06 April, 2006

Let me start out by apologizing for the time between postings.. I am not going to bore you with the lame excuses.. I’m just going to start writing.. Before I go off on my latest rant, an update on my picks from the NCAA, after picking 6 of the Elite Eight, I got stung and only had 1 of the Final Four (Florida). I was in an online pool through Buffalo Wild Wing's web site. Out of over 4500 partcipants nation wide, I finished 334th. (I spent a bit in the top 10 for a while before the wheels came off). Overall, I cant be disapointed in my results..

And now, on with my rant..

The other day I watched a show that I wasn’t sure what to expect. In hind sight, I probably should have known.. but I watched it anyway… it was a show called “American Inventor”. It was a lame show with more fluff than anything else. The basic premise is anyone who fancies themselves as an inventor can bring their creation to this panel of experts who will judge it and if they vote to see if it is the next best product. It probably won’t surprise you to find out it was produced by Simon Cowell.

Seems pretty harmless. It was a 2 hour premier and there was probably about 35 minutes of actual ‘inventions’ (if you could call them that..) there was a lot of hype about the show, the obligatory bio for each of the 4 judges, but mostly it was sound bites of the alleged inventors.

The inventions ranged from the interesting to the insane to the down right stupid.. one guy ‘invented’ a walking stick (he called it a ‘wand’), another brought a device to add smoke flavor (via real smoke) to food, still another brought in an overcoat complete with a piss bag. You read that that right.. this guy added a plastic bag to the inside of a cloak that would allow you to answer the call of nature wherever you are. None of these 3 got passed on.

What really got me about this show wasn’t the bad acting, the weird ‘inventions’ or the shameful self-promotion of the show. What really bugged me about this show was the sense of entitlement that the ‘contestants’ had.

The people that didn’t make it on (you need 3 of the 4 judges to say ‘yes’ to move on) seemed to have a bug up their butt about not being chosen as the next ‘American Inventor’. They seemed to have this unnatural sense of entitlement. They appeared to be genuinely upset that they were passed on.

Now I don’t claim to be an expert on the next great invention, but the so-called inventions that were passed on, for the most part, were some of the worst ideas I’ve seen for new products in a while. I understand the frustration, I mean, many of these people have spent several thousand dollars developing their prototypes. Maybe they were just upset that they wasted their money. Although each of them had one thing in common.. they all said “you’ll see, my product will be everywhere, and you’ll wish things went different today” or something to that effect..

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about American entrepreneurship.. but let’s call a spade a spade. Some things weren’t meant to be invented. The trick is to know when your idea is a bad one, and let it go.

1 comment:

Aleda said...

I really liked this show- it was hilarious to see what people thought of as inventions- it's amazing! It's also kind of sad just to watch a show to laugh at people's ideas- so I kind of felt guilty about that- but still kept watching. :) I thought the car seat that won was a great idea- although spinning my baby completely around in a car seat doesn't seem ideal- the concept was original and has some merit. I thought the disposable bed sheet lady was really funny- who wants to sleep on a giant paper towel?!! The little judge with the hawaiian shirts seemed to lack all social skills and seemed to think he knew everything about everything- the show even at one point made up a song about how he knew everything- it included clips of all the many things that he said he had done- it was so funny! Sometimes nonsense and stupidity can be fun to watch- they are definitely good for a laugh. :)