20 Products That Were Genius But People Were Too Dumb To Understand Them

Published 1 year ago

The National Park Service encountered a unique problem trying to keep bears away from trash. They introduced lockable cans, but unfortunately, people who couldn’t figure out how to use them left their litter outside the bins which caused the experiment to fail. After all, a product is only as good as its user.

One Redditor got curious about the amazing inventions and products that didn’t make it because people weren’t smart enough to understand them. The discussion received plenty of replies and we’ve chosen a few of the most interesting stories of genius products that were woefully misunderstood and discontinued as a result.

Read more


Image source: Raghduhll, International Rice Research Institute

Golden Rice.
In many countries in southeast Asia White rice is the main food. But white rice lacks Provitamin A, which is essential for lots of stuff in the eyes and immune system.
So some scientists developed a new species of rice which has been genetically engineered to produce golden rice.
Studies have shown that the rice could be a serious help in those countries and it grows just as good as normal rice.
But because it is evil generic engineering lots of organizations give their best to slow the approval process down with (in most cases) b******t and some idiots keep destroying test fields.


Image source: llcucf80, Florida Fish and Wildlife

The US National Park Service struggled for years to find a locking trash can that would be able to keep bears out. People couldn’t figure them out so they wouldn’t lock it back up, or litter, rendering them useless. One park ranger was quoted as saying there was considerable overlap between the dumbest people and the smartest bears.


Image source: AtheistScoutLeader, Jason Jarrach

Initially? The idea of washing your hands was resisted to the point that the man pushing the idea of hand washing was driven to a mental breakdown from the ridicule of his peers.


Today’s equivalent would be a toss up between masks and vaccines. Because some >!(overly vocal, inbred, mouth breathing Jesus freak)!< people are just too f*****g stupid to listen to science.


Image source: Squishiimuffin, Trading Card Hunter

There was a lottery ticket scratch off that had a temperature listed on it. You would scratch off to reveal your own temperature, and if it was colder than the listed one, you win. Pretty simple, right?

It failed because people don’t understand negative numbers. People called in claiming that they “won” because -6 is “colder” than -8.

It is not. The ticket was ultimately discontinued.


Image source: cascadiancuddles, Karolina Grabowska

About 15 years ago Arm & Hammer came out with a series of environmentally safe cleaning products for bath, kitchen, and glass. They worked well, smelled good, and I really liked them.
The drawback for dummies was the reusability of the spray bottle. Refills came in a cartridge the size of a five hour energy shot. You filled the bottle up to the fill line with water then screwed the cartridge into the bottle which had special inner threads to open the cartridge. The spray bottle was sold empty with a cartridge attached. The checker at the store paused when ringing me up to ask if I really wanted to pay six bucks for an empty bottle. When I bought the glass cleaner I got the same question. Nobody bought it because they didn’t realize how it was packaged.


Image source: CyborgWraith, theimpulsivebuy

They put out instant cake mix in the 50’s. You only needed to add water, but no one would buy it. I think they couldn’t believe you could make a cake with just powder and water. They discontinued it.

cen-texan replied: There was a story when I was in school that the marketing guys figured out that if you take out the powdered egg and had the end user add eggs it would sell.

They figured that as women were going into the workforce and weren’t able to cook a full meal, the felt guilty about buying a complete mix. Having the end user add real eggs gave them the feeling that they were really baking and not just pouring powder out of a box.


Image source: Katybee18, Matthew Tkocz

In 1979, Clairol rolled out their touch-of-yogurt shampoo, which they hoped would help people with oily hair. Unfortunately for them, oily-haired consumers didn’t like the idea of washing their hair with yogurt. The few who did buy the shampoo thought it was edible, only to be disappointed after getting sick as a result.


Image source: HSPWS, Jill Shih

In Sweden we had twopacks of sugarcubes at cafés. They were really simple to open, just hold it with the weld up, pinch each half and break it in half. The weld would open in an elegant way and expose the sweetness inside, ready to be taken out and consumed. Just like opening a book.

