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Monday, March 17, 2014

Well, Now I’ve Seen Everything!

I’ve always liked the phrase, “Now I’ve seen everything.” Well, no you haven’t. Another possible gadget with no future has hit the market. It’s called the Hapifork.

This baby is designed to help you control your out-of-control eating habits. It was introduced at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show after getting funding from Kickstarter. Apparently, many people wanted to invest in an electronic fork. I said…an electronic fork!

It vibrates. It connects to your computer. It has a built-in accelerometer to track hand motion. Amazing.

The Hapifork wants you to wait 10 seconds between bites. From the article link I shared above, we learn “The Hapifork counts, and measures, a hand motion registering a bite: the moment food enters your mouth and completes a circuit with the fork's metal tines, a bite is measured. If you waited the full 10 seconds, there's no vibration. If you didn't, you get buzzed. Ideally, the Hapifork system works best with a phone next to your plate: you can watch the app time your bites and give you encouragements when you make a perfectly timed bite.” Oh…and it costs about $100. That’ll bite you.

I’m no prophet. But I feel safe in predicting that The Hapifork will be available at garage sales in the not too distant future at a fraction of the original price. It just might join a significant list of product blunders. Blunders like…New Coke. Ben Gay Aspirin. Smith and Wesson Mountain Bikes. Life Savers Soda. Clairol’s Touch of Yogurt Shampoo. Frito Lay Lemonade.

We’re not done.

How about Earring Magic Ken? Many incarnations of Barbie & Friends have come and gone. But none drew more controversy than Earring Magic Ken, debuting in 1993. As one web site described it, “Exit classy tuxedos and suits and enter mesh t-shirt, purple leather vest, and earring. Pretty soon "New Ken" was dubbed "Gay Ken" and parents were not pleased with his fashion-forward style.” Mattel discontinued production and recalled as many Kens as possible.

It raises an interesting question: If the product has limited market value or use, is it worthwhile to produce in the first place? There is SOME value, even in products gone bad.

Jobs are created. A learning curve is established. Motion is derived from innovation. But innovation is risky. Success OR failure can result. Hmmmm. (I still wish the thought of Frito Lay Lemonade would leave my head.)

Recently, I spoke to a men’s group about my life between jobs. I shared that I have asked God to keep my creativity at bay in ways that are not productive. God made us in His image and creativity is one of our true blessings. But as we know, creativity can be a blessing or it can turn out like Earring Magic Ken.

I encourage people to seek new creative approaches. However, learning some boundaries on our creativity is wise. And having some good counsel on your wealth of ideas can save everyone a lot of trouble.

As Archie Bunker might say, sometimes it’s good to “Stifle yourself!” Such is the nature of wisdom.

That’s The Way WE Work. Click on the link to the right to connect via Facebook.

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