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

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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