It's Friday, it's been a long week, and later today I'll have an interview that will provide lots of useful information I will share with you next week. But for the moment, I'd like to introduce something I'll call "a market niche we never knew we had."
Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.
They come with a rechargeable battery, a sensor, some atomization technology, and, in fact, a small logic board. They also come with accessories and a USB port. Best of all, the disposable versions are on "mega" sale this week for $14.99 (which is how I discovered this market in the first place -- a press release).
For the moment, let's set aside the question "Why would I buy a disposable e-cigarette when the old-fashioned types are already disposable?" Here's what Wikipedia says about e-cigs:
The housing for the battery and logic board is usually the largest component of an electronic cigarette. It is generally referred to simply as the "battery". This unit may contain an electronic airflow sensor for automated operation, or a button for manual operation. A timed cutoff switch (to prevent overheating) and/or a colored LED may also be included here.
Most electronic cigarettes use a lithium-ion rechargeable battery to power the heating element. Battery life varies depending on the battery type and size, frequency of use, and operating environment. To recharge their batteries, many different types of battery chargers – such as AC outlet, car, and USB – are available.
The price range for these things: $14.99 for a disposable model, up to hundreds of dollars for rechargeables and e-cig kits. They also come in custom colors and flavors -- the possibilities are endless.
By the way, these things don't help you quit smoking, can contain nicotine, and presumably are bad for the environment once you throw them away. They are smokeless, however, so I guess you can use them inside. And they do contain electronics, so you might want to get one of your outside salespeople on it.
If you know of a unique market niche, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe we can make this a regular Friday feature.