Running your own business means being aware that all products and services either fulfill a demand, or solve a problem. Once you realise this, you will begin to understand why things are made the way they are. How collapsible umbrellas solve the problem of carrying a long cumbersome thing around, how wheeled luggage solves the problem of lifting heavy bags, or how the modern smartphone consolidates different technologies into one handy device.
But sometimes, especially when you're trawling around online, you'll come across products that don't immediately make sense. These are inventions that make you question what kind of market the seller was aiming for. Products that make you reconsider your understanding of your fellow humans. These items straddle the fine line between bafflingly stupid, and stunningly genius. Kind of useful, kind of not, these are 5 undeniably silly products that made it to the market.
With their position as man's best friend, dogs are the few animals who do quite a lot of the things that humans do, in much the way humans do them. They go out for walks, they go to the spa, and they even play sports with their buddies at the park on weekends.
But do they need to wear our clothes, too? These dog goggles (goggles designed to fit the particular shape of a dog's head) suggests that they do. According to the images on the site, the target consumer for these doggles look to be 'dogs who ride motorcycles across highways'. We also recommend buying these for 'lifeguard puppies', 'snowboarder chihuahuas', or 'chemistry lab assistant labradors'.
Blankets are one of those inventions that aren't really inventions. It's a sheet of fabric meant to keep you warm at night. No technical innovation there. To be fair, since the first person to cover themselves in a blanket, there has been advancements to the product. Thicker fabric, more heat-retention, and so on. But the core design of it has never changed. Nor has it needed to.
That is, until the arrival of the face blanket. It looks much like a regular blanket but with smaller dimensions and a hole cut-out for the nose to poke through. With this, your face will never be cold again. Sure, you can just cover your face with a regular blanket, but why be so practical? This face blanket ensures that only your face remains warm, and that you still need a full-sized blanket to get comfortable. Comes in three fashionable colours.
Nose Gel Dispenser
What's wrong with a regular gel dispenser? For one, it looks so boring. When your hand is dirty and you want some soap, pressing on a regular old dispenser just doesn't match the pizzazz and excitement you expect from a bathroom fixture.
Good thing somebody had the clever idea to invent the nose gel dispenser. This dispenser looks like a giant nose, and to use it, you push down on the side of the nose to make the gel soap come out. Just like a real runny nose. Plus, attaching this to an otherwise featureless bathroom wall makes it look like one side of your bathroom is wearing a face blanket. Brilliant.
Face blanket and regular blanket combo not warm enough for you? Some nights are like that. There are times when a warm face and body cannot make up for the cold loneliness one feels at the absence of a loved one to hold onto.
Enter the boyfriend pillow. Do you need a hug, but nobody's willing to hug you? Why not a warm fluffy embrace of a pillow shaped like a quarter of a boyfriend? With this, you can hug and be hugged to your heart's content. Hand-wash only.
These are plastic testicles meant to be hung under your truck.
If you can figure out the thought process behind this invention, please write to us.
As you can see, now that anybody can sell anything to anybody else, there is no niche too small not to chase after. Because as silly as these products seem, somebody is still making money off of them.
Speaking of side businesses, check out our writeup on how to turn any hobby into a side income. You'd be surprised at the many ways the hobby you have right now can be turned into a tidy little moneymaking venture.
Do you know of any kooky products for sale out there? Maybe you sell some of them yourself? Drop us a line or leave a comment down below!
Photo credits: Amazon [1, 2, 3], and "Operation Truck Nuts - Successful" by The359.