How do you add value to a rubber band?

Rubber Bands

Tonight there are thousands of college students around the world trying to add value to a rubber band, thanks to a contest kicked off last night at Stanford University, so I thought I’d help.

Next week I’ll be helping to judge their efforts. It’s Entrepreneurship Week and Stanford’s page on the week has the details.

I was at the kickoff, where they showed a movie, done by these guys (Qik video), about last year’s contest, which asked students to add value to a PostIt note.

Some of them last year came up with amazing ideas for PostIt Notes — one team raised thousands of dollars (Qik video). Remember, they had/have less than a week to come up with an idea, implement it, and document it for the contest.

The contest is really designed to get you over your fears of being creative. IE, don’t worry about showing up on Valleywag for coming up with some stupid ideas.

How many ideas can you come up with for using rubber bands? Here’s some I’ve come up with.

1. Hard drive holder/shock absorber. OK, OK, I stole this one from Ajay, a friend of mine who used rubber bands to dampen his hard drive because the road bumps were causing him problems.
2. Slingshot. Too easy and every kid has done it.
3. Cut them up in little pieces, find a way to glue them down, and you have a new road or track surface. Again, I stole this idea cause several high schools in the area have surfaces that are pretty similar to this.
4. Create a cause based on the color. OK, I stole this one from Lance Armstrong, who used rubber bands to raise millions of dollars for his charity.
5. Make “Smart Rubber Bands” by putting RFID tags into them. You can then put them around things which you’d like to keep track of. Not to mention you probably will be able to charge $50 a box, instead of only $2.

See how hard it is to come up with a good idea for a household item? It’ll be interesting to see what the students come up with. Their entries will be public by the end of next week and will be submitted via YouTube.

Got any ideas? Post them here, I’m sure some students will appreciate that.

37 thoughts on “How do you add value to a rubber band?

  1. Use them to hold MORE bundles of things together, bundles of things that weigh as much as cement blocks.

  2. Use them to hold MORE bundles of things together, bundles of things that weigh as much as cement blocks.

  3. Sell interconnecting (via simple pop-lock mechanism like beads) rubber band strips by the box — make your own rubber band as big or as small as you like.

  4. Sell interconnecting (via simple pop-lock mechanism like beads) rubber band strips by the box — make your own rubber band as big or as small as you like.

  5. Believe me folks there are endless possibilities of using a rubber band. first it is Circular, and stretchable, second comes in various colours and varying width.

    I have created a post here http://band-of-rubber.blogspot.com/

    I have also drawn a couple of pictures to illustrate various possibilities .

    Unlike the last contest with Post It this will have greater innovative answers.

    Do go through the blog and put some comments.
    Thanks

  6. Believe me folks there are endless possibilities of using a rubber band. first it is Circular, and stretchable, second comes in various colours and varying width.

    I have created a post here http://band-of-rubber.blogspot.com/

    I have also drawn a couple of pictures to illustrate various possibilities .

    Unlike the last contest with Post It this will have greater innovative answers.

    Do go through the blog and put some comments.
    Thanks

  7. Well, I can think of 100 extra uses, but the obvious (and overlooked) is the rubber band itself, how to improve or “add value”? Make it unbreakable, Titaniumified-elastical, throw out the rubber wholesale, and make something that feels exactly like it, but that can perform serious weight-retention properties — same look and feel, yet with 10 times the strength. Get the commercial-product Chemists on the sniff, as that’s how you improve it, you re-invent it, for everything suggested there be just extended uses of, you aren’t improving the product itself, and most of the suggestions are quite spurious.

    Thinking of 101 extra uses for Rubber Bands, is more suited for a cutesy-Dave-Barryistic-humorified supermarket-mini-booklet, like that Duct Tape book that was all the rage awhile back.

    Give me a rubber band able to haul a car…that will be a “value add” that would immediately hit the market with a bang.

