I’ve always been excited by imagining new things, products, toys, funny t-shirts. The idea that I could come up with something nobody else has ever thought of has been a favorite pastime since I was a kid. But the concept that these ideas could actually become real things is a different story. Out of all these silly ideas, I’ve only followed through with one of them. That one became the SightLight, a light that slips over Apple’s iSight web cam. I based the idea on the fashion photographer’s flash ring. It is now available at Amazon, Apple’s retail stores, all over the place. And the best part is that it’s exactly the way I first designed it. There was very little R&D to be done, and now over 10,000 have been sold. I’m very happy with the outcome of the little partnership. Not because I’m going to retire off the profits, (because I’m certainly not!) Simply because it represents widespread validation of an idea I thought of, that’s all.
Here are just a couple of the other ideas I’ve had, doubted, forgotten about, and seen in action after it was way too late.
5 years ago, I imagined how cool it would be to buy a foam pumpkin that was molded and colored exactly like a real one. Kids could carve it with a dull knife, making it safe to do on their own. Secondly, the child’s creation would be preserved forever – rather than in a decaying gourd – so it could be used over and over, adding a new one each year to show their artistic progress! Finally, it would use a low-watt light bulb rather of candles, making it safe to leave unattended while the family is out trick-or-treating.
Several years later, I walked into Bed Bath and Beyond and glimpsed… the Fun-kin.
Second example… we bought a new car in 2001. Having no garage meant we were forced to keep it on the street, and it drives me nuts that people use my bumper to tell them when to stop. I thought – wouldn’t it be cool if there were some kind of padding on the front and back bumper to protect it as people pull in front and behind us? You could even be sure it wasn’t gone in the morning by building in straps, that close in your trunk or hood to lock it in place.
Surely there must be such a thing think of the millions of city dwellers without garages! But after searching for hours on the web, even looking through the lists of exhibitors at car product expos… nothin’. Not too long afterwards, we moved to a new place with a garage, and I promptly forgot about it (since the problem didn’t affect me anymore.) But sure enough, just the other day… I came rolling down our street and saw… the Bumper Pad.
Oh well… I’ve still got you, SightLight.