Sunday, September 24, 2006

Picking up the crap

I recently attended a Rockies Venture Club monthly meeting, in part to pitch SharedPlan to potential investors. The event included four or five companies pitching for 5 minutes each, then featured a three-person panel to discuss angel and VC investing in Colorado. The panel made some very interesting points, which I will describe in a later post.

However, I wanted to highlight the most entertaining pitch I think I have ever seen. Actually, I haven't seen a lot of pitches, but I have seen an endless number of PowerPoint presentations, and this was one of the most fun.

I think the presenter's name was Barney (Barney, if you're reading this and I got that wrong, I apologize and please email me with a correction), and he was not a polished speaker. However, he spoke with true enthusiasm for his product, Crap-on, and that made all the difference.

Crap-on is a doggy waste bag that does not require the user to 'handle' the mess. I'm not a dog owner, but I have seen the procedure used all-too-infrequently on my own front lawn. The owner inverts a plastic bag on her hand, reaches down and picks up the poop, then pulls the bag back over the pile and ties a knot in it. All fine, except for that unpleasant picking-up-the-poop part.

That's the problem that Crap-on is solving. Crap-on is a bag that holds a circular shape so that, when the dog "assumes the position" (Barney's term), the owner quickly places the bag on the ground in the target zone. Even better, the bottom of the bags have pictures of squirrels, cats, or other animals that drive dogs crazy, right in the bottom center. I guess the dog is supposed to derive particular pleasure by pooping on his nemesis. The owner then grabs the Crap-on by the draw-tie handles and is good to go.

I loved this pitch! I have been in technology my entire adult life, and I have very little exposure outside of this world, so when I see a product idea like Crap-on, presented with such fervor by a true believer, I find it tremendously refreshing. I have no idea if Barney will be successful, but I'm certainly rooting for him. His website, as I remember it, was, although it doesn't appear to be up yet. If any of you see it, please support Barney.
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