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Bootstrapping and Saving Water With Steve Waddell, President and CEO of NASONI

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Steve Waddell is the President and CEO of NASONI, where he guides the development and production of groundbreaking fountain faucets. His mission is to save one billion gallons of water annually by 2030, following the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations General Assembly.

Steve wasn’t always in the faucets business. He is also a seasoned project management professional with over 30 years of experience and success in management and financed the founding and growth of his company by entering entrepreneurship contests. He holds an MBA from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo University.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Where was Steve before starting his faucet business?
  • What inspired Steve to start NASONI faucets and how he got his company started
  • The inefficiencies with regular household faucets
  • How Steve created the design for his faucets, filed for a patent, and won contests to get funding for his product
  • NASONI’s solution for people who don’t have good tap water
  • Steve talks about the contest he entered that he didn’t win—and how it helped him get investors
  • NASONI’s sales strategies and the growth of their e-commerce sales
  • Creating a brand story and internet marketing
  • Where to learn more and get in touch with NASONI

In this episode…

When Steve Waddell started his faucet business, he wanted to create a product that disrupted the market to make people’s lives better, while saving water and healing the planet. He also had his children in mind and wanted to be a good role model for them and other entrepreneurs as well.

Millions of people start their day with an inefficient way of getting water to brush their teeth and wash their faces. In the process, they end up wasting a lot of water. To solve this problem, Steve found the perfect solution: fountain faucets.

Rich Goldstein, host of the Innovations and Breakthroughs Podcast, is joined by Steve Waddell, President and CEO of NASONI, to talk about Steve’s mission to save water through his innovative fountain faucets. They discuss the common inefficiencies with using regular faucets, Steve’s process in designing and filing a patent, and how he used contests to finance his business.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Goldstein Patent Law, a firm that helps protect inventors’ ideas and products. They have advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 25 years. So if you’re a company that has a software, product, or design you want protected, you can go to https://goldsteinpatentlaw.com/. They have amazing free resources for learning more about the patent process.

You can email their team at [email protected] to explore if it’s a match to work together. Rich Goldstein has also written a book for the American Bar Association that explains in plain English how patents work, which is called ‘The ABA Consumer Guide to Obtaining a Patent.’

Intro (00:09):
Welcome to innovations and breakthroughs with your host Rich Goldstein, talking about the evolutionary, the revolutionary, the inspiration and the perspiration and those aha moments that change everything. And now here’s your host, Rich Goldstein.

Rich (00:34):
Rich Goldstein here, host of the innovations and breakthroughs podcast, where I featured top leaders and the path they took to create change past guests include Rex’s Ari Yokota bear, and how it gets in this episode is brought to you by my company, Goldstein patent law, where we help you to protect your ideas and products we’ve advised and obtained patents for thousands of companies over the past 26 years. So if you’re a company that has software product or designing one protected, go to Goldstein patent law.com, where there are amazing free resources for learning about the patent process. And you can email my [email protected] to explore it’s a match to work together. You can also check out the book I wrote for the American bar association that explains in plain English, how patents work it’s called the ABA consumer guide to obtaining a patent. I have here today. Steve Waddell.

Rich (01:20):
Steve is the president and CEO of Nasuni, where he guides the development and production of groundbreaking fountain forces. His mission is to save 1 billion gallons of water annually by 2030, um, which is in accordance with the United nations 17 sustainable development goals. But Steve wasn’t always in the force of business. He started from scratch and he bootstrapped it. He find it. He financed starting and growing his company by entering entrepreneurship contests. As you’re going to hear about in just a moment, I’m honored to welcome here today. Steve Waddell. Welcome. Hey, how’s it going? Okay, great. So then, um, so before you were in the faucet business, like what, what did you do for a living

Steve (02:05):
The first 25 years of my life? I started out in the apprentice school in Newport news shipbuilding and graduated with honors and got the Neil’s Christianson award, moved on to engineering from there. So I spent the next seven years on the waterfront, um, the next night and engineering and the rest in it. So, but a very background, you know, and you learn a lot about everything when you work on the waterfront and moved to engineering, moved it and how things go together. Uh, but I became known most for process improvement that the yard. Yeah.

Rich (02:37):
Yeah, absolutely. And so then after you did that, I think you went in, you helped your wife to launch a business.

Steve (02:44):
Yeah, absolutely. I spent the next 11 years after that, helping my wife grow her business as a government consulting startup from nothing to a multi-million dollar business. Great. And in fact, I leased space from her right now. That’s where our headquarters, so

Rich (03:00):
That’s great. And so was, was that both of your first business that you, that you had? Uh, yes, absolutely. Great. Okay.

