Remember the days you went to the store and bought razors that cost so much you had to almost line item list them in the family budget? Not anymore thanks to Dollar Shave Club!
Guys, remember when your underwear used to ride up your butt and your t-shirts always came untucked? Not anymore thanks to Tommy Johns.
Can you recall a time when you were working out and your phone fell out of your pocket during a run or in the middle of bench press? NOT ANYMORE thanks to the all new amazing KIPPO workout shorts! (Read to the end for my wrap up and connection to our industry!)
One of my best buddies, the VP of Marketing for Leggett & Platt’s Bedding Group, has invented a new patent-pending design on a special pair of shorts he calls Kippo. They have a built-in pocket that keeps your device from falling and flopping during your workout, yet it’s easy to access when you want to change music, answer a text, or take a quick selfie. They are very cool looking and meet an unmet need. Yes you can get an armband, but they are clunky and uncomfortable. Or you can buy a smaller device and clip it on your shirt but why do that? I know when I run I still want to be available should my wife or kids call, so for me this is the perfect solution.
I love it when someone sees an opportunity and charges after it, which is exactly what Mark Kinsley has done here. He had a problem that he decided to fix. Then he saw others having similar issues, which got him excited about the idea and he just decided to go for it. I give Leggett a lot of credit in supporting him because not all companies truly encourage the pursuit of innovation. Not all companies let you experiment with ideas and apply those lessons in a way that adds value back to the organization.
When Kinsley and I worked together we often talked about the need to let other industries inspire ideas and he has certainly done that here. In addition he has learned a lot more about crowdfunding and how startups bring products to market, which brings me to my next point.
Please take a minute to visit Mr. Kinsley’s Kickstarter Page. You can support him with as little as $5, or pledge $49 and get a pair of Kippo shorts and FREE shipping in the U.S.—that’s a 30% discount from the soon to be retail price of $69.
Final Wrap Up:
- Let’s support one of our own in pursuit of a dream. We can help Kinsley do something great here.
- What does your company do to look outside for inspiration? Are you set in your ways and believe that a mattress is a mattress is a mattress? Casper and Tuft & Needle were industry outsiders and came in with an innovative approach to the consumer and they are getting paid for it. Will you be the next innovator?
- Since you are going to be on the Kickstarter website, spend some time surfing around. There are some really great projects that could lead you to your own idea!
- Luggage worked just fine until they put wheels on it and made it better. Not sure how we missed that one for so long but I believe that kind of “obvious” faces us in our own industry, so be on the lookout.
Mark Kinsley worked for me when I was at Leggett & Platt but I promise you I ended up learning more from him than he did me. He is a great guy, with a serious passion for life, this industry, and now this project. Help me help him realize that dream and BACK HIM NOW. Your smartphone will thank you later!