  8. Well, I can think of 100 extra uses, but the obvious (and overlooked) is the rubber band itself, how to improve or “add value”? Make it unbreakable, Titaniumified-elastical, throw out the rubber wholesale, and make something that feels exactly like it, but that can perform serious weight-retention properties — same look and feel, yet with 10 times the strength. Get the commercial-product Chemists on the sniff, as that’s how you improve it, you re-invent it, for everything suggested there be just extended uses of, you aren’t improving the product itself, and most of the suggestions are quite spurious.

    Thinking of 101 extra uses for Rubber Bands, is more suited for a cutesy-Dave-Barryistic-humorified supermarket-mini-booklet, like that Duct Tape book that was all the rage awhile back.

    Give me a rubber band able to haul a car…that will be a “value add” that would immediately hit the market with a bang.

  9. “Make head-size bands 1″ wide and sell them in infomercials.”

    I guarantee you would sell them too! People are so gullible.

  10. “Make head-size bands 1″ wide and sell them in infomercials.”

    I guarantee you would sell them too! People are so gullible.

  11. Ok, now for the funny one:

    Instant headache reliever.

    Make head-size bands 1″ wide and sell them in infomercials.

    Got a headache?
    Get a HeadAid band!
    Call now!

  12. Ok, now for the funny one:

    Instant headache reliever.

    Make head-size bands 1″ wide and sell them in infomercials.

    Got a headache?
    Get a HeadAid band!
    Call now!

  13. RFID is a really great idea. Specially for kids.

    Say you go to walmart with your kid, get a band at the entrance, if kid gets lost alarms will go off when leaving the store.

    Kidnappers will have a hard time explaining.

    Now the good part is how to stop the abuser from removing it, while letting the parents do it.

    Hmm, get the numbered RFID band for the kid and a numbered card to the parent.

    Hmm, complicated but worth the hassle to save a childs life?

  14. RFID is a really great idea. Specially for kids.

    Say you go to walmart with your kid, get a band at the entrance, if kid gets lost alarms will go off when leaving the store.

    Kidnappers will have a hard time explaining.

    Now the good part is how to stop the abuser from removing it, while letting the parents do it.

    Hmm, get the numbered RFID band for the kid and a numbered card to the parent.

    Hmm, complicated but worth the hassle to save a childs life?

  15. interesting..

    My ideas..

    1. Suspension bridge cable

    This space is too small to go over the physics of why it would work just as good as the normal materials of poly fibers and steel and nylon..

  16. interesting..

    My ideas..

    1. Suspension bridge cable

    This space is too small to go over the physics of why it would work just as good as the normal materials of poly fibers and steel and nylon..

  17. I used a bright red elastic band, only the other day, in lieu of wrapping paper, around an iPod shuffle. I also had a little clip on heart shape (it was a flat shape that had a clip on bit, designed as a shaped paper clip). So, my suggestion: multi-coloured bands for instant gift wrapping (colours and patterns) along with a set of various clip on on shapes to create instant, simple, lo-waste wrapping for goods. (It’s also bloody easy to wrap something with it, since all your doing is putting a rubber band round something…)

    - pj

  18. I used a bright red elastic band, only the other day, in lieu of wrapping paper, around an iPod shuffle. I also had a little clip on heart shape (it was a flat shape that had a clip on bit, designed as a shaped paper clip). So, my suggestion: multi-coloured bands for instant gift wrapping (colours and patterns) along with a set of various clip on on shapes to create instant, simple, lo-waste wrapping for goods. (It’s also bloody easy to wrap something with it, since all your doing is putting a rubber band round something…)

    - pj

  19. To keep all the top secret photos hidden that I don’t want my wife to find.

    Call it the RubberSafePhotoMinder and sell it for 3 bucks a pop.

  20. To keep all the top secret photos hidden that I don’t want my wife to find.

    Call it the RubberSafePhotoMinder and sell it for 3 bucks a pop.

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