Keren Gu's Picazón

Sharing and Scratching Itches Everywhere

What Bothers You

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6.933 is a great class. There is a great deal of experiences and stories told by the guest speakers. A great deal of advice to be shared. But before that, I’d like to share one of the exercises suggested by Paul from Kayak.

Paul is one of the founders of Kayak, which was recently sold to Priceline Group. <insert link> Paul made sure to note that they aren’t being solde to but the holding group instead. Because c’mon, is… well, very mediocre. On a side note, Paul seems like a guy with a lot of opinions, and I like that.

The first exercise he gave: Take a picture of something that Annoys you.

My answer? My cat litter box, and the whole process of changing litter.

Like he mentioned, the hard part about entrepreneur is defining a problem to solve, and the invention that comes after is easy. There were a lot of pictures taken for the class. Some were interesting others were just… meh. Mine was … UGh. My problem is so annoying, even to the people who never have to deal with it, that they couldn’t even bare to talk about it.

For a second I was embarrassed. Of the picture that I took? For submitting something unappetizing? I shouldn’t be. On a second thought, I probably found a problem that actually need a solution. (Unlike pictures of dirty laundry and messy desks.) A solution to my problem: an automatic cat litter cleaner.

Is it a good idea? I’m not sure. All I could think about is how this is a problem that I don’t want to touch. But days later, just out of curiosity, I googled “automatic cat litter”, and wahlah — there was CatGenie (, the world’s only self-flushing, self-washing cat box. I was amazed. It is the exact solution to my problem; it’s beautiful in its design, environmental, and not even very pricy.

I’d buy one someday.


One thought on “What Bothers You

  1. Just to play devil’s advocate — I really didn’t like that session. It’s piles after piles of first world problems — I would think that we could, at least some, amount to solving bigger questions. The marginal utility for the super well off is too low… I think one need to pick one’s battles given limited time and energy, and looking at dirty laundry is not conductive to optimizing the amount of impact…

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