Ideas. Like Jimmy Durante used to say, “I got a million of ‘em.” What we don’t have is the time, ambition, or inclination to turn these uncut gems of genius into cold hard cash. For years, a small cadre of friends has made a cottage industry of regaling each other with the next great idea that “is gonna make us a boatload of dough!” We have rarely tried to take these nuggets beyond barroom dreams. In fact, we take a certain pride in NOT wanting to go through the drudgery of turning ideas into practical realities, even if it could mean an early retirement. We find joy in the hunt for the new great idea. Solving some simple problem that the world seems unable to cope with. And we’re not delusional enough to think our bright ideas have never been thought of before. That’s not the point. WE’VE never thought of them before, so they SEEM new and revolutionary to us. Since we’re not going to follow through on them, what’s the difference? And we’ve have found that almost anyone you mention your “great idea” to will shoot back any equally fabulous, if unrealized, innovation that they’ve been carrying around like a Secret Santa, waiting to present it with a smile to anyone who will listen.
So we dedicate this column to all you closet Thomas Edisons. All the Ralph Kramdens whose minds keep scheming for a better way to “core a apple.” We want to create an open source marketplace of ideas. You’re welcome to run with ours, get rich off them, discard them, improve upon them, or just chuckle to yourself and think, “I got a better idea…” Here's one to start.
The problem: Ladies, what’s your biggest complaint about men in a shared bathroom? And no, we don’t mean tear inducing odors. We all know what the answer is: men leave the toilet seat up. This leaves every woman we know to complain that they almost went for a swim last time they absentmindedly followed a man into the throne room. Hey, guys don’t like to touch that nastiness any more than the fairer sex! Lifting once upon entry (usually with your foot) is as far as most of us want to go!
The big idea: garbage can style foot pedals for the toilet. A simple lifting mechanism that a man could step on to lift the seat, just like when tossing out some paper at the office. Take your foot off, and the seat retreats to offer a comfy poolside repose for the next customer. Use suction cup attachments for tile floors, and a simple version could be sold at grocery store checkout counters for easy retrofitting. Catchy name: the Pee Whiz.
We could sell a million of ‘em!