Chuck the Evidence!

Disposable cell phones come to market.

They say the best way to sell a new product is to create the need first, and then fulfill that need. But for Randi Altschul of New Jersey, it seems lawmakers are the ones creating a need for her product, just as its about to become available. Altschul is the head of DTC Products, makers of the worlds first disposable cell phone. The product got a lot of press late in 1999 when it was first unveiled, and now its about to hit stores just as counties and municipalities across the nation begin to ban talking while driving.

The so-called Phone-Card-Phone is made of paper, will cost about $10 and comes with 60 minutes of airtime. Its set for release in Q3 of this year.

Altschul says she invented the device because it was something she personally wanted; just a phone to make and receive calls, with no features that she wouldnt use. "Basically, we went cheap and dumb instead of high-tech and expensive," she states. For people who lose or break a lot of things (like this writer), there is some appeal in a disposable cell phone.

And for those who are concerned about clogging landfills, callers can simply hit the pound-key and add more time to the phone when theyve used up their initial allotment. Interested? You can see the phone and her other innovations at

So whats next? How about a multipaged, paper-based product containing the latest news and exclusive information about your industry? Oh, wait, thats already here. In fact, youre reading it. There may be some things you just cant improve upon.