May 2008

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« Politeness | Main | Another Already Invented Invention »


Nike SB

love the idea lol specially cuz my feet are not normal!


Thanks for a very well thought out piece. Many great ideas here.
Good luck!


Actually this "life cycle" of ideas in any field was pretty much explored and exploited by Genrich Altshuller, a Russian Patent Clerk during the 1940s and 1950s. He invented a process called TRIZ (russian acronym of the Theroy of Inventive Problem Solving) (see Wikipedia). As ideas "mature" they follow a fairly predictable pattern and many companies now use TRIZ to "predict" the next invention in their field.


There is a modern aphorism, When you get an idea, five other people somehwere on the planet get the same idea simultaneously. The one that profits is the one that acts fastest and has the resources, knowhow, and wherewithall to do so. I'm full of ideas, but they get taken by someone else all the time.
A maverick scientist, Rupert Sheldrake, has even tried to prove this phenomenon scientifically. He created a theory of "morphogenic fields" in which information is somehow dispursed through the ether, quantum physics, the collective unconsciousness, or whatever it is morphogenic fields are. He's even done experiments running rats in mazes on different continents, and claims that once a rat learns a maze on one continent, the other rats on the other continents learn their mazes much faster. Google him.
I just wonder, when he made up this theory, did 5 other people somewhere on the planet get the same theory, but were too lazy to go public with it?


Sorry I came to this post late!! I used to read from work, but wouldn't you know they recently blocked blogs?!

Anyway, to my point: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! There is nothing new under the sun!" This was written, what, about 3000 years ago?

There is the apocryphal story of the complaint about teens not respecting their elders from ancient Greece. I recall that it's origin is doubtful, but the point is the same. I leave you to google it and read the details....

Thomas Jefferson, in his personal correspondence, made no claims to any new ideas. His genius was to paraphrase prior wise men (persons) and make them current. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was a paraphrase of an older quote, yet significantly different. (,_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness)
He slyly snuck in "pursuit of happiness" in place of "property", a clever dig at slavery which was considered a "god given right" at the time.
A little more recently Depeche Mode sang: "they may be the last in the world, but they feel like pioneers, telling their hopes and fears to one another"...
No idea that you have, Scott, nor I, is truly original; but I feel I speak for all of us when I say that we still enjoy the clever spin you put on some of these old themes!! ;)

Alex Andronov


On a tangentially related point - what ever happened to Lazy Entrepreneur? I really used to like that and then suddenly it was gone. A post about that some day would be great.




check this out:


If anyone links you to anything that is exactly right, please post it in your blog!

And can we include all shoes? I have to have my dance shoes specially made, and athletic shoes are the only type of shoes I have ever owned a pair of (average 3 hours in a specialty shop to find them though) that fit my feet! Normal width shoes look like extra wides on my feet, and in america I also have the problem of being quite a high size for a girl, length wise. Plus presumably higher arches.


Well it's an interesting idea. A lot of people like shoes.

Just checking through the comments, this idea hasn't been implemented by has been rendered unviable by places like Amazon.

However if this place DOES exist and accepts advertising I'd be there with my own custom shoe business kicking off next year. So your post was kind of exciting, for a minute.

Allen Anderson is already taken. Not the idea, the site name. I recommend inventing a new version of the internet, and then making the site.

Katrina does this for music.


I like cats.

Chief of the Cubicle Police

Wow! 2 "winning" business ideas in a row.

I think at this point I speak for everyone when I say we're all scratching our heads wondering how you suceeded with Dilbert.


They call it semantic backward chaining and it is used for many purposes. When you order a book on Amazon, they tell you what other books were ordered by people who ordered the same book.

Either the Egyptians or the Aztecs committed plagiarism when they "invented" pyramids, although they never knew about each other. The chances to have a new idea are so infinitely remote that you might as well give up and stick to do what is practical in the current situation. Intellectual ownership is bunk anyway - just like you can own a windmill but can't own the wind, so you can own a brain but not ideas.


Scott, a good idea. But i feel why limit it to the foot. Because that way there is surely some "footish" site selling shoes and asking for reviews and all. So call yours as a Though would have been a good option. But some online dating dude has already been matching fools on web with that.

Anyways so this would match anything, ranging from lipstick to condoms. So create your profile with anything you want to share and look for the match, so that that helps choosing.


