Occasionally, a product so perfectly reflects the time and place from which it came, it becomes a cultural touchstone and defines a generation. The iPhone is an obvious example, as is the printing press, or the first electric guitar, or the original Corvette. These things are time capsules in the same way Easy Rider or Catcher In The Rye are. Well, last week saw the introduction of the iconic product that’s earned the right to be buried in a building corner stone along with a Taylor Swift CD, the entire catalog of Tom Cruise movies, and Spanx.
… years from now, women will wonder, “Do you remember when we had to manually use a vibrator? Or when phone sex just meant talking dirty on the phone?”
After the apocalypse, future generations will discover the most perfectly internetty thing ever in the history of the Internet: Vibease.
Vibease is an appified vibrator that syncs with your smartphone and matches the… ahem… “amplitude” of the device with either a” – COUGH! – “erotic experience” that you listen to or the commands of a long-distance partner. This isn’t just software brilliance, though. The innovative form factor allows for (is it getting warm in here?) a “hands free experience.” Ponder that for a bit, will you? Spanx just got a lot more interesting.
You may recognize Vibease co-founder Hermione Way from her shooting star turn on Bravo’s Start-Ups: Silicon Valley, the not-such-a-hit reality following the young and rich 20-somethings of Tech that made The Real Housewives of New Jersey look like Mad Men. Ms. Way might be best known for sleeping under the desk of a venture capitalist prior to an important meeting, but it looks like her new project may just change phone sex forever. Good times for Carlos Danger!
But that alone doesn’t rank Vibease among the greatest art and innovations of modern times. What makes this product such a seminal creation, as opposed to things that are… um… important? The fact that it checks all the necessary boxes on the “Legend List”! Let me explain.
Apps are the new screenplay
Time was that young, overeducated young people who just graduated from college and didn’t want to get a real job considered the fastest way to a life of extreme wealth and fame was to write The Great American Screenplay – or at least pretend to. Today, the get-rich-quick scheme for the young, creative, and kinda lazy is to build an app and sell it for a gazillion dollars. It’s not a bad idea, considering Hollywood doesn’t make movies that aren’t comic book tent poles anymore and it seems like any schmuck can make an app.
The Internet is for porn
As I’ve said many times before, the internet’s primary use is for porn. Or sex in general. Whether that’s by yourself or over text messages with a young, impressionable, possibly morally ambiguous girl that likes your politics despite your attempts to pull your marriage together and launch a campaign for mayor is not important. Developing a tool that embraces this fact instead of ignores it is the perfect way for the little guy (or girl) to find a niche in such a competitive marketplace. This is how game-changing products are developed, people.
Even the funding is innovative!
Discovering a new product on the shelves of a brick and mortar retail establishment (with blacked out windows and a very sticky door) is so last century, and ritzy product announcement press events are totally last decade. Today’s product pioneers crowdfund, hitting you up for their start up capital. Gone are the days of the Venture Capitalist, with his analytics, and knowledge of good and bad investments and stuff. Or maybe it’s just that all the big VC’s saw Hermione on that show, too. Either way, you’re now a “go to” source for people’s passion projects. Or projects for passion. You may not have a VC’s bank account, but you don’t have their discerning eye either. And that gets people off.
Despite how easy it is to make fun of a smart vibrator, this is actually a pretty good idea, right? Who thought “search” was so significant before Google? Absolutely none of you. Otherwise you would’ve invented Google. But now the idea of not knowing an answer to something, anything, no matter how preposterous, for more than a few seconds is almost hard to imagine. Something tells me years from now, women will wonder, “Do you remember when we had to manually use a vibrator? Or when phone sex just meant talking dirty on the phone?”
That’s when they’ll dig up the time capsule and say, “What the hell is a Taylor Swift?”