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Creating Value: who would buy? [ROBOT POOL SKIMMER]

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ryjohn829

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I’ve been hopping from idea to idea for the last month and nothing seamed to stick. My partner and I were seeking to fix problems in the real world and create value. We both have pools and both of us don’t enjoy cleaning them. I have a robot that cleans the bottom of my pool so why can’t a robot skim the pool too? We are creating a product that can skim your pool automatically. Imagine waking up to find that your pool is nice and clean with no bugs or leaves in it. Imagine not having to charge it. The sun will hit the solar panels and give it life. If you live in cloudy areas such as Chicago Illinois you might be happy about the USB-C Charging Port on the top of the device. We believe we have the resources to make this product a reality. I’m studying the business of machining metal & manufacturing. My partner is a welder who has a lot at his disposal such as a 3D printer & a workshop. We both have access to 3D modeling software such as Mastercam 2020 & Fusion 2020. We have friends who study web design & electronics who could help get this product into a prototype phase. As of right now, we are in the early stages of designing the product. Do you think this product has potential. I’m in love with this idea. I will post my sketches later tonight.
 

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Empires

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Cool concept. Sounds like you have the resources to put this together so it could be a great fit for you.

What will make you better than the existing product?

 

ryjohn829

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Feb 20, 2020
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Cool concept. Sounds like you have the resources to put this together so it could be a great fit for you.

What will make you better than the existing product?

The price. These pool skimmers can go between $400-$1000. I want this product to be no more than $200. I don’t want to create a robot that doesn’t just aimlessly go in circles. I want it to map out your pool and go on zig zag patterns so that it actually cleans your pool. I want to give the product a brand too. Something that doesn’t just look like a roomba. My product is shaped like a starfish which immediately might set it apart. It’s not a big deal but I think giving a product a brand isn’t a bad idea. I do need to work on this product to make it better than the competition
 

ryjohn829

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Feb 20, 2020
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Suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts
This product is in very early stages. These are just rough sketches. Let me know what you think.
 

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biophase

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My first reaction is that the product is not needed. Most pools have a surface skimmer that catches the leaves and anything floating in the pool.

So your value proposition is basically price. I don't know if that is needed. Pool stuff is expensive and people buying something like this are probably price insensitive. I have a pool guy come once a week for $25 to clean my pool.

I would purchase that NX2 first and see how it works before making your own design.
 

Empires

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My first reaction is that the product is not needed. Most pools have a surface skimmer that catches the leaves and anything floating in the pool.

So your value proposition is basically price. I don't know if that is needed. Pool stuff is expensive and people buying something like this are probably price insensitive. I have a pool guy come once a week for $25 to clean my pool.

I would purchase that NX2 first and see how it works before making your own design.
The two pools I've had over the years the skimmers never worked well. Everything would just float back out given time. Any time before swimming we had to spend about 10 minutes cleaning all the bugs and leaves/grass out of the pool.

Could just be the pools I've had, but that's my experience. Something at a reasonable price would add some convenience to me.
 

Rabby

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I might be in the market for something like this if it existed and seemed likely to work. My pool does have a skimmer (a drain at the surface that pulls in surface water), but the skimmer is not "fast." So stuff can be left floating around. Also, if I turn on the bottom-cleaning robot, there's not enough suction to fully power that PLUS the skimmer. So if I wanted to clean both the surface and the bottom, I would have to alternate.

I also have a pool guy who comes out. He sweeps the sides of the pool incase algae grows or something. Also cleans the filter, checks the salt system, etc.

I like the idea of solar power, but I'm not sure it would be enough to really charge the thing. There is a screen over my pool, and that blocks a lot of light even at high noon. There are also pine trees in the vicinity, which give partial shade earlier and later in the day.

Honestly, I don't see myself plugging in a USB cable to some appliance in the pool. I like pool things to take care of themselves, other than what the pool guy does. I am pool-lazy.

Where will it dump the leaves, beetles, ants, or whatever? Will I need to capture it and empty it?

Those are the things I would be thinking about if purchasing this. Honestly, for $200 I would just buy one to see if it worked and play with it... but I am not the usual consumer, I think.
 

AceVentures

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Seems like a difficult product to manufacture and scale as a startup, with price as your differentiator.

If the product was a banger in terms of solving problems, being a solution for a real need, with a market size with scale potential, even then I'd reconsider diving into this segment. Have you back calculated how many of these things you'd have to sell to make a living? Or quantify what kinda sales you'd get? Have you then considered how you would find those buyer's? How you would get them to buy?

If it were me, I'd start by befriending a group of people that have pools and see what they say about their pool. Are there forums dedicated to pool maintenance and upkeep? I'd go to any store that sells pool equipment/supplies and talk to the staff about what sells most. Get a feeler for what the market actually wants. Could save you the entire prototyping and manufacturing process if you find a better idea.

I like to think that entrepreneurship is about simplifying things for others. At the summit, we learned about @Ryford Estores's self-cut system, which he thought of from considering numerous other simple solutions. Simple elegant solutions are always most appealing.

Take that with a grain of salt, as I've never invented a product of my own, just my two cents.
 

Kepler

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The price. These pool skimmers can go between $400-$1000. I want this product to be no more than $200. I don’t want to create a robot that doesn’t just aimlessly go in circles. I want it to map out your pool and go on zig zag patterns so that it actually cleans your pool. I want to give the product a brand too. Something that doesn’t just look like a roomba. My product is shaped like a starfish which immediately might set it apart. It’s not a big deal but I think giving a product a brand isn’t a bad idea. I do need to work on this product to make it better than the competition
I don’t think it’s smart to sell for less, the market has determined they value these comepetitors products at the prices they are already willing to pay. If you can make your product bring more value then they will be willing to pay more.
 

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