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4 Times the Internet “Invented” Something That ALREADY EXISTS

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1. Roommates

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Can’t afford to live on your own? Well, just do what any normal person has done for the past….I dunno, several hundred thousand years? FIND A GODDAMN ROOMMATE. You split the rent multiple ways, can share chores, and find efficiencies with food and utilities. It’s a concept as old as civilization itself…UNTIL NOW!

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The good people at Belairdirect Magazine have a wild new concept for milennials interested in “disrupting” living situations – co-living! It’s like normal living, but with another person! How is it different from “roommates”, you ask? Well, uh…it….shut up.

You should genuinely read the whole “pitch” behind co-living, and try not to tear your hair out while doing so. No matter how you look at it, it’s trying to pretend “roommates” is some kind of wild, new concept that only the forward-thinking minds at Belairdirect Magazine could properly explain. Although, really, it casts a bit of a wider net than just that – it presupposes that multiple generations could live under the same roof, even different families! …which is still roommates, but more often than not just families continuing to live together or share space to save money – which IS pretty normal in LOTS of countries outside the US.

FYI – don’t worry, we double-checked: Belairdirect Magazine isn’t some kind of shoddy Onion-knockoff. It’s a deeply sincere site that legitimately thinks its happened upon a hot new trend. Can’t wait for someone to tell them about co-playing (when you have fun with others).

2. Buses

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From the good people at Lyft, who have the honorable distinction of being pretty shitty, but not AS shitty as Uber, comes a brand new, crazy concept: Lyft Shuttle!

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Read that again:

  • Low, fixed fare
  • Convenient routes
  • No “surprise stops”

Does this sound like anything to you? Fixed fares? Efficient routes convenient for large sections of a local population? Expected, regular stops? THIS IS A BUS. YOU HAVE LITERALLY REVERSE-ENGINEERED A BUS.

Actually, it’s worse than a bus, because the hours are a lot more limited than most mass transit buses. The key differentiator here is that the cost is a bit higher and the routes specific for wealthier individuals, so basically – it’s a bus without poor people. But still…it’s a bus.

3. Tents

Hey Internet: Stop Inventing Things That Already Exist

Meet “The Pause Pod” – a portable “pop-up space” designed to allow for a relaxing atmosphere, no matter where you are. But what exactly IS a “pause pod”, you ask? Well…the IndieGogo page for the product is a little cagey. It’s a space to meditate! It’s peace of mind! It’s…IT’S A GODDAMN FUCKING TENT!

The insane thing is that the word “tent” NEVER appears on the page. Hell, they don’t bother to describe the “pause pod” using any physical terms, explaining what materials are used or any tangible words that would actually describe the object they expect people to purchase. But it’s a tent. It’s a goddamn tent.

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Even more incredibly, it was funded to the tune of nearly $150K, with the minimum pledge to receive a “pause pod” being $99 (+ shipping). Do people know how much tents cost? MUCH LESS THAN THAT.

4. Vending Machines

The fine folks as Fast Company profiled the extremely-less-fine folks behind the tech startup “Bodega,” whose intent was to replicate bodegas with what amounts to Redbox for ramen and toilet paper. It was founded by two ex-Google employees, Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, who felt the specific need to do a lot more evil in the world than they could manage at Google.

Bodega sets up five-foot-wide pantry boxes filled with non-perishable items you might pick up at a convenience store. An app will allow you to unlock the box and cameras powered with computer vision will register what you’ve picked up, automatically charging your credit card. The entire process happens without a person actually manning the “store.”

But mostly…it’s a vending machine. They just invented a much more complicated version of a goddamn vending machine – since this thing requires an app and facial recognition. And if you think it’s BETTER than a vending machine because it’ll have more options for stuff you can get, here are just a few of the ways we thought of off the top of our heads that this thing could go wrong more or less instantly:

  • Someone could open it with their app and then have a friend roll in and steal everything (so the person with the app has deniability)
  • People are gonna leave trash in them, or at least find ways to put an empty box of tampons in one and take out a full box to trick the machine
  • A new-ish service could be a little buggy and accidentally charge you for the wrong stuff and then you’ll have to go through some inane, tedious process of contacting customer support that will take hours BECAUSE IT’S TRYING TO BE A STORE-VENDING MACHINE COMBO WITHOUT A HUMAN BEING INVOLVED.

You’ve just made a vending machine that is way too complex and will definitely get messed up. Thanks, Silicon Valley.






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