January 6th, 2017


LJ Idol Season Ten: "The Next Big Thing"

The Next Big Thing
idol season ten | week 4 | 439 words
“I don't skate to where the puck is. I skate to where the puck is going to be. "


First off, let's be clear. It's not about predicting the next pet rock or nothing, 'cause that shit's crazy, okay? Nobody knows how that works.

No, it's more like this: you think about what people want or need, and then dream up a better version of it. Like, in the future, maybe. I probably ain't describin' it real good, but this stuff ain't easy, you know?

Say somebody comes to you and says, "One day, these cars are gonna drive themselves." But you don't fall for that, 'cause people fuckin' love driving their cars. That ain't never gonna happen. So yeah, not that. Instead, maybe you hear someone say, "Gee, I wish I could walk faster but I can't, on account of my feet are doin' maximum speed already." And you think, "How about tennis shoes with pop-out wheels for skating on? That'd work!"

Not that I came up with that, you unnerstand. It was somebody else. But I'm just sayin'.

'Cause the point is, you gotta anticipate.

Like, for businessmen who're always getting stuck in meetings that run way over into lunch… a tie you could eat, one that maybe tastes like barbecue sauce or something'. That'd be great, right? Though it wasn't actually as popular as I'd hoped, but it coulda been.

Or the Fruit Phone, which was just for fun—a cellphone that looks like a banana or a pineapple or whatever, and you could fit it into your purse. You'd think people would totally go for that, right? But they didn't, not even when I ran ads on late-night TV.

And yeah, I've done the crappy TV ads and the mail-order schemes and the whole bit. They're not great, but they get your product out there, and you earn a buck or two. No shame in that.

Some ideas sell themselves. What about those grill lighters that work better than matches? Or wait, the self-cleaning litter box? That was total genius! Of course, that wasn't mine, either, no such luck. Damn, this business is tough.

You think you know what people want, but you don't, 'cause people are total freaks. And then one day you're lyin' on your deathbed, going "What the hell was I thinkin' going into this line of work, anyway? I shoulda had my head examined!"

But the truth is right there in front of you, there's no escapin' it. You're a dreamer, and you gotta be true to yourself and make the most of it.

And who knows? Anything could happen. Maybe someday one of those crazy ideas you came up with will finally hit it big.

Me? I'm still waitin'.


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