Categorized | seriously dumb

Do we really need a pizza box that requires a user manual and video training?

There is no end to human ingenuity. The children of this generation are scads more shrewd than the children of light, as they saying goes. But ingenuity has a disheartening ability to escape the bounds of simple common sense. Or just plain “simple,” for that matter, without the common sense. So, for your delectation, I give you a new multi-use origami-master pizza box that requires printed instructions and, quite possibly, a few minutes of video training and a substantial amount of practice.


Now, I want you to try this at home after soaking up a couple pitchers of Heineken.

Think of all the new words you can teach your kids while playing with this thing. Like “*&%$!” for when the pizza slides off the cardboard square as you’re picking it up and “@*#&!” when you’re trying to do this pizza box tae-kwon-do thing with the leftover pizza.

The simplest rule of product development is this: keep it simple. Don’t get me wrong: this is a fiendishly clever invention. But clever is a dime a dozen — we inherited worlds of cleverness with the first bite of the apple — but clever and simple is rare and wonderful. The rule for Web sites holds for products: don’t make your customer think (or they’ll disappoint you).

You know the old saying: water — or in this case, substantial amounts of malt-based alcohol — always finds the easiest path downhill. So never underestimate a customer’s ability to either totally fail to engage any nerve cells when interacting with your product or do the least amount of work possible. Why work this hard splitting and folding and bending and twisting the pizza box when you can a) just grab a slice in your hands and stuff it in your mouth and b) after you’re done, just chuck the whole pizza box into the fridge?

If you even make it to the icebox. Really, ladies and gentlemen, how many typical pizza-delivery gourmands even get as far as putting away the leftover pizza? Within the first 48 hours, I mean. Let alone doing this pizza box differential geometry origami judo thing here?

Heads up to Fra Congdon for splitting and folding and twisting this one for final delivery to our inbox!

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