How many of you aspiring entrepreneurs have viewed your share of Shark Tank? I have watched the series to gain an understanding of how people think when in different situations – to discover some of the common mistakes people make when attempting to launch their business or product. I also wanted to discover how often experts are right when it comes to determining whether someone’s idea will work. One product that I remember distinctly is the Squatty Potty.
On the surface, the Squatty Potty seemed overly simplistic, but the concept behind its simplistic design made sense. The Squatty Potty is a simply plastic footstool that easily tucks away underneath the toilet. If you saw that episode, you may be wondering what happened to the Edward family after introducing that product to the investors on Shark Tank. The short answer is that they got paid.
At last report, the Squatty Potty brand has become a $30 million juggernaut, and there are no signs of its momentum slowing in the near future. Bobby, the primary force behind the design got his motivation from attempting to help his mother, Judy, deal with her constant issues associated with constipation. Judy says that she struggled with constipation her entire life, and the problem worsened with age. After a medical professional suggested that Judy use a footstool to raise her knees, she experienced noticeable relief.
After learning of the breakthrough from his parents, Bobby’s brain went into overdrive. First of all, while the impromptu stool his mother used was effective, it was far from perfect. Bobby’s mind immediate recognized the business opportunity in all of this. The first prototype was actually made out of wood, and it was designed to slide into the toilet base to provide convenient access while not being in the way. They his wooden piece Squatty Potty.
According to Bobby, squatting is the natural position for humans when they need to, well, take a poop – thus the common phrase “take a squat.” The common toilet is definitely a neat design, but while it provides the most comfortable seated position in which to take care of your business, it does not provide the most optimal position. In most cases, we eventually adapt to it and we are none the wiser to the fact that it could be much easier if we only were able to lift our knees to a level above our hips.
After making the stools locally and selling them to friends and neighbors, Judy suggested that the stools be made out of plastic instead of wood to lower the production cost. After their appearance on Shark Tank, the Edwards family sold $1 million in product within 24 hours of the episode airing. The company also received a $500,000 investment from Lori Greiner which resulted in obtaining high-profile shelf space in Bed Bath & Beyond.
With the addition of 15 new employees and $19 million in sales in 2017, the Edwards family and the Squatty Potty brand are moving up at a very rapid pace. They have added other bathroom accessories and cleaning supplies to the product list. The sky seems to be the limit at this point.