours of each other & in fact, at Tokyoflash we’ve had the same idea too!

Now these are all individual ideas, the outlook is quite different, the design of the case etc makes them unique in their own right. The time telling is similar, but its a original enough idea that just goes to show you, coincidence can happen.

We debated posting this because we don’t want to offend either designer or insinuate anyone has copied anyone else – we don’t believe anyone has – but we just thought it was interesting to see how great minds think alike.

All these designs use the concept of a circle moving clockwise. The start of the circle indicates the hour & the end on the circle indicates the minute.

27 thoughts on “Great minds think alike.

  1. Simularities happen fact. Its been seen several times in the past couple of months. Im of the opinion that as long as there hasn’t been blatent copying they should all get a fair chance on the blog. Assuming they are good enough of course. If a new display type is “invented” and then another design features a similar display and TF wish to develop one then its TF that have the difficult choice to make. Part or me thinks that it should be the “inventor” who gets the reward but the other part thinks it should be the best design. er summary, even designs with simularities to others should get a fair chance and be rated on their merits!


  2. Thank you Tokyoflash for opening this debate… if it is a debate πŸ˜‰ I would also say, GMTA (great minds think alike) is caused by the fact, that some things can be devlopped indepentently out of time telling itself, if you just keep thinking.

    What do you think about the PAC IN TIME WATCH (please google it) It’s the same base idea (although I couldn’t find an explanation how it works) but differently developped. If Toykyoflash had decided for their blue idea, the PAC watch would just look like a copy and nobody would care. So this interpretation of the idea is free to use I guess. The first one who produced it, has the moral advantage unless this time telling method has been patented. But I’m just assuming…

    I think the red watch on top is closer to the PAC watch than to the Zero-G and could be a new interpretation, a revival of the base idea if you will – a tolerable coexistence. The middle watch, with all due neutrality, looks pretty much like the Zero-G. That’s an unlucky coincidence. This would really be a revival.

    I can see why it’s hard for Tokyoflash, to play judge if similar ideas get submitted. I agree with the fair chance, Pete mentioned. I hope the users here are adult enough to stay neutral in such a case. If there should indeed be the intention to manufacture a watch based upon a shared idea, a just solution can be found I think.

    Stay critical, stay polite, stay tuned πŸ™‚


    • You have reminded me that we have had a couple of PacMan inspired designs also. Although they are not quite the same time telling method as the “Pac in time” watch. Almost certainly Namco would have something to say about the use of its iconic character. ( *< β€’ β€’ β€’

      The clockwise-circle method of telling the time shown in the designs on this page is a very nice variation on the regular clock. Just because we used it once before doesn't mean we cant use it again.


    • How about my design Smile V.1? It has iconic theme too πŸ˜‰ but is not a pacman inspired… Well back to this point, I think the black watch above visually looks more like 0G than the so called pacman watch.

      I should take action as soon as possible (hopefully by next week) to submit a design that might look a like 0G and the black watch above but I think it’s totally my idea and I believe is different.

      I’d thank Tokyoflash for this post and …… (continue below)


    • Hi Tokyoflash, nice to see you around πŸ˜‰

      Oh yeah, Namco would interfere there. Well the PAC IN TIME just has to change the name. Then it would be just a yellow cake.

      It’s cool that you think this method is not out of the game. We just have to look at the traditional hour-hand-and-minute-hand-style and the four-digital-numbers-style that have been quoted massively already. I mean, if it looks different, no problem.

      I second the comment of Firdaus (below). If a concept doesn’t get shown, the user (who at least left an email address) might wants to get a little message, why so. That would be disappointing at first, but that’s better than not knowing.


      • I agree with the sending of a quick email to the un-sucessful submittee, “Thanks for the submission but this time you have been un-sucessful with your submission due to……..” etc etc.
        Like Sam says this would be a disapointment at first but far preferable to waiting days, weeks and somethimes months before giving up hope.
        I think it was Heather a couple of months back mentioned that this could be automated, you simply drop the un-sucessful submission into a specified folder and that automatically sends a an email to the submitee.
        As with all these sugestions it would cause TF more work in the setting up of these things but would be beneficial to all involved in the long run.

