In This Episode
In the fall, 2014, during a long night of programming, by some stroke of luck I spilled a coffee onto my 2015 MacBook. I put my box in my backpack and told my co-workers who were hard at work I would be back in the morning with a new computer. When I arrived home, sometime around 2 or 3 in the morning, I found my dad leaning over in his chair, seemingly in pain. I asked what the problem was. And he responded that something was feeling off.
My father is a tough man, and I've never seen him once admit to being in any sort of personal pain. In that moment, I realized something was off. It felt like the whole universe was collapsing around me, pushing me to take action.
So I sat down, asking my father a series of questions, and asking if he would like some help. In his usual stubbornness, he refused and asked me to go to sleep. When I walked upstairs I felt that palpable pressure from earlier intensify. Something was pushing me to take action.
Listening to my intuition for what felt like the first time in my life, I called my uncle who made the trip over. As the argument ensued, he gave my father two options. He could go to the hospital right away, or take a shower first. He opted for the shower. I drifted off to sleep, feeling I've left things in good hands.
The next day, I had picked up a new MacBook, and was back off to coding. But my excitement around my new computer was short lived, as I received a phone call from my uncle informing my my father had just suffered from a stroke.
I was later told that while in the hospital, my mom noticing the change in his facial mannerisms and informed the doctors of the sudden change. While she was raising these red flags, my father's body had formed a blood clot in the right side of his brain, forcing him to suffer a stroke.
Doctors took immediate action forcing a tube into his body, up into his brain, removing the clot. As the blood returned to the right side of his brain, they placed him into a forced coma so his body could recover.
For several days, myself and family stuck around the hospital wondering if my dad would come out the same.
When he awoke, many things had changed. His speech now slurred, and memory forgetful, it was evident my father would never be the same. Luckily, thanks to his grit, and new found focus on his health, his speech recovered, as did his mood and vigor for life.
But one thing never changed. In the right side of his body, he continues to suffer from apnea in his right hand. Rendering most of his right fingers impossible to use. Every container I hand him, I worry about his ability to maneuver the lid off the container.
From these experiences, I began researching easy to open containers. During my research into the different complex, and expensive handi-capable container options, it occurred to me I could tackle this problem much more simply.
By introducing a common pop socket used on the back of cell phones to everyday containers, we could make most of the containers in our household approachable for my father. In fact, any flat surface requiring fingers pushed into hard to reach places, would work just fine. Thus, the idea of the Pop Top was born.
Easy to add container opening lid enhancements for difficult to open surfaces.
A quick search on Alibaba reveals high quality pop sockets can be acquired for 0.15 - 0.32 cents a unit. Push those via targeted facebook ads to the right audiences, I suspect you could command 5-20$ per unit. Starting with non-designed pop tops for cheap, and premium offerings and styles at the higher end of the spectrum.
In many ways, the product resembles the popular "chip clips". Heavy duty clips which makes sealing large bags of chips that much easier.
As our population ages, I feel easy to open containers will become a competitive advantage for catering to older audiences. In the event companies fail to comply (which most don't) the simple addition of a pop top can make opening their favorite snacks that much easier.
I also anticipate the growing number of diabetes patients in the United States will further increase demand for such a product.
❶ A simple Shopify site
❷ Oberlo integration for drop shipping the correct products to the customer
❸ Specific branding and marketing to appeal to the right audiences
The quickest way to test this value proposition with different target audiences and also experiment with pricing is to run a “Dry Wallet” set of experiments.
With the dry wallet experiments you let people purchase a certain product only to notify them afterwards that there is a certain delay, the product is not ready, or you will refund them if the wait is too long. Basically letting people pay for a product that isn’t ready or doesn’t’ exist. This sounds crazy, but it’s widely used by companies around the world to validate assumptions and innovate faster.
Another option is to actually order the pop sockets first and then start pushing out the product.
This design solution was conceived during the Modern Mantra Podcast. Listen or watch now.
What are we missing here? What would you do differently? Share your thoughts.
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