While I consider myself a creative person, I have a special spot of reverence for those who are inventors or who produce new products. Over the years, I have had countless ideas for improvements or new items I wished were available, but that is where they remained — ideas.
My latest example of someone who actually acted on their notion is Chris Riccobono. He saw that untucked shirts never looked good on people and set out to solve that problem. In 2011, Riccobono founded the untuckit shirt company that sells shirts specifically designed to be worn untucked.
It sounds like a simple premise: just shorten it. But Riccobono found that the length impacted other dimensions of the shirt, so to truly make a fashion statement the whole garment had to be redesigned. Now he tours the country in the “tour truck”
with “fit experts” to help people see the difference between the typical shirt worn untucked or his specially-designed-for-this-purpose shirts that look much neater.
At about $88, the shirts aren’t for everyone, but for some people I’ll bet they are the perfect addition to their wardrobe. And that is the niche that untuckit is seeking.
Maybe you are producing a service instead of a product, but how can you learn from untuckit and find that specialized niche who has a problem you can solve? There is a lesson here to think small. We often try to hit a home run with our innovations, but maybe a bunt will also get you to first base.
— beth triplett