Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately at times, the United States of America is a country founded on freedom.
In the fortunate sense, we have freedoms which are paramount, such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Unfortunately, however, Americans also have the opportunity to invent incredibly ridiculous products for which others can arbitrarily and/or capriciously procure.
Here are a three products that I've never understood, yet somehow, people have chosen to to purchase:
Segway — Do you remember how much hype this product generated prior to its release? Probably more than any other product previously. Unfortunately, this product, termed a “personal transport,” has sold somewhere between 25,000 – 35,000 units. At $5,000 a piece, that’s somewhere between $125 million and $175 million in revenue.
While nobody knows these figures for sure, it does seem entirely ridiculous product could ever generate that much revenue!
In the interest of full disclosure: I did enjoy the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which had actor Kevin James riding around on one of these things.
Pet Rocks — One of the largest pop culture icons of the 1970s, Gary Dahl decided on a whim to sell rocks as “pets,” eventually making him a millionaire. Unfortunately for poor American farmers who pick rocks daily to reduce damage to farm equipment, Mr. Dahl discovered the idea before they did.
It seems rather absurd people would buy something they could pick up out of their front lawn, but that’s exactly how many people decided to spend their $3.98.
Snuggie — The Snuggie, which has sold more than 20 million units and spawned the fascination of the media and imitation products around the globe, at first seems to be a completely absurd product.
Thanks to the Snuggie, people can now wear a blanket equipped with an open back that makes it just like wearing a very comfortable hospital gown. This sure seems like a stupid idea, but many people worldwide would disagree.
I'm sure everyone hears about a new product and thinks, "Why didn't I think of that?" However, when I first heard of each of the aforementioned products, it is safe to say those were not the words I uttered.