Monday, January 02, 2012


Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with McDonald's. The company is a Rorschach test, really--you can find whatever good or evil you're looking for in McDonald's.

One thing I have always liked about McDonald's, though, is that they are remarkably efficient in an engineering and design sense. They pay attention to the "little" things that most other companies ignore.

I used to take Eli 10.5 there for breakfast almost every weekend, but as he's gotten older, it's fallen out of the rotation. Since they have "blue" Powerade (his favorite) on tap, though, we still often stop there for drinks, particularly after tennis or hockey.

Yesterday, after we played tennis until I couldn't stand up anymore, we stopped to get drinks at the drive-through. As I handed Eli his drink, I noticed the lid, which looked different:

See that sizable bulge in the center of the lid? I noticed that as I passed it back, and its purpose was working its way from my brain to my mouth, but Eli beat me to it:
"Dad, look at this lid!" he said. "They've added that dome at the top so soda won't spill through."

He was exactly right--that clever design change should almost entirely eliminate soda overflow through the lid. And he understood in less than a second why the lid had been changed.

I will be rendered obsolescent.

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