The other day, doing some house-watching for an out-of-town friend, I pulled up to the mailbox so my daughter could reach out from the passenger seat and pick up the mail. The letters had scooted all the way to the back, of course, and as my daughter stretched and leaned out the window, I asked, “You want the mail hook?” “The what?” “The mail hook – you know, for getting the stuff at the back of the box without stretching up out of your seat?” “There’s no such thing.”
Maybe I’ll just design one and send it in for Craftsman‘s inaugural Innovation Showcase: The tool company’s looking for new gadgets to add to its hand tool, power tool, lawn and garden and tool storage categories – okay, so maybe my MailReacherThingy(tm) doesn’t quite fit the bill – and for the first time, they’re open to ideas from anyone.
“There are everyday creative folks and tool users out there who just might have a product idea for the next great Craftsman innovation,” showcase coordinator Louise Chang said in an email. “While we often look to both our established vendors and new vendors to bring us the next great Craftsman tool, we felt as though it was time to open the process up to a wider range of individuals, who can provide a unique and fresh take on product ideas.”
So, here’s the deal: You’ve got the next Vibrafree Sander or Digital Torpedo Level or Safe-T SuperSuction Crossbow for Mounting Christmas Lights From Ground Level(tm) stuck in your brain. You describe it in 100 words or less, email Louise by July 13, and you’re in the mix. It doesn’t even have to be a finished product idea: If they think the light bulb over your head’s a bright one, you’ll get a private audience at Sears headquarters to present the product to representatives of corprorate brand management, product development and product management teams.
Given the do-it-yourself enthusiasm that seems to run rampant among GeekDads & GeekMoms, I’ve got to believe the SofLanding ShinglePult(tm) or SlipOn Bionic HammerArm(tm) is out there just waiting to be born.