Wednesday, August 25, 2004
"I Invented That, But Then I Found Out They Had It Already"
The immortal words of Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton) in Night Shift have been the story of my creative life. Everytime I come up with the idea for something, within a few days or months I find out that thing already exists. The examples are too numerous to name, but this week presented two examples.
Exhibit A from this week is the idea of a postage-paid postcards. I know the post office sells them, but they're very generic. But, suppose when you bought a postcard your postage was already included on the card? That's always the biggest nuisance in buying a card in the first place. The only handicaps are that postage rates increase (which can be handled by better inventory management by suppliers and shops) and international rates will be higher and vary by location (which can be handled by making foreign-postage versions and tinkering with pricing strategies). In fact, I thought this would be an ideal ebusiness for somebody, especially for holidays and stuff as a substitute for greeting cards and such.
Turns out that the post office is already in this business.
Exhibit B comes from the world of animation. I always thought it was surprising that as realistic as Pixar and Dreamworks draw characters that it would not be far-fetched to see somebody use Flash animation to make their own animated porn movies. I know such movies have existed in the past (Fritz the Cat, for example), and I figured there's probably a niche for this already, though I don't run in those circles. It's obviously only a small step from strip poker video games, not to mention characters like Jessica Rabbit, and video broads like Lara Croft. On top of that, it's disease-free and avoids diffident or drugged out starlets and stars. Heck, I could imagine there would be a time where actors/models would license their images to video game makers so that you could, as Dennis Miller used to say, fuck Claudia Schiffer in your barcalounger for $19.95.
Well, apparently Playboy is beating a path down this road with a new spread featuring animated characters from video games. It's not hard to imagine a sort of sexual Dungeons & Dragons emerging where you could design women on your computer, a la Weird Science, and play interactive "games" with your creations.
Yes, I'm procrastinating.
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