Three Modern “Design” Products With Untapped Market Potential


Since the job posting does not specifically disallow multiple examples, here’s three quick instances of this type of crossover-market identification I’m mentioning. (I’ve considered and dismissed about a dozen other products that I’d actually look forward to discussing at an interview.)

First, meet the Crisis Intelligence Alpha-1 50W LED searchlight.


This is a lesser-known lighting product picked up briefly on firearms blogs a few months ago; it was easily dismissed by a majority of commenters as being an unserious or impractically “tacticool” product as it was marketed primarily at public safety personnel, law enforcement and military consumers interested in vehicle- or checkpointed-mounted illumination. What the early devaluers of this product miss out on, however, is that it is immensely cool – it has firearms styling and ergonomics and picatinny rail interfaces for mounting firearm accessories and a pintle mount for putting in a mg crew served position. It is possible, for instance, to mount a rifle scope, foregrip, laser, or… a flashlight. (“Yo dawg, I heard you like flashlights…”) This comes from a market (Japan) that cannot legally own guns nor for that matter most edged weapons, which displaces the urge for weapon purchasing into consumer products airsoft guns, replica firearms and this type of “tactical product”; it is the type of machine that an American would probably not consider building. This is a product with untapped appeal for the 18-40 year old male market, particularly those not into guns, saleable as a very high-end “lifestyle utility” product.

Second, consider Crye Precision AC Combat Pants.

3. cryeprecision.combatpantac

These are the state of the art in battlefield apparel, designed for rapid moisture wicking, comfort in arid environments and extreme durability; these are the pants, minus knee pads, which are worn by Brad Pitt in World War Z. These traits also make them ideal for men living (for lack of a better term) low-maintenance lifestyles of bachelor self-neglect. The waterproof coating on them, for instance, means that most stains wipe off easily, and sweat tends to evaporate through the pants before it can soak in and stain them. Since these are marketed at military units (several of which have adopted these as official wear), they are priced at or slightly below mid-line pret-a-porter men’s pants. These are the same price, for instance, as a pair of Diesel’s high-end jeans. The appeal here is that for the same price as a mid-line high fashion pair of pants, it is possible to purchase top-of-the-line, feature-rich “technical” pants with a highly unique look. As may be inferred, I own a pair of these myself.

Finally, I’d present for your consideration the Damascus Steel Kramer Knife.

2. kramerdesign.euroknife

The eye-catching unique appearance of these knives comes from a manufacturing process highly akin to Japanese katana forging; different alloys of steel are folded and hammered repeatedly, forming an edge with incredible durability and sharpness. The process of forging Damascus steel is so intensive in terms of labor and material cost that each knife takes up to a month to make, and the knives are so popular that there is a waiting list several years long with a lottery to have your order taken. These are basically bespoke, low-run handmade items meant to last several lifetimes, and are priced accordingly. Kramer Knives demonstrate that even today, there is still a place for personal, highly crafted items – and that makers of these hand-made, individually designed items can survive and even prosper.

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