“I love the replicator! Now, in order to make this happen tomorrow rather than in ten years, you need to get the bar code scanners in the homes of millions. The potential market is so huge that the supermarket checkout scanner manufacturers would probably be willing to cut a deal on the price of a home version. Also, nationwide trained delivery people would eat up a lot of capital. Why not leverage the delivery people who go every day to every door in the country already? Yes, US Postal’s finest men and women in blue. The USPS is quite entrepreneurial as government agencies go, and their cut of the revenue from this operation might allow them to start delivering envelopes for free, which, together with their new delivery products, would keep the USPS vibrant and relevant in the age of electronic communication.” — Andrew Hoppin, UC Berkeley

“I think the package delivery system suggested by your reader is a great idea! I like the overhead trolley system the best. Imagine how much fun children can have smacking at the packages with sticks as they come floating by. It’ll be like a giant piñata system for kids! Or even better, if you do run out of shampoo, why not go out to the end of your driveway and grab one of the boxes coming by! You can look inside for some shampoo and if nothing is there, you can put it back on the trolley. But, if you do come across some shampoo, just squeeze out a little, and put it back, no one will miss a little dab of shampoo!” John T.

“Boy do I love those two ideas — the replicator/Internet ordering/FedEx delivery idea and the refrigerator & freezer mail slots. Now that’s service. I’m not very old (33), but I do remember we had an insulated metal box by the back door to receive milk deliveries. The milkman came at an early hour, and the milk stayed cool until Mom got up and retrieved it. Sometimes the best new ideas are old ones. Now what can you do to make them reality? BTW — which mail slot does the Domino’s pizza get thrust into — maybe we need a warming oven slot too? (I’ve heard that you can order pizza over the Internet now.)” — Mary Longacre

You see what makes this country great? You start with a harebrained idea (mine), and through careful analysis and flashes of inspiration, tweak it until it becomes the next Tickle Me Elmo.


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