Even when an inventor's product will improve the lives of millions, it's nigh impossible to sell it when Esteban's dominating the airwaves with his epic Celestial Night Guitar Set. For a site dedicated to helping those poor, industrious souls, Yak About It.
Founded by an NYCer tired of seeing great products mired in obscurity, Yak provides a venue where users can rate and purchase the next generation of gizmos and doodads, though for the full QVC experience you'll have to get a fake tan and manically offer yourself a second one plus an extra bottle of Wow Lube for free. Products, which are hand-picked to ensure they come from individuals and haven't received national distribution, get rolled out two-at-a-time in weekly head-to-head competitions (to better "engage" users), and are buttressed with background info on the creative process, leading to enlightening statements such as "Unfortunately throwing the brush away did not solve the problem. For many years I did nothing to try to solve this problem. It was not until the year 2006 that I finally went to work on a solution to this problem". Problem! While users can vote on and "yak" about products, true support can be shown by opting to buy, meaning you can fill your apartment with stuff like a Bill & Hillary corkscrew and nutcracker set; a plastic utensil designed to insert fruit wedges into beer bottles; a bag filled w/ moisture beads intended to pull water from accidentally doused electronics; and a "handheld drink rimmer", which hopefully applies salt/sugar as easily as it inspires jokes.
There're also plenty of head scratchers to peruse, from flotation device-looking Puppy Bumpers that prevent dogs from wedging between fences, to a laptop shelf that attaches to treadmills, to a stylish diaper clutch, proving the reason many inventions remain unknown is because they're full of sh*t.
Published: December 18, 2009 at 4:00am EST
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