Friday, November 28, 2008


When traveling, friends, families, and sometimes even strangers run into the age old problem of trying to share one media device between two people; whether it is an ipod, a laptop, a portable dvd player, or even an old school walkman, the problem is always the same - a single headphone jack and four eager ears. Sure, you can try to split a pair of headphones with someone else, but all you end up with is mediocre sound and an awkward physical closeness. Oh, and the one indiviudal who always forgets what is going on and inadvertently jerks the other bud out of their companion's ear.

The Idea: a quad-budded set of headphones.

Although fairly straightforward, a quad-budded set of headphones would be a simple, yet much-needed, innovation. The headphones would come with plenty of slack to avoid the aforementioned awkward closeness, as well as a device for disabling and storing one half of the set for solo use. Although the headphones seem as though they would work best in the bud format (think ipod headphones), there could always be a more traditional, dual headphone as well, with a split wire.

Quad-budded headphones would also be welcomed by parents during these economic times, as it would allow them to purchase half as many media devices, with all their children still being pleased. Opponenets might argue that this is a recipe for disaster, as the situation would foster conflict between siblings; instead, view the situation as an opportunity to promote sharing, negotiation and bonding. What traveling is all about.

To learn more about travel appropriate headphones, check out

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


How many times have you used a gift card and been left with a balance, although not enough of a balance to actually purchase something else? You can either supplement the remainder with your own cash for an item you don't even need, or you can opt to save it for next time, stashing the card in the back of your wallet or bag, never to be used again.

The Idea: gift card balance donations.

After completing a transaction, the cashier would ask, "Would you like to donate the remaining balance to cause (x)?" If a person elects to donate what is left on their gift card, a button would be keyed and the remaining money would be charged to (x) charitable account. Merchants could offer a variety of causes and funds, giving the customer the ability to choose who they would like to help. Should merchants worry that too many of these gift card balances were going towards donations rather than sales, then they could easily make a policy that only gift card balances under a certain amount (i.e. $4) could be donated. - it doesnt make sense. it makes it sound as though you havent thought it out, or worse, you dont understand how gift cards work

This system would benefit all parties involved. The customer would be able to donate money which may have previously gone unused, or, on the same note, the customer wouldn't feel compelled to spend additional money of their own just to "get rid of" the remaining $3. For businesses, they would be able to boost both their image and their amount of charitable donations – a win-win situation. Lastly, and most importantly, deserving causes would be able to receive aid from previously untapped sources – retail, restaurants and hospitality.

To learn more about deserving charities that could benefit from this system, check out

Monday, November 24, 2008


If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a break truck is a large, insulated vehicle which visits construction sites or remains parked on a city street: it offers an array of snacks and other typical break-food fare, including the omnipresent staple of mediocre coffee. Essentially, it is a vending machine on wheels. If you're just looking for a bag of chips, there are all the major brands, but if you're hungry for a fresh donut, breakfast sandwich, or even just a strong, familiar coffee – you are usually out of luck.

The Idea: co-branded break trucks.

Co-branded break trucks would partner small, local break truck operators with a large-chain coffee shop (i.e. Dunkin Donuts): the result would be brand-name beverages, pastries, and sandwiches instead of just Frito’s and Snickers.

The partnership would be beneficial for both parties - the truck owners would see an increase in business due to customers reacting to the familiarity, and the brands would get an increased presence in areas where they may not have physical stores. Synergy.

An ancillary benefit would be savings for employers, since their employees would no longer need to travel to the nearest franchise of choice: that transportation time can now be turned into productivity.

To learn more about break trucks and what it takes to run a successful break truck business, check out