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What Are The Craziest Product Ideas You Have Worked On?

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In a similar vein to csven's recent threads, and given the day I've had, I thought about kicking off a thread about the craziest, most stupid design ideas for new products you have ever worked on or been asked to work on.

 

Running a product design business we get our fair share of individuals approaching us with their pet projects looking for help to get them to market. Indeed, a friend of mine who runs a prototyping company and I are thinking about writing a book "The ones that got away (just as well)".....

 

My own personal favourites include:

 

1. The air conditioned sun lounger - the concept being you freeze on one side while you fry on the other.....this from a sales guy who was just back from holiday and couldn't stay on the pool lounger for too long.

 

2. The laptop tray for steering wheels - from a very serious bloke who said he was "very high up in marketing" and had paid a graphic design £1000 to draw up some concepts - should have saved his money and done a 2 minute search in Google for 101 similar products!

 

3. The guys who had the solution to bath overflowing - a plug with a float on it (which when their prototype came out the bag my colleague had to leave the room to take a call and could be heard screeching with laughter).

 

and there are many many more. These things have one thing in common - we met them, we told them honestly what we thought, and we didn't take any money off them :) Which is more than can be said for the patent lawyers!

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Guest under-dog

An all acrylic Alter. It was made for 1-1/2 inch arylic sheet. The owner of the companies idea (I think someone planted the bug in his ear at chruch or maybe he was inspired). We didnt even sell one. Appears noone wants a 400+ pound alter that is seethrough and scratches seasily. It was aproduction nightmare anyways. Try moving a 400 lb sheet of AC around without doing damage to it. Put it face down on a tiny grain of anything and with all that wieght its a belmish. Slide it a little and its a gouge/scratch which means you just ruined a full sheet.

 

 

 

It shipped flat and was to be assmbles by purcahser. You can just imagine the complaints from units the were damaged as father james and two alter boys try to lug around 400 pounds of acryic without damaging it let alone get hurt. While making the prototype all I could imagine was an alterboy crushed under the top like one of those microscope lab slides of with a flattened bug in it.

 

 

Glad it failed because he was thinking accessories like:

Acrylic bible stand and accompanying communiion table, etc.

 

When they discontinued it I think someone took them home to use as work benches. LOL Id love to have been there when he pounded his first nail on it.

 

 

LOL we evean had 2 sizes.

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Guest Jailbird Charlie
An all acrylic Alter. It was made for 1-1/2 inch arylic sheet. The owner of the companies idea (I think someone planted the bug in his ear at chruch or maybe he was inspired). We didnt even sell one. Appears noone wants a 400+ pound alter that is seethrough and scratches seasily. It was aproduction nightmare anyways. Try moving a 400 lb sheet of AC around without doing damage to it. Put it face down on a tiny grain of anything and with all that wieght its a belmish. Slide it a little and its a gouge/scratch which means you just ruined a full sheet.

 

 

 

It shipped flat and was to be assmbles by purcahser. You can just imagine the complaints from units the were damaged as father james and two alter boys try to lug around 400 pounds of acryic without damaging it let alone get hurt. While making the prototype all I could imagine was an alterboy crushed under the top like one of those microscope lab slides of with a flattened bug in it.

 

 

Glad it failed because he was thinking accessories like:

Acrylic bible stand and accompanying communiion table, etc.

 

When they discontinued it I think someone took them home to use as work benches. LOL Id love to have been there when he pounded his first nail on it.

 

 

LOL we evean had 2 sizes.

 

Sorry, i dont have time to post a proper statement right now, but i had to say that is the funniest thing that i have read in weeks. Thanks for the chuckle... my collegues are all stairing at me now.

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Guest under-dog

Glad to help you through the day. it was really funny.

 

 

Sorry all for my poor typing(lots of typos). I rattled my origional post off fast and Im not the greates typist in the world

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Guest csven

My winners are all the projects with the following business thinking:

 

a) replace existing product A which loses money with new product A1

B) use the same processes, components, aso as existing product A

c) make the new product A1 do more than the unprofitable existing product A

d) add more components to the new product A1

e) expect that new product A1 will cost less to manufacture than the existing product A

f) become indignant when lowly industrial designer predicts project failure in the beginning

g) act surprised the project can't meet its ludicrous goals after time and money are wasted

 

or

 

a) get overly excited by a concept A bc it has that "Wow" factor

B) sell management on being able to deliver a product A at the price of some unrelated thing Z doing the same job

c) set the target price for the new product A at the same price of the unrelated thing Z and sell it to buyers

d) ignore the fact that the unrelated thing Z is two parts made from cheap plastic and new product A is 20 parts of varying materials

e) tie up team resources chasing the impossible

f) see above

g) see above

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Guest csven
Csven, clearly we have worked for the same customers
I dunno, man. The overlap on 99% of the business world is pretty tough. Sadly, we could have the same experience and never work for the same client.

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Guest ollie

interesting comment about patent attorneys. I guess they just write up a patent take the money and run, Us designers on the other hand would have to work on a stupid project that we know will fail rather than spending the time working on a good project that will look great in our portfolio. It's in our best interest to be honest with 'the overlap'.

 

I work mostly on products that exploit new technology, I rarely get a stupid idea, what we mostly get is "can we have a fully working prototype next week?" hah yeah right!

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Guest maumau

e) tie up team resources chasing the impossible

f) see above

g) see above

 

----

 

funny!

 

well, i haven't had any stupid or ridiculous requests (so far) or maybe i refuse them on time to notice them, but what i've had (and a lot) are several requests from mkt and management for NEW and EXCITING ways to showcase our products (we mainly focus on dry markers and highlighters, although i am in the "product development" department, and i am mainly focused in producing attractive cases to showcase and sell the aforementioned products) of which not even 30% see the light of day, just cause general management changes their mind or they just think the original idea was not feasable. this means that i can spend a good week working on sketches and showing them to mkt/mgmt, getting the green light and then being stopped on my tracks for no apparent reason.

 

to me that is just plain stupid. it's a waste of time (mine and others), resources, money and so on. this is frightening cause it shows me how little mkt/mgmt know about our market and products. it's like they have vaseline over their eyes when they are looking for new product ideas.

 

BUT! to be honest with you, if it wasn't for that i would not be able to practise SW as much as i do.

 

in the end i feel frustrated but... it could be worse.

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Guest Crit7171

MY MOST INSANE DESIGN PROJECT SO FAR!

It seems that (including that of God)cannot even withstand the magnitude of this design

The reason this design continues to elude even the brightest of human minds is that the idea of a dot cannot possibly exist in a dimensional state. This design is so powerful that it defies all laws of this or any other universe. Recent studies have shown that people who have attempted to comprehend this design have either disappeared, died spontaneously, or driven themselves into a pertinent state of insanity and/or catatonia. One common belief is that the design is possibly the grounds on which everything and nothing is based. It seems to surpass the idea of infinity. Quantum physicists report that this design is Everything and Nothing. It is said to have unexplainable connections with the String and Superstring Theories as the design resonates within every single layer of the multi-dimensional complex and yet still exists beyond that point which is where scientists have lost the trail. Various theologists and spiritual leaders believe that design is one who is, as they say, "The Answer". All attempts to understand this idea of Crit7171's master design have failed.

The dot. Nothing else can describe it...

 

post-23418-1215305583.jpg

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Brook, why do you have that on your website man?! (Joke)

But cseven absolutely hit the nail on the head. Design a version with double the features and half the price of our previous model, make it look like apple, and oh yeah, we need it in a week. Then the right before handoff they change 80% of the parameters and still want the updates finished on the original deadline (tomorrow!)

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