Phone Cleaner Will Do $5m-$10m This Year, Launched in 2012 at CES

Jason Greenspan

Summary:
In Episode #274 Nathan interviews Jason Greenspan, the founder and CEO of Whoosh!, a screen-cleaning product that’s on track to make over $5 million in sales this year. Listen as Jason and Nathan talk about creating a start-up with a physical product, what good margins look like, and how to convince people they have a problem.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – Purple Cow
  • What CEO do you follow? — Kevin Plank
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Pipedrive
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Definitely not
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — To start a business then! It’s much easier before you have responsibilities.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:20 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:44 – Welcoming Jason to the show
  • 01:54 – Whoosh! is a best-selling screen-cleaning spray and wipe
  • 03:05 – Was on the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den
  • 03:40 – Founded in 2009
  • 03:50 – Pivoted in 2012 from making car-cleaning products
  • 04:05 – Knocked a cleaning product onto his iPad by mistake
  • 04:30 – Filled one-ounce bottles and handed them out at CES – never looked back
  • 04:55 – Entirely self-funded and currently profitable
  • 05:10 – Looking to raise $5 million this spring to fund growth
  • 05:30 – Wiped over 1.5 million screens over the last year
  • 06:30 – Total revenue in 2012 just under $1 million
  • 06:39 – Total revenue in 2016 will be $5-10 million
  • 07:00 – The formula is proprietary – they manage a supply chain
  • 07:40 – The Whoosh! Go sells for $10 – what are the margins on that?
  • 07:55 – Retailer takes a 25-50% gross margin
  • 08:20 – A good gross margin on a physical product is 40-50%
  • 09:02 – A good net margin is around 5%
  • 09:35 – Spending very little on acquisitions
  • 10:00 – We’re building through the wholesale channel – probably 90% of sales
  • 10:24 – 10 full-time employees
  • 10:40 – How do you value a product company?
  • 10:50 – Valuation is on topline revenue and growth
  • 12:30 – Whoosh! is a sticky product once people try it
  • 13:20 – Biggest growth opportunity is convincing the market that there’s a problem
  • 15:40 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Grab opportunities when you see them. Whoosh! was founded by capitalising on an accident.
  2. Start your business now. Waiting longer isn’t going to make it easier.
  3. If you’re dealing with physical products, you should be making better than 5% margins.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.