        Thanks TF for giving us the opertunity to have these discusions and the blog of course which makes this all possible! πŸ˜€


  3. thank you TF for posting this on the blog, its nice to be reminded from time to time that you are out there and to get your insight. This blog has been a great success I think, I was wondering what you thought. Thanks again for creating this forum


    • Could not agree more, Gordon! I believe Tokyoflash has hit on something truly revolutionary here. This is to be the future of product design I think. An open invitation to one’s customers, come, innovate alongside us and we will both gain the rewards of mutually beneficial exchange. It’s invigorating to behold!

      With this post, TFJ have touched on something that has baffled historians for generations. How did different ancient tribes discover fire, the wheel, horseback riding, the bow and arrow, etc. at pretty much the same time, even though they were isolated from one another?

      It seems this process of spontaneous independent emergence has quickened in the digital age. Ideas are not subject to scarcity like other resources, and it seems that this process will become more refined as the blog evolves.


    • ….. suggest that Tokyoflash will also post special commentary regarding some designs that were not get featured in this blog. Thank you in advance!


    • Hi Barry, I remember your design ‘Combination’.
      It was quite a nice idea. There were 2 reasons it didn’t make the final cut.
      You didn’t follow the guidelines for submitting images at 706 pixels & not to place several images on one large document.
      The other reason was we felt it didn’t display the time in an unusual enough way.
      However, technically the idea was an intriguing concept.
      Please understand that because we have many submissions to consider, sometimes we just have to make a quick decision.


  4. The human brain picks up a lot of information and Influencing his own ideas, without remembering what he has seen. Thus, in good faith, believes that the creative is the first, but it is, so to speak, never the case.
    Look at the famous painters and sculptors, they were all Influencing by the Etruscans and other Phoenicians …

    The Time of Tokyoflash is intelligent and responsible, he proves again with this message, which is why we all love this blog!


  5. I will design some controversial watch concept that look alike several watches that already popular. Well, I don’t care what will people say about it, considering what Tokyoflash has said here, it’s a green light for me to release my idea prisoned in cave of pessimistic dilemma.


  6. That is an interesting point of view. I subscribe to the idea that if the right social, scientific and economic conditions are reached a new invention will sooner or later emerge regardless of the individual that has the luck to stumble upon it first. Then is just a matter of finding the best possible presentation and implementation of that concept. I think people are aware at a sub conceit level of that and wanting to be the first to be recognized as the author of a concept (any concept) jump often without thinking and just flood the market with ideas that lack the necessary refinement in the hope that luck will replace talent.
    Another famous example similar to the invention of the telephone was the creation of probably the greatest theory of them all: The theory of evolution trough natural selection. Charles Robert Darwin had some competition (no wonder since he waited a few decades before publishing) but in the end he was the one that presented to the world the most comprehensive and documented theory and he became the undisputed author.


  7. I think it would be a good idea post sometimes an entry like this as “Particular idea, differents desgins” but the difference is you can vote your favourite design.
    So, in my opinion, no wasted ideas, or designs that may inspire other people. Even post an entry “Declined ideas” to find some inspiration. Inspiration is everywhere.

    And thank you TF to post those design πŸ™‚


  8. Few hours difference between unpublished designs, yes, think-alike coincidence. Few days after a design has been published, that spells copycat for me. Of course, as Ignatius says, a good idea can be interpreted in many interesting and different ways, I guess it all depends how large the percent of the design is “outer inspiration” and how much of it is inner creativity. After all we live in Postmodernism which means everything has been done before, and to be original means to find new original ways of combining the same ingredients.
    I saw some cheap copies of TF watches few days ago in a fair, same ideas, slightly different designs, I guess the makers were not great minds that thought alike…or were they?


    • Sadly the time element can be irrelevent because there is not a specific order in which designs are added. I have designs similar to ones added to the blog recently which I submitted weeks/months before. TF try to get a variety of designs and designers on the blog to keep it interesting, so the order of designs are not always chronological.


Comments are closed.