Every couple of years I come up with an idea so brilliant and amazing and revolutionary that I am forced to wonder: a) How come nobody has ever thought of this before?; and b) How many millions of dollars would I make if I actually got off my behind and attempted to bring this idea to fruition? Then I usually shrug my shoulders, eat another Twix bar and continue watching videos of amusing chimps on YouTube.
Clearly I’m no entrepreneur. I’ve never bothered to patent any of my ideas or
even take the radical step of googling the phrase “How do I patent my ideas?”
The only person I’ve ever shared my earth-shattering concepts with is my wife
and she’s only slightly more entrepreneurial than me. (Of course, this is like
saying Rush Limbaugh is only slightly more liberal than Michele Bachman.)
While the selfish side of me has been frustrated for years that my inherent
laziness is causing me to miss out on truckloads of money, recently the
selfless side of me has been weighing in as well. Forget the financial reward—these
life-changing concepts can contribute to the betterment of mankind, so by doing
nothing about them I am diminishing humanity.
This is where you, my faithful—and hopefully driven—readers come into the
picture. Knowing that I am never going to follow up on any of my concepts, now,
for the first time, I am going to reveal four of my best ideas in the hopes
that some of you might act upon them and bring the world a sliver more joy and
happiness. All I ask in return is that if indeed you become filthy rich as a result
of this, you buy me a flat screen television. (*Note: by reading this blog you automatically agree to make Andrew J.
Schwartzberg equal financial partners in any resulting endeavor and will
relinquish 50% of all profits to him in perpetuity and e pluribus unum.) Onto
The Watchdog – Although I am not a
dog owner, it is clear to me from conversations with dog owners that sometimes
dogs need to be walked. Indeed, it seems that often dogs need to be walked
around the same time every day. Sometimes dogs seem to approach their owners in
a manner that indicates that they (the dog) feel it is time for them to be
walked. Perhaps the owner isn’t sure if it is, indeed, time for the dog to be
walked and maybe they’re not wearing a watch or near a clock at that moment. Is
it time to walk the dog or isn’t it? How can you know? Wouldn’t it be nice if
the dog could tell you the time? Crazy, you say? Well, not with the Watchdog!
The Watchdog is a dog collar that has a watch on it. It’s fashionable and
practical. When your dog comes running and seems to want to be walked, all you
have to do is look at its collar to see if the time is right!
Indoor Running Rest Areas – It’s
summer vacation and you’re on a long road trip with your family. You have two
young children in the backseat who are getting restless. You’ve driven for
three hours and have at least two more hours before you hit the next rest stop.
Boy would it be great if you could just stop and let the kids run around for 20
minutes before they kill each other in the car. Only problem is you’re on I-8
in the middle of the Sonoran Desert and it’s 115-degrees outside. Wouldn’t it
be great if somewhere in the middle of this barren wasteland there was a
gigantic, enclosed, air-conditioned, carpeted empty building that your kids
could run around in? You bet your bippy that would be great! Yes, I’m talking
about a building at least the size of a Costco that has absolutely nothing in
it—no furniture, no merchandise, no structures of any kind. Cool, comfortable
emptiness in which your kids can manically run around—and then hopefully zonk
out for the rest of the ride as soon as they get back into the car.
Rentable Man Caves – We live in a
small three-bedroom house and each one of those rooms is claimed by an
inhabitant. The garage houses our minivan, the attic houses wiring, pipes and
dust, and there is no basement. There is no good place for me to do private man
things. If I want to blast Led Zeppelin or watch a gory horror flick, I do it
on my 12-inch laptop while wearing a headset. Pathetic, I know. For years I
wallowed in self-pity about this and one day it occurred to me that I can’t
possibly be the only man in this predicament. While there are millions of guys
out there who have managed to create their own man caves in a spare room or
toolshed, there must be millions of others who have no such luxury. Would they
pay $20 per hour to rent one for an evening? To get their own private man cave
with a big screen television, incredible sound system, and fridge for beer and
macaroni salad? I know I’d pay top dollar for a set up like this every once in
a while. I envision a large retail space with a dozen or so soundproof units
for rent. Once inside renters can do anything they want within legal reason…except
listen to Michael Bolton. Man Caves have their standards.
Peripheral Frame Lenses – I have
exceptionally good eyesight, so I’ve never had to think that much about
glasses; on the other hand, my dad was an optometrist, so optometric thinking
must be in my DNA. That genetic predisposition to eyewear knowledge came up big
the other night while talking to my wife, who wears glasses. She mentioned in
passing that due to the thickness of her frames, her peripheral vision is
blocked while driving. In other words, the frame itself creates a blind spot
for her. Oh, the irony! I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if instead of making the
frame out of opaque plastic, they made it out of the same material as the lens
and made the frame itself to your prescription?” A second after the full impact
of that thought set in I shouted, “I’m going to be a millionaire!” Then I went
on eating my Twix bar.