Having just hit the 1% target on Kickstarter yesterday, the publicity to launch the Shiffter has just started. Whilst working on the project we’ve had to keep it quiet until just a few days ago, so we’re really pleased to have a well-respected charity (see below) interested in the project already.
Anyway, here’s the press release that’s just gone out:
Press release: 30 March 2017
Latest Kickstarter project to replace the unpopular toilet brush with mini-jet wash could be ‘the next big thing’ and raise millions for charities
A Gloucestershire man is hoping to raise millions of pounds for charity if he reaches his Kickstarter funding target of £50,000 for the Shiffter, a new invention which aims to make cleaning toilets ‘considerably less disgusting’ than using a toilet brush.
The idea is a simple one – instead of using a toilet brush to clean the loo, you use a jet of water.
Kam Mistry, inventor of the Shiffter, who has been working on the project in the evenings and weekends around his day job, said:
“This product isn’t rocket science, however it has the potential to become commonplace in hundreds of millions of homes across the globe. Let’s face it, does anyone enjoy using a toilet brush? Does anyone like picking up a used one? Instead of using a toilet brush and bleach to clean a toilet you just pick up the Shiffter, which is filled with water and sits next to the toilet, and use it to jet wash the bowl clean. The feedback from everyone who has seen it has been great as they can immediately see how it will make a currently unpleasant chore much easier and cleaner. It’s also more friendly to the environment as you end up using less bleach, toilet cleaner and water.”
Obviously talking about cleaning poo from a toilet bowl is something that we generally don’t discuss at the dinner table, and this is something Kam has thought about, but he sees it as an opportunity rather than a hindrance. In a world where video is easy to use for demonstrating how something works, it isn’t so easy for the Shiffter, as no-one wants to watch a movie of something so personal. To get around this, a short animation has been created to show what the product does and then, using chocolate spread, the Shiffter’s effectiveness is shown in a brief video.
“For obvious reasons, cleaning toilets isn’t something we talk about on a daily basis, and the same goes for illnesses related to digestive and intestinal disorders such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and bowel cancer – to name but a few. Millions of people’s daily lives are blighted by such conditions but we don’t talk about them, so I’m hoping that giving 20% of profits from the product to related good causes will change people’s perspective and understanding about gut-related illnesses. It’s about providing an opportunity to be more open about these issues which can be extremely demoralising.”
Kam is already in discussions with charities, including Crohn’s and Colitis UK, about their potential involvement.
Whilst a light-hearted approach is used on the Kickstarter website, he is hoping to raise serious amounts of money for charities with the patent pending product.
“With over a billion households in the world, the market is huge, and don’t forget that many homes have more than one toilet. On top of that there are toilets in hotel rooms and businesses too. The potential is enormous, especially if the patent application is successful.”
Phil Staunton, managing director of D2M, the product design company based in Cheltenham, which designed the Shiffter, said:
“It is a quirky new product with an interesting brand which provides a simple solution to an age-old problem. The design is very elegant and is styled nicely to suit any style of bathroom.”
Vicki Strachan, partner and patent attorney at Wynne-Jones IP, added:
“A good product needs to solve a problem, have a market and be affordable, and the Shiffter ticks those boxes. Additionally, everything it does is easily explained in just a few seconds and this makes it even more easy to market. Whilst it’s a relatively simple idea, its functional design features, name and branding – including the commitment to raising money for good causes – are all factors that increase the Shiffter’s potential for success.”
Whilst Kam intends to initially give 20% of profits to good causes, he wants that figure to rise as sales improve over time, so the potential to raise tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds for related good causes is very real, if he can reach his funding target to go into production.
The Kickstarter project is currently live and ends on Tuesday 2 May. If the funding target of £50,000 on the crowdfunding website is reached, the Shiffter will go into production in the summer and be available to buy shortly afterwards.
A UK patent is pending (Patent Application No. 1613313.4) with foreign applications due to be filed in the next few weeks.
The Kickstarter project can be found at:
The Shiffter web address is www.shiffter.com