The $100,000 Razor

There are real inventions like the integrated circuit, the airplane and the cotton gin and then there are marketing concepts like the Pet Rock and now, the $100,000 Zafirro Iridium razor blade.The company says that the Iridium is the world’s first razor with sapphire blades. According to Zaffiro CEO Hayden Hamilton, the 80 atom wide sapphire blade provides a finer tip than steel. The razor's handle is made up of stainless steel and iridium, with the iridium comprising the handle’s skeleton. Hamilton says iridium is "10 times rarer than platinum and made mainly from meteorites... It’s the strongest functional metal and has been used for making rocket models for the last 50 years.”

Will the Iridium razor provide a better shave than a $10 Gillette Fusion or a $1 Bic? Probably. 10,000 or 100,000 times better??? Certainly not. But that's not the point of the product. Zafirro is making only 100 units. It's essentially limited edition jewelry. The surprising thing is that this exercise in marketing to the uber-rich will probably work. Zafirro claims to have already received "dozens" of orders.

Most inventors dream of creating a product that's sold at Wal-Mart. Zafirro's pending success with the Iridium points to an alternative path.

Here's the Zafirro website.

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