How to reinvent an essential, nearly century-old product
Wife and husband Samantha Rudolph and Jared Miller of Babyation, a firm born in Branford, Connecticut, now headquartered in St. Louis, had the sort of brainstorm serial entrepreneurs have while vacationing in Vermont. She was reading a New York Times blog about a clunky, noisy, inelegant but absolutely necessary product essentially unchanged for nearly a century.
Somewhere between three to more than five million, depending on the source, of these items are sold annually in the U.S. alone. And users, many highly productive members of the workforce, need this item so badly they will pay up to $400 for a higher-end model.
She is an experienced business development and strategic planning expert who worked for ESPN for more than eight years, he an electronics wizard who can and has built almost anything, even supervising the commentary center for the Olympics for 14 years. They asked themselves, “Why can’t this truly essential product be as smart and functional as a smartphone, quiet as a luxury car? Wouldn’t that sell? Why can’t women have an improved version of something so badly needed to juggle work and family?” (more…)