About unuseless things

Chindōgu "is the practice of invention of ingenious everyday gadgets that seem to be ideal solutions to particular problems, but which may cause more problems than they solve." Or shorter: pure anarchy. If you want some examples, just do a quick image search to get a feel for them. And if you want something hilarious on your entrepreneurship bookshelf, consider buying "The Big Bento Box of Unuseless Japanese Inventions" by Kenji Kawakami.

Though two tenets of Chindōgu state that it "cannot be for real use" and "is not a tradeable commodity", I believe that there is opportunity to be found. For a simple reason: they are either instantly or close to a life hack, and if you find the right niche, you can sell those life hacks.

I'd approach this as a dropshipping business, i.e. you don't have to worry about creating the goods or keeping them in stock. You "just" take care of marketing and sales. Setting up a shop and finding a sourcing and/ or fulfillment partner is straightforward and there are players selling you the shovels for that. This leaves you with the great opportunity to learn marketing and sales, as "building" is not distracting you.

For more product ideas, listening in r/lifehacks (5.7m members) is a good start. For the business side, r/dropship (131k), r/ecommerce (171k), and r/Flipping (214k) are worth a look.

And now get me those cat duster slippers.

This post originally appeared in Basic Problem issue #41.

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