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The Most Useless Invention --Yet

Friends,

Do you ever look at something and wonder what the designer was thinking (or smoking)? While I’ve run across the “solution looking for a need” phenomenon, there is usually some perceived benefit that comes from the extraneous feature. This week I discovered that’s not always the case. Enter Domino’s Pizza “open on other side” tab (see photo). Arguably the most useless “feature” ever conceived. For some reason beyond comprehension, the packaging designer at Domino’s decided their sauce containers needed a small protrusion that looks like something you’d grab to open the lid. Except, it’s not! While you can use it to try to get to your sweet icing or ranch dressing, this will result in an unseemly tear. As best as I can tell the tab’s sole reason for existing is to tell you not to use it! Never mind the fact that if the extra tab wasn’t there, folks would gravitate towards the tab you’re actually supposed to use. Even if we as a society have come to rely on gratuitous instructions, wouldn’t it be less confusing to print the “open on other side” message within the circumference of the lid (without adding an unnecessary tab?). Needless to say, I made this discovery when opening my sweet sauce on the wrong end. Kind or reminds me of the gratuitous tab Dunkin’ Donuts used to have on their donuts –only worse. While useless, it at least served an alleged purpose (a handle to grab your donut while dunking it in your coffee or milk). I can respect a good gimmick. How about you? Run into any “solutions looking for a problem” lately?

Happy Friday!


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