Tag: innovator

Go outside the ‘pool,’ like this Speedo innovator, to find new ideas

Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press Business Columnist
Published 7:01 a.m. ET Oct. 11, 2020


Fiona Fairhurst was facing a challenge. The competitive swimmer headed up Speedo’s research and development division and was charged with inventing a new swimsuit for Olympic athletes to help them win in their ultra-competitive sport. 

Prevailing wisdom at that time was to make swimsuits as small and smooth as possible.  If you’ve ever seen the cringe-worthy dad at a public beach wearing a suit that is far too small, you know exactly what I mean.

Instead of pursuing an incremental gain based on conventional approaches, Fairhurst  took a more open-minded view. For inspiration, she began to study the fastest aquatic animals in the sea. Realizing that sharks were among the quickest, she drew inspiration from the high-speed predators to completely reimagine what a swimsuit could be. 

The Speedo FastSkin suit looks nothing like its predecessors. 

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