Very few understood this.

People would rip, tear, scratch, bite and do all sorts of f**kery to open the innocent packs of sweet reward. And they complained, oh they complained.

Story goes the inventor were depressed for life because just a few brilliant people could understand the beauty of his brilliant little treasure chests of sugary heaven. F*****s.


When Yosemite became more popular the Rangers began to notice a problem with locals feeding bears food. The issue is that feeding bears food is the equivalent of giving them crack. They will instantly become aggressive, and will begin ravaging campsites and cars.

Image source: PittDane


Image source: BarryLonx, Alan Levine

Those chip bags that would decompose in the ground. Too noisy, they said.

But I kind of feel all chip bags are noisy to some degree. That being said, we should’ve either poured the contents into a washable bowl or plate or something like that or just used the noise as a deterrent to prevent over-eating


Image source: anarky98, Oisin Prendiville

Off the wall one but: Soap that doesn’t sud.

A chemical needs to be added to soap in order for it to sud, and it was added so people would know that they were scrubbing enough. Now, people all expect soap to sud, so if someone puts out soap that doesn’t have that chemical, people say the soap is broken.


Image source: HELLBENT42, Wesley Fryer

There is a market nowdays for pocket-sized computers with an actual keyboard and a desktop OS, sadly people saw them only in their infancy when they were slow and sluggish. Manifacturers stopped making them just when technology became small enough to really fit a proper processor inside a little bugger not bigger than 7″. Now we got games you can stream from a bigger rig, some office jobs are actually made outside the office, we consume a lot more digital medias, just think about how many people buy bluetooth keyboard for their tablet! If we made netbooks today again, and made them good, and cheap, they would be common sight.


Image source: usf_edd, FHKE

Nearly 50% of HDTV’s in the early era were returned because people plugged in their RCA cables as the main video source.

They not only didn’t understand what HD was, they thought the picture looked worse, as it was distorted on a 16:9 screen.


Image source: RahvinReborn, Pixabay

Nuclear power


Image source: Underbash, Mike Mozart

We had a guy come talk to us at my college about his experience in marketing. He mentioned that when he used to work for Campbell’s (I think) they had trouble breaking into the Chinese market with their instant soup. They had just assumed that it would sell just as well there as anywhere else but apparently it was the same kind of issue as you mentioned where I guess culturally it was seen as “cheap” to just heat up some instant soup. So they rebranded and repackaged it as a dry mix that you had to actually add to boiling water and lo and behold it started selling


Image source: evilmonkey2, cyclonebill

The 1/3lb burger because people thought it was smaller than the 1/4lb one.


Image source: SecretPotatoChip, Kārlis Dambrāns

Removable batteries on smartphones.

People couldn’t handle the “cHeAp PlAsTiC” on a phone they were putting a case on anyway. As a result, we can’t change the batteries in smartphones anymore.


Image source: Johnnyc**kseed, Police Squad!: The Complete Series [DVD]

Police Squad!, made by the guys who did Airplane! and widely considered pound for pound one of the funniest TV shows that’s ever aired. But it failed because it required audiences to actually pay close attention to the quickfire gags and fast dialogue. Led to ABC’s president memorably saying it was cancelled because “the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it.”

Later it was adapted into the Naked Gun movies, which were smash successes, probably because people in theaters are locked down into the movie.


Image source: acciofriday, Iain Farrell

My dad once told me about how they tried to sell crumpets in a new country and they did really poorly because no one realised that they were supposed to be toasted. I think once they updated the packaging to tell everyone they were supposed to be toasted they did a lot better.


Image source: JustAnoutherGeek, Kelly

For a while, seat belts, because auto executives thought it implied the car was unsafe.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

Got wisdom to pour?



failed products, fails, genius products, misunderstood products, product fails, stupid people
Like deMilked on Facebook
Want more milk?
Hit like for a daily artshake!
Don't show this - I already like Demilked