This sounds a lot like it came from
hmm... Shoester is close, but has a different goal in mind (

The half-bakery has a lot of half-baked ideas (hence the name) ranging from why-didn't-I-think-of-that to who-the-heck-would-think-of-that.

Custard-Filled Speed Bumps
"I would like to propose the following solution; a custard-filled, speed-sensitive speed bump. This bump would allow safe passage to all law-abiding vehicles. However, when a fast moving vehicle hits the bump, the magical properties of custard spring into life.
Custard [...] is a 'dilatant' mixture, changing from liquid to solid when pressure is applied. Thus, a benign, rather flaccid bump encountered at low speeds becomes an unforgiving, hardened lump when hit at speed."

evil laugh activated hand dryer
"activate this hand dryer by laughing evilly"

Mundane Olympics
"What's that gold medal for?"
"Apparently I'm the fastest lightbulb changer on the face of the Earth."

have a look:

Kevin Kunreuther

[Of course it could be expanded to other items, but starting with something specific like footwear makes it easy to describe to investors, easy to describe to the media, and easy to sell to advertisers. -- Scott]

Exactly how, eBay and Google started. Do one thing amazingly well. Then expand later. was happy just to sell books.
eBay was great at being the clearinghouse for the world's garages and attics.
Google did search better than anybody AND figured out how to make money.
When each company took off and became top dogs (online book retail, online amateur auctions, online search engine), then they expanded their services.

BTW, you don't have to be the first person to offer a product or idea (i.e.,portable mp3 music player, online music store), just offer consumers the best product or service (iPod, iTunes Music Store)


Solomon was a trash-talking idiot! Stephen Hawking is no fool for saying in his heart that there is no God. Oh, what is it????

Solomon said that nobody has traced out the path of the lightning bolt, nobody has weighed and measured the earth, nobody has meted out the heavens!!! Well, instead of attributing these things as proof of a God, he should have hired scientists to do these things.

Confuscious was a genius compared to Solomon.


I say go to and post your ideas there.... the people are specialized in criticizing each others ideas!


Best idea ever!

Whenever I find "my shoe" they always stop making it and make something different which hurts my feet.

the man in the trout mask

Everything already exists as a possibility - "having an idea" simply means tuning in,or opening the mind so as to be able to translate the possible or to focus on it thereby actualizing it in physical reality.
A simple example - as the musical scale consists of an unchanging number of notes then all possible combinations of these notes exist also,so any "new" music is merely a combination that hasn't been "heard" yet.
It's kind of like fishing - you set everything up and if it works out you "get a bite",but the fish,just like the idea,comes to you and it already existed - it didn't just come into being when you felt in on your line.
Of course at the quantum level all bets are off so who knows?
Just a thought.

D. Mented

MY feet are wierder than YOUR feet!
front: mens D
Heel: ladies AA
length: about ladies 8-1/2 or mens 7-1/2
arches; a little forward of womens, a little behind mens, medium high
...And my second toes are longer than my big toes.
When I find something that fits - and that's a struggle; it takes a few hours of wear to find out if it's going to work - it's already discontinued because NOBODY ELSE EVER liked the fit...not hard to see why.
I'm going to check out the websites I've seen suggested here, maybe I'll get some help.
YES, THAT WEBSITE'S A GREAT IDEA, and I second the motion to expand to other articles of clothing.
D. Mented


i love metafilter
did shoe search and it gives these links,,2135273,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=39
all are so good read
just don't open that flesh shoe site, being sensitive vegetarian you, you won't be able to wear your shoes anymore
then i reread your post and it was about tennis shoes and ads and business idea, really dduh!
to correct that mistake i'll guess your favourite brands and models
those are nike 'Tennis Classic Premium iD - Men's' and adidas something similar
if i am right you'll nod
if i am wrong you'll unnod
if i wear converse it will hurt my kidney
am i a good medium

sam g.

I think Solomon said it best, though not first. "There is nothing new under the sun." this is not a rhetorical device it is literally true. stupid people say, "what about spaceships and computers?", and of course you already answered that question:it's just reorganization of all the existing elements, mainly by chance. you could call it ai evolution.


I hate it when they stop making the shoes I like. I think this would be a good idea.

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