Some things should not be combined

Angry Birds Cheese NipsAngry Birds was huge, at least a few months ago. Kraft decided to make an Angry Birds edition of their Cheese Nips crackers. Not surprisingly, it instantly made its way to the shelves of Big Lots, a store specializing in rejected products. (I love Big Lots, if only for the opportunity to see things like Angry Birds Cheese Nips.)

What product have you seen lately that lost before it even started the race?

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I want a phone booth

Daihatsu TantoThe Daihatsu Tanto is a small car not sold in the USA. (And maybe it doubles as a phone booth.) If you’ve read this blog for a while, you will know that I love small cars. The Nissan Cube is huge compared to the Tanto. In fact, the Mini Cooper is 8% longer than this car!

I can hear some of you say, “That car is way underpowered.” True, it would take about twice as long to reach highway speed compared to your car. But the joy of driving something so unique would mean that I’d have fun getting there.

If our old Corolla died and the Tanto was suddenly available in the USA, I’d buy one in a minute. The problem is, I’d have to persuade my family about how great the car is. They couldn’t be convinced.

Credit goes to Tokyobling, where I saw the car in the first place. Photo credit goes to Tennen-Gas.

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Starbucks should be ashamed

Starbucks plastic wasteI took this photo outside a local Starbucks. Why don’t they offer a recycling bin for just the plastic cups?

Garbage and recycling bins, water filtration systems, shipping pallets, sheeting and automotive battery casings are just a few of the products that can be made out of recycled polypropylene.” (Source.)

Starbucks has said they are committed to the environment. But they are not committed to recycling — at least in my part of Colorado. C’mon, big guys — step up and do this — all over the USA, at least.

And here’s the beauty of feedback… I linked to this post on Facebook, and a friend reminded me of a great action in response to Starbucks’ failing. We can help them. Bring your own mug or cup!

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We are different, and that’s good

Threshold from TargetTarget has a new line of housewares: Threshold. Some of the stuff is awesome and some is junk.

I found it interesting that on one store shelf, there were two items that gave me complete opposite reactions. One item I loved and the other I hated. That reminded me that many people love the thing I hated and many people hate the thing I loved. I delight in how different we are!

Footnote: If you check back on Friday, I’ll reveal in the comments which of these two things I loved and which thing I hated.

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The Mount Everest Syndrome

The top of Mt EverestAre you climbing Mt. Everest? If you are, you will need the finest equipment available. If you are climbing a small hill near your home, you may not need that quality of equipment.

This basic principle should guide how you spend your money. We all love perfection. Many of us like to have the finest stuff we can afford. But ask yourself, do I really need that good a thing? Do I need my whatever to last 500 years when I’ll only live to 70 or 80?

Save your money. Understand that if you have kids, they may not want to inherit that thing after you die. It probably will be obsolete then, even if it will last another 430 years. And if it’s not obsolete, it will probably be hopelessly out of style, at least for three or four fashion cycles.

Footnotes:

1. Some people have this syndrome more than others. It’s partially a function of personality type. I have the personality type that is prone to this. If you know someone who has this tendency, help them fight it. One symptom might be watching them buy a 4WD vehicle that can scale Mt. Everest, when they live in a flat part of Kansas.

2. I wrote about this before, in other terms: What once held value on this blog and What once held value on my old blog.

3. There are other references to this syndrome, though the Wikipedia definition reflects a slightly different beast. I’d also guess that it’s a symptom of OCD.

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