Category Archives: products

Business Idea: College Crap Capsule

storage signEveryone knows what a time capsule is, right – you put a bunch of junk in it, don’t open it for twenty years, and then enjoy going through the junk again.

I think this would be a perfect business model for a storage company – especially when the target market is college seniors.

When I was in college (’92-’96), my roommates and I accumulated all kinds of Miscellaneous Debris. When we get together now, we often talk about cool stuff we had, and wish we still had it. Of course the realities of life mean you can’t keep all that stuff – and really, you certainly don’t need all that stuff, but it still is fun to reminisce.

So, this company would help with that. When someone graduates college, instead of throwing away all the cool stuff, or instead of trying to keep it and then getting rid of it slowly as you move, get married, etc., the business model would be that they would create a “college capsule” that this company would keep and store for you. The, after 20 years or whatever, you’d get it back and enjoy remembering it all and reliving college life.

I think that would be neat, however, there would be some problems. First, it would probably be A Lot of junk, so whatever storage facility the company used would need to be huge. Second, I think you’d need to have the person check in with the company every five years or something, just to make sure the company could re-locate them when the 20 year period was over. Which would be too bad. I think many people would have forgotten entirely that they did this, and how great would it be for them for the company to show up with their capsule one day out of the blue? That seems like the fun part of a time capsule – not knowing what’s inside.

Product Idea: Weight Loss Daily Affirmation Toilets

Urinal shaped like a mouthAlmost everybody is concerned about their weight, right? But at the same time, most people don’t have the motivation to actually do anything about it. But should those lazy people be deprived of feeling good about losing weight? I think not.

So, here’s my idea. A person’s weight fluctuates throughout the day, right? Especially, presumably, right after you go to the bathroom (meaning #2). So why not have a toilet with a built-in scale? It would weigh you when you first sit down, and then when you stand up, speak aloud to you the change in your sit-down versus stand-up weight.

Everyone is sure to lose a couple pounds in this process, I think, and it seems like it would be a nice, daily reminder to hear a reassuring voice say,

Congratulations, you are now two pounds lighter.

I think we’d have to stick with the difference, rather than the absolute weight- focus on the loss, rather than the total amount (which may indeed be rising and demotivating).

The other great thing about the Weight Loss Daily Affirmation Toilet is that is should appeal to both genders – women have the stereotype of being weight-conscious, so they’d probably like to hear they lost weight. And men have the stereotype of being immature, so they’d probably like to find out how massive their dump was.

See, a win-win.

New Words and Old Words and Book Idea

I took the summer off, but the Oxford English Dictionary didn’t. News has it they just released a list of new words they added to the dictionary. That’s nice.

Oxford English Dictionary

But here’s what I’d like to see: a list of all the words they remove from the dictionary. I’m sure it happens with every revision – archaic words that have fallen out of use are culled from the language by the vocabulary monitors.

Which is fine, but I’m curious about this, and I think a good book idea would be to publish a book of all the words that have been removed.

But since this would probably bring some of them back into popular usage, they’d then have to be re-added to the dictionary again, and I have a feeling that the dictionary people discourage this flip-flopping. Merriam-Webster’s website wants us to forget about these words, but that is like forgetting your history. A book containing all these words would be a handy and culturally-important thing, and therefore should exist.

But oh, I guess it does – it’s called “old dictionaries.” Oh well.

Update: Hey, this is neat: OED has a “vault of failed words.”

New Toy: Baitfish

kid fishingI think this would be a great toy idea:

You know those little foam things, that you put it in water and it grows to a hundred times its size? Well, this one starts out looking like a worm, but then it grows into the shape of a fish.

It would be perfect to put on the end of a kid’s fishing pole so they can “go fishing” in any water, and they’ll catch something every time.

Of course, the drawback is they have to leave it in the water long enough to grow, but still, I think it’d be neat. They could be sold with a little fishing pole, or separately as refills, and could grow into different kinds of fish.

Product Idea: Scented Hair Dryers

blow dryerJust in time for Christmas, here’s another product I should invent: a hair dryer that uses perfume capsules.

The hair dryer would blow dry hair as normal, of course. However, it would also have a little compartment into which you would drop a scented capsule – say “shampoo,” “the beach,” “lavender,” “cotton candy,” etc. The heat would activate the scent, so that when you’re done, that’s what your hair would smell like.

