Some ideas are better left as ideas. Whatever your mom, dear friend, or significant other says, that bag you saw the other day on Etsy that looks like you’re carrying a knife, is bad, a very bad idea.
There’s an online group called Awful Taste But Great Execution dedicated entirely to the gaudy, tacky, tasteless, overdone, plain trashy side of product design. But there’s one but. The execution may be, in fact, pretty alright. “For everything that displays quality craftsmanship in the least elegant way possible,” states the subreddit’s description. And 1.4 million members seem to be totally up for it.
From painful-to-watch objects to questionable designs, these people should have put a break on their brainstorming, or put their efforts into something else. But hey, at least we have something to have a little cringe over! Psst! More daunting stuff awaits in part 1.
To find out more about the Awful Taste But Great Execution subreddit, Bored Panda reached out to the moderator team, who told us more about their community.
The representative of the subreddit told us that r/ATBGE was created as a spin-off of another subreddit called Shitty Car Mods. Since r/shitty_car_mods rejected the posts by Awful Taste But Great Execution, the moderator decided to create a whole new subreddit.
“In the beginning, /r/ATBGE focused heavily on automotive-related posts, but we knew doing this would potentially limit our user base. To make /r/ATBGE more appealing to the masses, we opened up the subreddit to include things beyond autos (tattoos, fashion, décor, etc.).” And this is the point where the community really started to grow.
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“As we grew, moderators were added and subreddit rules were further refined,” the moderator explained. “Now we are here and things are still looking good. We continue to add new subscribers each day, which is a good thing (considering we all do this for free).”
The creator of r/ATBGE said that their favorite post is this creepy-looking coin purse shared about a year ago. They added that the subreddit is essentially documenting things of all kinds that “display quality craftsmanship in the least elegant way possible.”
The stuff is gaudy, tacky, overdone, and otherwise tasteless, but sometimes, when the work is done well, “you won't know whether to love it or hate it," the moderator team explained.
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If coming up with good ideas was simple, we’d have so many great solutions to existing problems and incredible products. But producing something both efficient, functional, and aesthetically pleasing (often, it should tick even more boxes, e.g. be sustainable) is not a walk in the park.
Think of how many companies are investing their time, effort, and resources, yet coming up with generic, repetitive, and plain bad ideas. It makes you wonder whether it’s the limit of the human mind that isn’t capable of producing something ground-breaking that often, or whether there's something else to blame?
Well, the tricky question becomes even trickier when we try to determine what we call a "good idea" and a "bad" one. At that point, any inventor is dealing with the great inventor’s dilemma, which is that when you’re doing something new, you can’t tell the good ideas from the bad ones beforehand.
In many cases, deciding on some ideas that initially seem great will make you miss truly good ones and opt for the very bad ones.
On the other hand, we know now that a good idea should have some distinct features before turning into a product. For example, it should solve a specific problem and work on a specific opportunity. Coming up with an idea for a reason is a good sign you’re on the right path, but you probably will need many more "ideas" before you can pick up the right ones to work on further.