What It's About
A solution to a rather hairy situation.
Words of Wisdom
Save as much as you can for your side hustle. It's not always easy, but you have to find a way to cut down on as much unnecessary spending as you can. If you want to invent something, the road will not be easy. These things don't rain down from the sky and it's hard to convince others to loan you or invest in your idea if you yourself haven't shown the ability to save up at least part of the initial R&D investment.
Securing a patent for an invention is not easy. More than a million patents are currently pending in the USA and thousands more applications are received each day. On top of that, it can take an average of two to three years for a patent to be secured. This all seems even crazier when up to 97% of patents filed aren’t even commercially viable. That is, there is no proven market for it.
Notes from Chris
Episode 657Serge Karnegie is an inventor. Just like Thomas Edison before him, he has a knack for coming up with novel ways to solve difficult problems. His friend, Solyman Najimi, is a business whizz. He has a wealth of experience in retail distribution and manufacturing. Together, they’ve created a highly successful side hustle with a one of a kind product. Let’s start with the beginning of their partnership. Ten years ago, Serge and Solyman met while they were both working for an energy drink company. The realized they were kindred spirits. Each enjoyed brainstorming product ideas, and they had skills that were different but complementary. Serge had more of an inventor’s touch, whereas Solyman was all about getting ideas out to market. Serge’s first attempt fell short. He put a lot of work into something that just didn’t work. In fact, you could say it went down the drain… because drains are what came next. Great inventors rarely strike gold the first time. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, it didn’t happen right away. When he spoke of the process, he said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” So in the spirit of Edison, Serge continued to invent. And here’s where that practical problem came in. As a husband and father of two girls, he noticed a lot of long strands of hair scattered throughout his home. Day after day, hair kept clogging up the drains. So, he created a small, mushroom-shaped drain plug. It was filled with holes so the water could flow freely, but it also caught any excess hair and kept it out of sight. He called it the TubShroom! Since they already had a prototype, they decided to launch the product on Kickstarter before spending too much money. This time, they learned from previous mistakes and marketed the listing in message boards. Starting with a modest goal of $12,000, they ended up raising $59,267 from 2059 backers. A huge win! What started as a little invention between two friends, has now turned into a thriving business. One that’s allowed both Serge and Solyman to leave their jobs and go all-in with TubShroom land. In the last year, their little drain unclogging solution has generated more than a million dollars in profits. 35% of that came from retail sales and the other 65% comes from online sales. The online sales come through their own website, Amazon, and eBay. Like any great inventor, Serge is always coming up with new concepts and that is how they plan to keep the business growing. In the last year, they’ve launched a TubShroom for the kitchen (SinkShroom) and have other products for all other drains. Their goal is for the TubShroom family of products to become synonymous with drain protection. They continue to tweak and improve their range of products to be better for their customers. Although they deal in inventing products that make people lives easier, the profits they’ve unclogged through this side hustle turned million-dollar business could be their greatest invention of all.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- TubShroom: Learn more about this ingenious little device over on Solyman's website!
- Woman Sells Hair Grips to Orthodox Jews & Drag Queens: It begins as a product for Orthodox Jewish women. It goes on to serve cancer patients, Broadway performers, and drag queens, earning “fringe benefits” and $4,000/month
- Getting Charged Up: Man Creates One Adaptor to Rule Them All: Tired of a road warrior’s tangle of cables and plugs, a Hong-Kong-based entrepreneur makes chargers and adapters truly current
- Clothing Store Salesman Invents Baby Harness, Earns $100k Per Year: An innovative salesman creates a baby harness that benefits both parent and child, all the while creating a six-figure side income for himself
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