by Julius P. Azucena
Some of the most sought after needs around parties and out of town camping trips are simple reliable coolers to hold ice, chilled beverages and foodstuff. It has already been a staple for decades; yet, it hasn’t really improved in function beyond its basic role. It is a thing that has fundamentally performed the same duty since its invention by Robert C. Laramy way back in 1951 and that very same thing that was then popularized by Coleman Company, Inc. But big changes are coming through inventor Ryan Grepper’s Coolest, an all purpose cooling wonder that will serve you beyond what is expected!
Let’s run over the specs of his nifty design. It has the basic insulated cooling compartment with a removable divider for segregated storing, a removable 20-Volt Lithium Polymer battery pack that powers a number of electronic add-ons including a blender built into the lid with a hardened plastic pitcher that is capable of around 60 batches per charge, a waterproof Bluetooth Speaker that allows you to stream in tunes from your mobile device within a 30-50 ft radius for about 8-12 hours, an equally waterproof USB charger for your gadgets that are low on juice, and LED lights embedded into the inside of the cooler lid to aid in picking out contents in the dark. Other features worth mentioning are its built-in magnetic bottle opener, its built-in storage space for items such as paper plates which can double as a cutting board for the attached ceramic rust proof knife, and its mini closable accessory deck to store your cell phones, keys or wallet. It can also ease the burden of carrying stuff back and forth from a given place. You simply lay your gear on top of the lid and pull the locking tie-down bungee up and over to secure them while pulling Coolest to your destination on easy rolling wide wheels.
There is no doubt. This product has a big potential with its creatively fun, easy to grasp and extremely functional features. Over 62,000 backers seem to think so too. Though not yet out in the mass market as of this writing, it has already climbed the ranks of Kickstarter.com. It is its number 1 best funded project in website history surpassing the likes of The Pebble Smartwatch, the reigning bearer of that prestige until last August when Coolest blasted through the US$ 12 million mark.
You may find this hard to believe but their initial proposed funding was only at US$ 50,000 and their initial outing last winter of 2013 was met with failure when Grepper didn’t even reach his goal. The way Kickstarter works is that funding will not be received until your mark is reached within a given amount of time. This is truly an excellent example of how far perseverance and the ability to adapt can bring you as close to your dreams if not far beyond it. And when Grepper was asked by Jordan Smith of inc.com on why was his Kickstarter campaign unsuccessful the first time, he answered— “One of the big factors was that people are much more likely to connect with the idea for a cooler when it’s hot outside, rather than during one of the coldest months of the year. And, the second time I took the design further, closer to execution. The easier you can communicate an idea that’s closer to the final product, the easier it is for potential backers to understand what you are trying to do. It makes it easier for them to come on board.” And when asked further on what helped in making the second time a charm— “Having backers from the initial campaign who were already excited about the project. We were communicating with them before the second launch and that helped it kick off with new momentum.” Building on the foundations of his initial run while making adjustments, Grepper was able to reestablish himself last summer to amass a total of US$ 13,285,226 in crowd sourced pledges.
He also offered advice in the interview to those aspiring start-ups dealing with design and technology creation or invention, boiling everything down to 3 steps— “Always look for inefficiencies. Anything that is an annoyance to you is an opportunity for an improvement to me. When zeroing in on an improvement, you are likely to find something that resonates with a particular audience.”
“Take your heart out of it and evaluate your idea as a business opportunity, not an idea you are in love with. Make certain the idea is significantly better than the competition and can fit in a sizeable market.“
“Take action. If you never take action and it’s a great idea, it will inevitably become a product from someone else. You will walk by it and say ‘I thought of that.’ What could have been the most exciting experience has now turned into a bittersweet one.”
The Coolest Cooler is expected to ship early summer of 2015.