“(Fortune Magazine) — If you happened to go shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles outside Cleveland, you might spot two 50-ish guys browsing through the aisles, using their cell phones to take pictures of things like disposable-razor displays and bottles of detergent. Or you might not. “We’re very discreet,” says one of them, John Nottingham. “If people notice us at all, they usually think we’re Wal-Mart employees.”

(Fortune Magazine) — If you happened to go shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Chardon, Ohio, about 30 miles outside Cleveland, you might spot two 50-ish guys browsing through the aisles, using their cell phones to take pictures of things like disposable-razor displays and bottles of detergent. Or you might not. “We’re very discreet,” says one of them, John Nottingham. “If people notice us at all, they usually think we’re Wal-Mart employees.”

“Nope. Nottingham and his partner, John Spirk, run Nottingham Spirk, the most successful industrial-design firm you’ve probably never heard of. What they’re doing on their frequent Wal-Mart reconnaissance missions, Spirk says, is “looking for what’s not there.”

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