Ideas are a dime a dozen.
Prototyping something out is easier today than ever before. (Explained in this post.)
The Razor Brush – was an idea which I just had to do.
I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
It scratched my own itch and a problem I faced when shaving.
This is post is about, why even the worst ideas are still worth pursing.
What is it?
A brush dedicated entirely to removing hair from a razor blade with a single swipe, for a closer shave and to look after your blades. (I see it being advertised on late night commercials in-between p90x and the Snookie)
- Remove hair from your razor blades with less water.
- Extend the longevity of your razor blades.
- Save water guzzling down the drain.
- Save money –increases the longevity of your razor blades.
Plan/ test the market?
- Spend no more than $350 and one month to test.
- Create an Indiegogo campaign.
- Make the product video awesome.
- Do not spend a single penny manufacturing the product.
- Outsource everything; video production, product creation ect..
A great shave takes time, even with high-quality razor blades which I am willing to pay for. However, ploughing through razor blades every month seemed a rather large expense. I have never thought about respecting and looking after them. The blades get dirty and then they have to be thrown away.
It was three weeks before I was graduating in my final year at a University in North Carolina. Having just come out of the shower after a stressful day sitting two exams, which I convinced myself I had failed both with flying colours, I then had two hours In which to prepare myself for a Skype interview for a possible internship in San Francisco, I knew it was going be like going into a boxing ring with Mohamed Ali. I decided to make myself presentable and made the effort and have a shave.
After making a whipped cream ball of foam on my hands and smearing it over my face like decorating a cake, I turned on the tap and ran steaming hot water on my razor before removing the student stubble from my face. Despite the water gushing out of the tap like the back of speed boat, and hitting the edge of the sink like playing the drums, the hairs would still never leave the razor blade completely.
What infuriated me the most was just how much water I used trying to remove the hair from the blades and keep them clean. Cotton wool buds, hair brushes, towels, tissue papers and even old credit cards. After talking to my all my friends, and going to many, many coffee shops, It became apparent that some guys were using as much as a sinks worth just to have a shave. Some stated two! The Razor Brush was inspired by a problem, which ultimately had to be solved. Not only does it save water, but it also increases the longevity of your blades, by keeping them clean.High-quality blades, stay away from that bin for a lot longer.
How to use? Shave>Brush>Shave.
The Razor Brush is an ambidextrous product. If one shaves with their right hand – place The Razor Brush on your left index finger. For all you southpaws out there who shave with your left hand – place The Razor Brush on your right index finger. Like lighting a match, swipe away from you, to leave a fresh clean blade. One size fits all.
Does The Razor Blade cut the bristles?
Good question! And this was the hardest problem to solve, however using very strong synthetic bristles, surprisingly no. You may see a slight loss initially, but the bristles stay strong through the serious everyday shavers!
The Razor Brush Editions
A Bluer Shade of Pale
It’s been named after the Blue Mountain in Jamaica, and some say you are left blue in the face after using it, and your only role in life, can be auditioning for the Smurfs Christmas Carols Album. A bolt from the blue, get your fingers at the ready.
My Loneliness is Killing Me
The ultimate candy cane! Your bathroom smells so euphoric, not even butterflies dare entering it. Rumours have it that Pink Floyd wrote a poem after seeing it for the first time. Your touch makes sand paper feel like silk. And there is a part of me which tells me I don’t know you, but I know you are just beautiful.
Otherwise known as “The Fastest Hand in the West” and “The Fifty Shades of Chrome” in some parts of Guam. The Chrominator can be used to control a pack of Wolf’s, be melted down for silver lining bed sheets and is the missing key to front door of Atlantis. There is no need to phone home on this one. Your finger has just been unleashed with a infinite amount of power. Use wisely. This is far from just another brick wall.
The Death Rattle (Black)
You drive around late at night because you can. Your not just a normal person, you are the Night Rider. David Hasselhoff spends time on the sand, you spend time in caves. It whispers to you at night informing you that it is your father. You don’t paint the town red when you go out, you paint it black. You take life so seriously that unicorns drop their bowels when they see you. You wear a suit on a Sunday because you can. If Voldermort had an afro, he may of used this and Harry may have never even got to try “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.”
The Coo Coo Kachoo (Featured in video )
So you think you are a big shot, You tell your friends that you do have “many Leather Bound Books.” You tell your date that your tree house smells of Rich Mahogany and that you roam around the woods at night foraging for wolves! Woodpeckers make love to it during Easter. It is the baby maker. Let’s get one thing straight. Life starts again when you slip on The Coo Coo Kachoo.
So what happened?
It was a complete and utter flop.
No one wanted it!
It raised $309
Only 34 razor Brushes were ordered.
My greatest fear came true.
HOWEVER; It’s not all bad news
- From an idea that was scratched out all on paper. It came alive.
- This was the first ever design of The Razor Brush! Originally based off a children’s toothbrush.
- The entire project cost just over $350. From domain names to the final product creation.
- All work was outsourced by a chap in Germany. There was no actually physical product. It was all created graphically. There is no point building a stadium if no one is going to attend. He was awesome to deal with. And learned a ton about how to hire and find the best online.
- The video was done by a good friend and rock star Matt Kelly at Just Media Design. From scripting a video to production, the whole process was a blast!
- Men’s Health took interest in The Razor Brush!
- Me and Jonny Ive became best friends!
- I met the guys at Indigogo HQ one evening! They were awesome and I watched them eat pizza and beer all night.
- I spoke with some really cool people and companies that did crush their campaign and shared their insight.
I would love to write a post of how to create a killer crowd funding campaign, but I can’t as I did not crush it. If you want some great advice on how to crush a crowd funding campaign. Read Mike Del Ponte co-founder of Soma Water is a superb article: Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)
The Razor Brush did fail, and it never became the late night featured product I imagined. Having played 3 years of college golf in the states, where we were taught 2nd place was first place loser. I am not a fan of failure and I do not think anyone signs themselves up for it.
But was this a failure? In a way no.
You learn so much from actually doing, than just thinking.
The greatest fear of doing was the Razor Brush was it being a spectacular flop. And it was exactly that.
However, the greatest fear I had built up in my head, was never that bad when it came true.
We always exaggerate the fear of failure 100x more than it actually is.
I remember my sister dragging me to a Tango lesson once. I was terrified all week. Was it as bad as I played out the night in my head? Of course not. Despite crushing my partners toes into dust. I got through the night just fine.
Next time you get an idea. Don’t let it go so quickly. Don’t be that person who just had an idea.
Try and do one thing to act on it and bring that idea to life. Don’t worry about the outcome for now. The more you do, the more you will learn.
The worst that can happen….You will always get to tell a story at the end of it.
An idea is failure, because you never did anything to bring it to life.
Ideas suck. Just start and show your work.
Resources on this?
- A “Y Combinator” Startup Story — Your Hero Delivery: Six Lessons Learned When Starting a New Venture: Click here
- Book recommendations: Lean Startup Eric Rries
- Upwork.com – Outsource pretty much everything.
- Crowdfunding platforms: Indiegogo & Kickstarter
- Creative Whack Pack (As seen in pic)
- How to start and why it is so hard: How I Started Buying, Selling and Investing in Banksy’s Artwork: The First Steps When Starting Your Business
- Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.