Zipbuds: an example of why did I not think of that?

Zipbuds Juiced 2.0
COMPANY Zipbuds, San Diego
DESIGNER Robin DeFay, president; Erik Groset, director of operations; Justin Liu, director of technology
PRODUCT LAUNCHED November 20, 2013

WHAT IS IT? Zipbuds headphones’ unique zipper design eliminates headphone tangles. The cables are made of military-grade aramid, so they’re built to last. And the company uses proprietary technology to give the earbuds a comfortable and secure fit.WHY? How do you tie the world’s strongest knot? Put your headphones in your pocket and wait five minutes. Headphones snarl. Sometimes, it seems as if that’s what they’re designed to do. Zipbuds’s design is simple and obvious in retrospect, and that’s what the judges liked about it.Sales of stereo headphones in the United States amounted to $2.3 billion in 2013. It’s unclear what portion of that was driven by the need to replace headphones whose cables had become impossibly tangled.

“You know a great design when you say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ It’s often hardest to solve a simple problem well. This design nails it.”

–BILL BURNETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DESIGN PROGRAM, STANFORD UNIVERSITY

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