How about an illuminated toilet seat?
(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)
There’s no shortage of bright ideas among American entrepreneurs And this one is…well…pretty illuminating.
Actually, it’s called Illumibowl and it’s an illuminated toilet seat. It’s motion activated. It sells for about $25. And it’ll light up your bathroom bowl in any one of nine brilliant colors.
You can laugh. But the product also serves a pretty important need. Researchshows that bathrooms can be one of the most dangerous places in your house. And dark bathrooms can only cause more injuries. We all make those night time visits (and some, particularly as we get older, make more than one) and many of us fear waking others or disturbing our own sleepiness by turning on the bathroom light. So a soft, guiding beacon to our destination seems like a great idea.
“I hated turning on the bathroom light and waking up. It was a pain in the butt,” the seat’s creator, Matt Alexander, told Utah’s Daily Herald. Alexander, a Brigham Young University grad teamed up with his friend Mike Kannely to form the company back in 2014 after identifying the market need.
And there is a market need. So much so that that the two young inventors were featured this year on “Shark Tank” and received funding from Kevin O’Leary. Before that, the company raised a round of successful crowdfunding on Kickstarter and now you can find their products on eBay, Ace True Value, Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon (where there are also a bunch of knock-off products, to the founders’ dismay). Alexander and Kannely claims to have sold $7 million of product to date.
Lots of entrepreneurs come up with “bright” ideas. But these two guys from Utah have spent the past two years raising interest online, getting media attention, signing up distributors and retailers and, when finally making some sales, nabbed a “shark” to help put them over the top. Sure, they’ll face plenty of competition in the future. But my money’s on them. Because these are two businessmen, not kids, that don’t just invent – they sell.