Companies that sell simple razors on the cheap are gaining traction in the industry, but Procter & Gamble apparently thinks there's still plenty of money to be made with whiz-bang products. Witness the soon-to-launch ProGlide FlexBall, which will feature a "swiveling-ball hinge," reports the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper got a look at the marketing documents, which include boasts such as "20% fewer hairs missed" and "cuts hairs 23 microns shorter." All yours starting in June (ahead of Father's Day, of course) for either $11.49 and $12.59, depending on model choice. At New York, Kevin Roose doesn't just think it's a lousy product, he thinks it "represents everything terrible about America's innovation economy."
This is not innovation, he complains. This is "a dumb novelty that is meant to trick customers into believing that their old, swivel-free razors are outmoded, and that they should pony up for the new model. And what's worse is that it will probably work." By now it's common knowledge that razor companies make their real profits off suckers who shell out big money on small shiny objects—replacement blades. His advice: Go the "cheapo razors" route, which work just fine. Either that or grow a beard. Click for his full column, or head to the Journal to see images of the new razor. (Read more Procter & Gamble stories.)