So guess what else falls on this Foodie Friday? My birthday! Naturally, wanting to be prepared for the inevitable rush by friends and family to buy me gifts, I was rummaging around the web for more useless gadgets I could add to my kitchen. I might have found just about the most useless one of all and oddly enough, a business lesson as well.
I think you’ve probably heard of the Internet Of Things. It seems as if almost everything – your fridge, your thermostat, your dishwasher – connects to the Internet. Maybe, however, this thing (thank you, Business Insider) carries it a bit too far:
The Quirky Egg Minder solves a question as old as time itself: “Why can’t I connect my egg tray to the internet?” Made in partnership with GE, this thing syncs with your smartphone and sends you push notifications when you’re on the verge of being eggless. LED lights on the tray itself tell you which of its 14 eggs nearing their expiration date.
I don’t know about you but generally, I don’t need an app to tell me when the egg tray is almost empty. My eyes aren’t quite that bad and I can still see when there are more openings than eggs. In my mind, this is the classic solution in search of a problem. While you know I’m all for solving customers’ problems (that’s the basis for any great product, after all), we can’t create problems to match our solution. It’s actually more rampant than you might think – witness the plethora of new drugs that fix issues we didn’t know we had (and probably don’t!).
I suppose there are some folks who would buy this just to be able to show their friends that their egg supply is sound. I’m not sure that will get you on the subway or a mortgage. I’m also willing to bet that any product that creates a problem in order to solve it is walking on egg shells.