I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Last week we talked about service businesses, specifically those for the top income earners. Service businesses are at the precipice of hustle culture (love it or hate it).
What I mean by that is, you’re not reinventing the wheel, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, you can copy existing model relatively easily, so long as you just “work hard”.
Landscaping, cleaning, etc. are all examples.
But you know what? I’m kinda bored of those boring businesses. So today we are going to reinvent the wheel.
Let’s Talk Widgets
Today we’re going to talk about products. Now “product” is a super generic term, but they often times are “new” inventions, a way to reinvent the wheel, and a smarter way to look at something.
The way I see it, they come in two forms: software vs. something tangible. There are plenty of software applications that can be viewed as a product, but since I don’t code for a living, it’s harder for me to wrap my head around these and come up with ideas.
So, for now, we’ll stick with the tangibles.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Let’s start out with an example of what I would consider a bad product, the Away suitcase.
There is nothing innovative about it. It rolls the same, holds the same, and looks the same, but I want to set the bar low before getting into my list.
Here’s a list of product ideas I’ve come up with over the last few years. Some are good, most are bad, and they could all be ugly.
The good (or just decent):
- Surgical smoke remover: Many surgeries make use of electrocautery tools to essentially cut and cauterize at the same time (think tonsillectomies), which reduces the amount of bleeding. As a result; however, it produces smoke that can hinder visibility, lead to chronic pulmonary conditions, headaches, dermatitis, cancer, and other infectious diseases. I don’t know about y’all, but I’d probably prefer not to smell burning flesh containing carcinogens if I were a surgeon. Which is why I think someone should incorporate some sort of vacuum feature or containment method to capture the smoke at the source. Seems like a win-win.
- Caulk assist: It’s still incredibly popular to use your finger to smooth out fresh caulk. You squeeze it out with the gun and then run your finger over it to help create a seal and smooth it out. Even when these tools exist. Best way to cure the laziness of using the tool? Combine them? Improve the current caulk gun by adding an extension that seals and smooths at the point of application.
- Highway debris net: This idea spawned from my old commute that was an hour and a half of stop and go traffic on the highway. Next time you’re under a bridge on the highway, look up. A lot of times the underside of the bridge will look like this, but in these spaces, there will be planks and plywood to catch any debris coming from the road above (falling concrete).
Makes sense, right? The government doesn’t to liable when cement falls your car causing damage or an accident.
But every time I see them, they look precariously makeshift. And wood rots.
I think some sort of mesh net with slats (plastic), similar to rolling out the supports on a bedframe would be an easy sell. It makes sense and would be a whole lot easier to install.
It would be super low cost to make them, and could be made with variable length and width.
These are a no brainer especially, with the US bridge infrastructure deteriorating as fast as it is.
- Caffeine Sensor for Apple Watch: As I mentioned here, technology is available to implement more features on bio wearables that is currently available. I think a large amount of people would be interested to see what their blood-caffeine were at any given time. This can (I have done it before) be measured exactly the same way as blood-oxygen levels. Caffeine has a very specific UV absorption peak (272-274.7nm), that can be measured and quantified using the same technology that is already in the watch. It would work exactly like a pulse-ox.
- Bowl Scooper: It sucks trying to scrape everything out of a bowl with a spatula, so I had this one on my list. Little did I know it already existed and the creator had made a deal on Shark Tank with Lori.
- Alcoholic Tide Pods: Remember when people eating tide pods went viral? Me too. But imagine tide pods that were designed to be consumed; put a twist on a viral trend. Alcoholic tide pods that are meant to be taken like a shot. Pre-measured ingredients, edible membrane, variety of choices, what could go wrong?
Want a whiskey sour shot? No problem, just have one of these with one part simple syrup, one part lemon juice, and one part whiskey.
The idea sounds pretty cool, and it would be easy to piggyback on the viral trend, but I can’t stop telling myself “this is a bad idea” so we find it here.
- One-size-fits-all Picture Frame: Now, I have no idea how this would mechanically work, but I do know that the amount of variability in picture frame sizes sucks. Printed a new picture? Must buy a new frame/can’t use an existing one. Have an odd-dimensioned print? Have fun paying more for a custom frame. Even the logistics around having so many different sizes sound horrible for the Target’s that have to put them on their shelves.
The Joe Holka Show
Look, ESPN and Barstool are getting old. Two opposite sides of the spectrum both trying to keep their grip on the sports market. So check out The Joe Holka Show, he brings fresh takes without the theatrics of Stephen A. Smith. Need some fantasy help, but don’t love Matthew Berry, give Joe a listen! #ad
A look into my mind
Do what you want with those, they’re just a smattering of my much larger list, but now at least you know where my mind is when my eyes start glossing over and I start zoning out.
Let me know which ones you like…or hate!