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20 Business ideas you wish you’d thought of first

How many times have you seen a product in a store or something on TV that makes you scream out (or internally if you’re in public), “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Maybe it’s happened while watching the popular reality TV show Shark Tank, as aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to the “sharks” for the chance to land a deal. Someone presents a product that makes you cringe, and it’s not because it’s a ridiculous idea, it’s because you wish you came up with it first.

Here are 20 inventions that make the cringe-worthy list because they’re fabulous, popular and we wish we’d thought of them first.

1. Damn Heels

Damn Heels

Imagine being able to wear a shoe that had the style of a stiletto but the comfort of flats. The owner created these glamorous, heel-inspired flats so that women can switch out of their heels when their feet scream without compromising style, whether walking to the office or having a girl’s night out. (Damn Heels, $35 and up) 

2. Solemates High Heeler

Solemates High Heeler

If you just dropped a nice chunk of change on a pair of shoes, you may want to preserve them with this product. Solemates caters to the shoe lover with a product that attaches easily to most stilettos and kitten heels to prevent the heels from sinking into grass or falling into cracks. (Solemates, $10 and up)

3. The Mumbani Fresh Face pillow

The Mumbani

The company’s website says this anti-aging, anti-wrinkle sleep pillow can help people lose the crease lines and wrinkles that occur when pressing against the pillow while sleeping. Goodbye “morning face,” hello fresh face. (Mumbani, $20)

4. Armpocket


Gone are the days of listening to music and running clumsily while holding your phone. This product is designed for people who like to work out to their favorite tunes on their phone or iPod. And using an armband is much more convenient and comfortable than storing your music device in your sports bra or pocket. (Armpocket, $20 and up)

5. LED slippers

LED slippers

Tired of stumbling around the house in the middle of the night because you can’t see? Instead of turning on the lights or stumbling around with the light from your cellphone, put on these nightlight slippers. The built-in lights sensors only come on in the dark and automatically turn off when you step out of them. (BrightFeet Lighted Slippers, $27)

6. Fingerless gloves

Fingerless gloves

OK, so maybe you initially cringed because you weren’t feeling the style, but the functionality of this winter accessory is definitely worth the hype. These multipurpose gloves will keep your hands warm and make it easy to use your hands for driving, texting, etc. without having to take them completely off. Fashionistas have also rocked them for a fashion statement. (Macy’s, Prices vary)

7. USB Drink Warmer

USB Mug Warmer

If you’re one of those coffee drinkers who can’t function in the morning without your favorite cup of joe, or you tend to steer clear from coffee lovers until they finish their first pot, you’ll see the value of this creative invention. It will keep your coffee warm and charge your USB devices at the same time. (Vat19, $17)

8. Household Essentials Sneaker Wash and Dry Bag

Sneaker Wash and Dry Bag

Do you avoid washing your sneakers because of the loud tumbling noise they make in your dryer? This sneaker wash-and-dry bag was created to protect your dryer from streaks or dents and to let you dry your sneakers in quiet. (, $5)

9. Flashlight pen

Flashlight pen

This stylish pen can be used as a multipurpose office supply, whether you use it to search for an item behind the desk or as a pointer during your next presentation. (Myron, $2)

10. Redi-Tag SeeNote Arrows

Redi-Tag See Notes

These colorful and tiny tags are great for marking and highlighting a specific place on a document. They are transparent, removable, reusable and come on a clip that can be easily attached to a notebook or folder. (Reditag, $3 and up)

11. Smart Lid

Smart Lid

If you’ve ever had the unpleasant experience of burning your tongue on a hot liquid, you’ll appreciate the concept of Smart Lids. These heat-sensitive lids change colors to let you know when your beverage is safe to drink. Bright red is a warning that the coffee is hot enough to burn, and the lid changes back to the dark color as your drink cools. (Smart Lid, Boxes start at $50)

12. Loopits


This creative wall storage can be used to hang scissors, sponges, pens and other small objects. You can display the elastic storage bands anywhere in your home, from your shower to your kitchen. (Quirky, $8)

13. Food Huggers

Food Hugger

If you find yourself cutting up your favorite veggies and fruits only to end up wasting the leftovers, then you’ll love this product. Food Huggers are reusable silicone caps that cover up the exposed part of a vegetable or fruit and are designed to lock in freshness and extend the shelf life of your produce. (Food Huggers, $19)

14. Pizza Scissors with spatula

Pizza scissors and spatula

Perfect utensil and gift for pizza lovers. With this utensil, there’s no need to have any anxiety about not getting the right amount of cheese or sauce from cutting an uneven slice of pizza. Just cut the pizza, and serve the perfect slice. (, $20)

15. Twirling Spaghetti Fork

Self-twirling Spaghetti Fork

Do your kids enjoy eating spaghetti but hate the challenge of twirling the long noodles? This fun invention will do the work for them. Just press the button, and watch the fork automatically twirl up the pasta. (, $9)

16. BagBowl


As seen on Shark Tank, this product turns a plastic zipper bag into a bowl for your snacks as well as leftovers. It makes snacking and packing easy. (BagBowl, $10)

17. Cookies and Milk Dunk Mug

Cookie holder cup

This creative cup makes it convenient to treat yourself to a glass of milk or tea and cookies and biscuits. Why dirty a saucer when you can dunk your cookies straight from your cup? (Etsy, $24)

18. HAPIfork


Imagine eating with a fork that will help you lose weight. This electronic fork will keep you on task with your weight-loss program by tracking your eating habits and alerting you when you’re eating too fast. The information is uploaded to an online dashboard to track your progress. So next time you grab a dish, put a HAPIfork in it. (Brookstone, $100)

19. Pluck egg separator

Pluck Egg Yolk Extractor

Extracting the yolk from an egg can be difficult, so this suction device was created to simplify the process. How it works: Place the device over a cracked egg, squeeze and release and place the yolk into a bowl. (Quirky, $5)

20. CordCruncher


No more dealing with tangled earbuds after digging them out of your gym bag. The elastic sleeve was created to prevent knots and keep the cord straight. It can be easily stored, whether it’s in your purse or gym bag. (CordCruncher, $25)

More on inventions

iPotty: The best or worst new parenting invention
Is this mind-reading gadget for dogs legit?
Kitchen gadgets your foodie will love

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