For most of my life, the only color duct tape came in was gray.  Even though the product has created a whole cottage industry of products and uses, all the innovations were still in one steely color.

A few years ago, duct tape options exploded and it is now available in every pattern you can imagine.  Hello Kitty, rainbow, camouflage, Superman, butterflies, neon, zebra…the list goes on and on.

But this season, duct tape has gone a step further and created tape that functions as either a chalkboard or as a whiteboard.  I imagine there are good uses for this product, both for functional labeling and for purely decor.  

But is it really necessary?  Couldn’t you just pull off the piece of tape and replace it with a new one instead of erasing it?  And how many times do you really re-label a container?  Especially a container that was labeled in chalk or dry erase marker that would easily wipe off.

Some days, I think manufacturers invent new products just to have something new rather than to fulfill a real need.  This is one of those times.  Before you bring your next idea to fruition, ask yourself if it really adds value — or whether it just adds.

— beth triplett

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