Reasons why this fits the model of modern American products:

  • it is a superficial gimmick and no one needs it
  • it is curious enough to be exactly the kind of thing someone would want to give as a gift, but also just distasteful enough that they would not actually want for themselves
  • the key component is consumable, which means customers will have to keep buying (very expensive) refills of the scent capsules

New Diet: Vicarious Kiss Diet

chocolate lipsSo, when women diet, they give up eating chocolate, pizza, ice cream, and pretty much anything else that tastes good, right?

But most of those things have strong smells, right? So here’s my diet idea:

Women give up eating those things, but then could hire a guy to eat one of them for her. Then, with the chocolate or whatever still on his lips, he would make out with her.

That way, see, she can eat her favorite foods vicariously through their kissing, but without adding any of the calories.

In fact, they might end up burning calories.

I think this is going to be The Next Big Diet – but don’t call it a fad. Watch for it.

Dual-Action Toothpaste

toothpasteInstead of just cleaning teeth, I’d like to see a toothpaste that multi-tasks.

It could contain tryptophan (and taste like turkey), so that when you brush at night, it also makes you a little bit sleepy.

And then, there could be a special morning toothpaste that contains caffeine or some other stimulant, so that it helps wake you up.

Of course, the real beauty of this marketing gimmick is that people would buy twice as much toothpaste – a “morning” tube and an “evening” tube. I think it’d be best if both kinds came in a single tube, perhaps with a cap on each end – there would still only be half as much in each tube, but people wouldn’t have to try to figure out how to fit two tubes of toothpaste in their medicine cabinet.

Making Better Casts

I’ve never had a cast, but I always hear how much they make the skin underneath itch. What if they were made with plastic tubing embedded in them, next to the skin? That way, cold or hot water could be run through it, which might relieve the itch.

Or, the plastic tubing could be withdrawn after the cast dries, leaving an “access channel” that spirals around the limb. Then, when the itching starts, you could snake in a long pipe cleaner or something like that to scratch it. As long as the channel isn’t very big, the cast itself should still remain strong and rigid.

That seems to make sense to me. Here are two enjoyable cast-related photos for you:

accident slings

accident slings

Anatomical Cast Illustrations

Anatomical Cast Illustrations

Grocery Shopping 2.0

I think a great idea for a website startup would be a grocery shopping organizer. I think stores could pay to have their entire stock uploaded to the site, and then it could also display coupons and sales and whatnot.

The website visitors would be average shoppers. They’d enter everything on their shopping list, and the website would order it according to the store layout, and print out a new list/store map to plan the most efficient shopping route.

People could also categorize items, as buy-every-time essentials, things to look for if they’re in stock, back-up items, special treats, etc. They could save their lists, and maybe even remind themselves to buy things once a month or on some other schedule. Their account would also accept a feed from Twitter, so they could update their lists with things like #shopping buy eggs any time.

I know dot-coms are passe, but this idea seems like it would be solid enough to successfully make money. Stores would benefit by promoting to people who save their lists in their profiles, and by offering coupons and things, and shoppers would benefit by not wasting time.

Of course, everything I know about retail tells me that grocery stores would never go for this, because they want you to wander around and spend as much time in the store as possible, in the hopes that you’ll buy things just because you can’t find the things you actually want. Which, incidentally, is how I got this idea.

Snow Melting Machine

I don’t mind shoveling so much. The only time I have a problem with it is when I run out of places to put the snow.

I need to invent some kind of machine that you can shovel snow into (instead of just flinging it to the side of the driveway) that will melt the snow. Water is much less voluminous than snow, so a large area of snow could be melted into easy-to-handle milk gallon jugs, to be disposed of elsewhere. Or, if the melting machine also includes some kind of filtering or boiling process, it would probably be drinkable water – better than spring water, it’d be snow water.

I envision this machine having a big hopper or funnel on top, and the empty jug at the bottom. It would have some kind of heating elements inside of it to melt the snow. To protect the heating elements, the bottom of the funnel/hopper would have a grate of some kind, that would let powdery now fall through but would hold up the larger chunks until they melted a bit.

I can see this whole idea being a messy disaster, but man, having to walk shovelfuls of snow down the street to find a place to dump it is a pain.