New Business Ideas: Design is King

Lung AshtrayDesign is the new mantra for many business executives and owners. Apple’s business success is due partly to the irresistible yet practical design of its products, including the bestselling iPod line.

A winning product design is key to attracting influential customers who will in turn spread it virally to the mainstream crowd.

Let’s review some products below which are making heads turn with their brilliant design:

  • Cheska’s ceramic Lung Ashtray (pictured above right) is too elegant to be an ashtray for smokers to snub out their cigarettes; it deserves to be on a display shelf for good design products. It’s also a clever reminder to smokers of the consequences of their habit. Makes a pretty present for a loved one whom you wished would quit the cigarettes.


  • Created by ABS, the Icon Wrist Watch pays homage to the blocky 8-bit graphics you’ll never forget from playing classic retro console games such as Space Invaders. Pure, simple, and good-looking, the watch face does not have numbers; basic features such as date display and stopwatch function are also missing. But this makes the Icon Watch all the more appealing for purists.
  • New Era also has introduced gaming-inspired caps to the market. Featuring boldly colored Pacman and Space Invaders motifs, these caps give you the geek cred that you might be desiring. The targeted group of consumers are obviously the geek types, but who knows, the gaming inspiration might just infect the masses.
  • The humble stationary on your desk is undergoing a design revolution. Designed by Jac Zagoory, these elaborately detailed metal staplers have definitely turned desk stationary into an art form. Designs come in gorilla, bear, dragon, lion and more. Makes you way more cool than the executive with the latest Blackberry gadgets.

What other brilliantly designed products have you seen lately?

* * * * *

This New Business Ideas Report is compiled specially for Small Business Trends from the editors of


6 Reactions
  1. Some really creative products. However, I don’t think my mother in law would find me giving her the lung ashtry amusing. The staple removers are really cool. As for the hats, I can’t believe what products are making a comeback. A few years ago, nobody would have wanted anything pac man.

  2. Amanda,

    I think the ashtray is a bit tacky, to say the least. I am not a regular smoker, but I believe in freedom of choice. I like to smoke a cigar now and then, but I haven’t had one for some time now. Have you seen the movie, Thank You for Smoking?

    I like the staplers too. Now it could be fun to remove staplers! 😉

    I don’t play much of computer games, but I must say that Pac Man is a cool game.

    Steven Teo: Have you studied Scandinavian design? Check out DesignTorget as one example.

    All the Best,

    Martin Lindeskog – American in Spirit.
    Gothenburg, Sweden.

  3. Martin,

    I do agree. It would seem a bit rude & pushy to give someone a lung ashtray. Most smokers know the consequences and don’t want someone reminding them of their bad habit. I did see some parts of the movie but have never watched to whole thing.

  4. Amanda, I thought the movie was pretty interested. It took a non-PC approach. I saw it at a small independent movie theater in Gothenburg, Sweden.

  5. While the design of the clean lung ashtry is cleaver, I think the best way to send a health message to smokers is to ask them not to smoke in your office.

  6. I found this site that looks great! It allows memebers to define themselves in an intuitive and easy to use web based environment that uses next-generation search, matching and filtering technologies. You can go to and use the group code facebook. They are in beta now but looks like a great new site! Try it out!

Win $100 for Vendor Selection Insights

Tell us!
No, Thank You