John Osher is the protagonist in that story. Spin Brush It is a familiar story. It gave you the inspiration to invent and gives you hope even in the most difficult of times. It is rare and remarkable. John Osher has experienced lightning twice. Three and four times…
He is the inventor of the hit toy-candy “Spin Pop”, which is a lollipop that sits on top of a battery-operated handle and twirls in your mouth. The Spin Pop was the first to create a new category of products. It is now called “interactive candy”. Today, the Spin Pop was born in 1996 and is sold all over the globe. The product was not a success, but it was the foundation for Osher to create a bigger and better product.
Osher is the inventor and designer of the “Spin Brush”, which was sold to Proctor and Gamble for 475 million dollars in 2001.
How’d he do it?
First, I want to make it clear that Osher is far from an average inventor’s experience. It’s still relevant because many of his skills to bring his product on the market, despite having established contacts and sophisticated design teams, are the same as those you need to master.
Osher approached the creation and use of the Spin Brush in an original way.
After the Spin Pop was sold to Hasbro in 1997, I gathered a group of inventors and designers with whom I had previously worked. We decided to invent new products intentionally. Instead of waiting for an idea to come to us, instead we would actively search for one. We explored WalMart and Walgreens for ideas, eventually coming up with over 100. The top priority was to create an electric toothbrush that retailed for five dollars.
Osher was aware of the huge potential market for such an electric toothbrush – everyone brushed their teeth regardless of race or religion. The product was not affordable because of the high retail price of electric toothbrushes, which ranged between seventy- and eighty dollars.
Osher, however, had the technology to make a new toothbrush. He would use the same method as the toy candy twirler to create the toothbrush.
“Our design team was very clear about the inventions we wanted. The group decided on a set of rules. The brush was made for less than a dollar forty and wouldn’t retail for more than five dollars. The brush must be more efficient than the manual version. The battery had to last at least three months and the brush had to be able to last for six months. We would have given up if any of these criteria were too difficult. It would not have been worthwhile.”
Surprisingly, it worked. The bold plan was already in motion.
“The hardest task was to prove that the Spin Brush was not a gimmick, especially when it was so inexpensive compared to other electrical toothbrushes, but it actually worked.”