A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Reality struck one day while at a fast food restaurant quite a ways from home. "Daddy I have to go to the bathroom!" We walked into the men's bathroom and I was horrified. The bathroom was heavily soiled from overuse, and there was absolutely no way I could clean it. What was I to do? It was far too cold to go out to the parking lot, and I certainly couldn't take her to the ladies room. I was left with no choice but to grab my daughter and hover her about 4 feet over the seat. She peed everywhere, including all over her pants. It was a total disaster.
I arrived home devastated after such a negative experience. After bathing my daughter, I began to search the web for a high-end toilet seat cover. Not ones made of cheap paper that will soak up what every was left on the seat. And definitely not one that required you to fold up and reuse. Gross! I was looking for tough enough to protect against the millions of bathroom germs, while being convenient enough to simply dispose of after usage. After hours of searching online, not a single product offered what I was looking for. After that terrible experience with my daughter, I would have paid just about anything for this product. With that being said, I deiced to develop a product that would allow her to comfortably use the restroom without having to worry about germs or unwanted liquids ever again. This product would also be ideal for use in Porta Johns (Portable Toilets), airplanes, trains and more. It will be a must-have for parents, commuters, world travelers, and just about anyone else.
I began sketching some drawings in October 2016, and later that month I created my first prototype. Potty So Clean was made of plastic, similar to that of a trash bag, that could be placed right over the toilet seat. My prototype worked out exceptionally well, and I decided to have them packaged and set for market testing. I handed them out everywhere while asking for feedback. People were excited about the idea and I found out that I wasn't alone. There was clearly a need for this product. As the feedback came in, I discovered that while everyone loved the product, they did not enjoy the seat feel. Although the barrier worked perfectly, it still felt cold and squishy while using the product.
In early November 2016, I released a complete redesign of Potty So Clean. I used a thicker waterproof barrier and added a textured coating over the other side. This tweak made the seat feel warm and comfortable. I handed out more samples to gather feedback, and the results were overwhelmingly positive. People would always ask for more and more samples. I was regularly approached at soccer games by parents asking for some Potty So Clean seat covers to use in the portable toilets at the field. The product was a huge success. I spent most of December 2016 sourcing manufactures for the product. I was able to find a quality manufacture and released my first short run production. The product was A1.
In February 2017, I decided to put my product on Kickstarter and began to create a project for Potty So Clean! I intend to ship in mid-May 2017 with full production of the product once we are funded. I am currently developing a sales and marketing plan for the product to enter the retail and wholesale marketplace after Kickstarter. The product is disposable, not flushable.
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Risks and challenges
I am a pretty organized individual. That said I've been working on this project now for a few months. I've tested various prototypes and chose the most effective. I have interviewed several manufactures and selected an efficient facility to produce a superior product. I've even selected a manufacture to have on back up just in case. Speaking from experience in retail sales, wholesale sales and manufacturing my only anticipated challenge and not risk would be to be able to produce quality product quick and effectually to avoid backorders. As i don't believe this will effect my product since I've done forecasting to expect just about any hurdle from manufacturing, logistics to customer service. A backorder situation always a concern in the back of my mind and I would consider this a number one concern for me.
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