This week’s instance of innovation tinged with déjà vu comes courtesy of the Pause Pod, “the world’s first private pop up space suitable for your relaxation needs.” A Kickstarter for the product, designed by a team in Sweden, reached its funding goal in May, but only after Insider tweeted a video demonstrating the device’s virtues this week did Pause Pod chatter peak. On Twitter, commentators couldn’t help but note that the product, which will ship this winter, looked strangely familiar:
Of course, the critics fail to appreciate the brilliance of the Pause Pod. It’s not just a tent, but a tent with a “foldable leg compartment [that] allows for impromptu naps,” as Insider notes, which is the very picture of innovation. Why make a tent big enough for your whole body when your limbs, being modular, only sometimes need to stretch out? It’s this kind of pioneering insight that justifies the Pause Pod’s $99 price, more than triple the price of a much larger tent but one that is neither lightproof nor Scandinavian.
But what really makes the Pause Pod revolutionary is that when people start to mock you for owning one, you can literally climb into it to insulate yourself from criticism. Haters and losers who lack vision are everywhere, and they’re going to have things to say about you absconding into a fancy tent. Ignoring them is easy when you have the option of zipping up the tent entrance and blocking them from your field of view. And ignore them you should: You’re not bothering anyone when you take a moment to pause in your efficiently designed pod—you’re merely practicing self-care. Perhaps the worst offense you’ve committed is forcing the grumblers to step over you laying down in the middle of an office or park or subway platform, but screw them, you have meditating to do.
So be it if the Pause Pod seems to echo some of the worst aspects of the tech industry mindset, namely its tendency for being self-centered and shutting people out and employing a workforce that is overwhelmingly male. (Of the people who try out the pod throughout the video, all but one are men. Women: Why won’t you embrace disruption?) But have these qualities ever stood in the way of making billions? Nope. Sometimes you just have to shun the world around you if you want to achieve greatness.