A few weeks ago, I came across an eye-catching new toothbrush that Bloomberg called the “Tesla of Toothbrushes.” The concept is quite simple: Quip is an affordable ($25+) electric toothbrush set and service that’s designed to make oral health easy to maintain.
Yet, regardless of how simple this thing is, I was enthralled.
After a few hours of looking at photos and customer reviews, I had to share the story of how it came to be because I never thought I’d be this excited over something so, well, simple as a toothbrush.
The story goes like this:
In 2012, British product designer Simon Enever went for a checkup at his American dentist. While his dentist poked around his mouth, the doctor began a rant that inspired Enever to launch Quip, a now multi-million dollar company.
“You know, you shouldn’t brush as hard,” the dentist said to Enever.
“Why not?” he replied.
“I see so many patients who think brushing hard will actually make a difference. It doesn’t. The secret to clean teeth is actually much simpler than you think.”
“Oh yeah?” the curious Brit with below average dental hygiene asked.
“The secret,” the dentist went on, “is much simpler. Brush softly twice a day, for two minutes with equal time spent on each section of your mouth, and change your worn out brush regularly. It’s the basics that matter more than anything else.”
“Just buy the cheapest vibrating brush that you can find with a two-minute timer,” the dentist said, “and you’ll be set. Honestly, the vibrations are nice to have… but the timer is where the magic is.”
That’s when it hit him…
There are moments in every great entrepreneur’s life when it all just clicks. You know — when the idea hits them and they realize how big of an opportunity lies in front of them. For Simon Enever, his epiphany moment came during that 2012 checkup.
Since launching Quip, Enever, along with his cofounder Bill May, have sold hundreds of thousands of toothbrushes, grown Quip to millions of dollars in revenue, hired over a dozen employees, and gained massive amounts of press and awards (Buzzfeed, Forbes, Time, The Next Web).
All it took was a talkative dentist to help Enever realize that the massive toothbrush tech industry is mostly, well, a crock of crap. These types of businesses always make me smile. The small underdog who creates something that completely discredits billion dollar marketing budgets trying to sell us needless junk.
Moral of the story… Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime, so when you feel an idea click, run with it.
Oh and by the way, Quip is offering a $10 supply refill, for free, to all of The Hustle readers that purchase using this link.