Foodie Friday is here and today’s topic is an ad I came across while reading one of my favorite food magazines. I own many knives and I’m not opposed to buying more of them. Yes, I realize I only have two hands and it’s generally a bad idea to use more than one knife at a time, so another knife is not a priority. Still, I appreciate that each of the knives I own is of a particular sort and it’s generally a good idea to use a tool appropriate to the task. While a good chef’s knifecan handle almost anything (and our kitchen is equipped with them in several sizes), having a boning knife makes that task easier, just as a good slicing knife or a bread knife can cut meat or bread, respectively, better than can a general purpose blade.
That said, I laughed out loud when I saw an ad for an avocado knife. Seriously. A knife dedicated to cutting, pitting, and scooping avocados. Of course, I saw a business point immediately.
This is a solution in search of a problem. I’ve cut hundreds of avocados. I generally use my smaller chef’s knife to remove the seed and a spoon to scoop out the flesh. I’ve never had a problem or wished I had a better tool with which to do the job, unlike seeding a mango, for example. We don’t just come across this mistake in the kitchen. I’ve spoken with quite a few businesses who have thought that what they were developing was something really important but for which there wasn’t a need. Or demand. Or a market.
Obviously consumers aren’t always aware that they have a problem until the solution comes along. Steve Jobs was a master of this approach. People like Edison and Bell were as well. However, for most of us, the identification of the problem - and the market for it – before creating a solution is a better way to spend our business days. You get the point. Me? I suddenly have a hankering for guacamole.