Steve (03:08):
Still runs that company. Now she’s the president and CEO of Reed immigration. That’s an England.

Rich (03:13):
Awesome. And then something struck you to say that there’s something more that you wanted to do. Um, and then,

Steve (03:20):
Yeah, well, when you’re, when you’re an inventor, when you have an embedded mine, even though I was a fortune 500 company, like Newport news shipbuilding, I was spilling in venture because I was solving problems. They had that they couldn’t solve day in and day out. I just wasn’t getting benefited from it. The shipyard was, and you know, I became really good at it, known for it solving many pretty tough challenges. They had a butt to brain starting to market. You know, it always got tired of sticking my head on the faucet. And, um, you know, you, you watch shark tank, you get inspired to do things. And you know, when you’re an inventor, you say, well, I can fix this right. And one day I happened to be watching a video and my wife, and I’ve always wanted to go to Rome. There’s the nostalgia of pizza.

Steve (04:02):
She likes wine. And either the Roman Colosseum, you know, watched the movie gladiator and all those cool things, it makes you want to go there and visit it. And so I’m watching a video on it. And I saw these girls on a cobblestone street, walk up to a, what they call a niece, Sony on the streets of Rome, which looks like a fire hydrant. And it takes water from happening the mountains. Most of the Roman aqueducts up through these names, Sony, and there’s a to hangs out the side of it, where water flows out of it and down to the street and dogs can come up and drink from the bottle. But if you want a drink, you plug your hand on the bottom and it pops out the top, like a water fountain and like, wow, the, the, the arc of inspiration fired inside me. It’s like, why aren’t all of our bathroom faucets like this, right? So now when you buy a soda fountain, faucet, everyone that buys one gets a copy of that story on a plot, it’s a cleaning cloth and it comes with our faucets and you can use it to wipe your eyeglasses or, you know, wipe the faucet off. But that’s the inspiration behind the company. And by the, by the name of the company itself as well. So people been to Italy and they’ve drank most bounds. They’ll recognize the baby, Sonya medium.

Rich (05:10):
That’s fascinating. And, and, um, but I mean, it didn’t just spring into life by itself. So, um, so how did you get it started?

Steve (05:21):
So the first thing I did, it was, it was January, 2014. I remember vividly because I was off from work at the shipyard. It was a day off. So I didn’t immediately stop working and start this full time. So you kind of started while you’re still working, right? Like everybody else. So I went to Lowe’s or home Depot, and I bought a fiberglass sink. I bought a faucet, I bought a shut off valve that I could put on the mouth of the faucet and put it all together in my driveway and hooked up a garden hose to it. And I drilled a hole in the top of the faucet to simulate what would be needed. And so when I turned it on and I, and I turned the shut off about stopping the downward flow, it came out the hole out of the top. And while, uh, I said, Hey, I’m going to do something with this.

Steve (06:02):
That was my proof of concept. Right. So I’m kind of excited about it. I’ll make a video of it. And I showed it to my stepfather. No, my stepfather had been in the plumbing side of the carrier construction effort, informant shipbuilding. For many, many years, I showed it him and he laughed. He goes, what are you going to do with that? And tell us, you know, when you, when you, um, got a rent up, you brush your teeth. I said, you either got to cup your hands, tilt your head, or use a cup. Right. And he goes low. I said, no. I said, what do you do? He goes, I’ll hell I just take my teeth out. And I put them in a cup. So he lets me a thousand dollars that nobody would ever buy. And,

Rich (06:43):
Yeah, exactly.

Steve (06:44):
So now I have this bed now that makes me the, the, the person in the I’m all about. If you tell me I can’t do it, that makes me want to try even harder to prove I can, if I already thought I could. Right. So that, that even strengthened my resolve.

Rich (06:59):
Yeah. And, and, uh, and I guess part of the resolve, as you had said, that, that, you know, millions of people in the world, billions of people in the world start that day with a, with a bad faucet or they start their day with, uh, um, how, how do you put it like an in, um,

Steve (07:19):
An efficient solution, inefficient

Rich (07:20):
Solution. It’s like an inefficient way for us to get water from the faucet to brush our teeth, et cetera,

Steve (07:27):
The start and end our day both. You know, so when we think about like, when I was in the shipyard, I learned all about systems engineering, right? And systems engineering. We take functional requirements. What are the functions that a solution must do? Right? Well, we never did that with the faucet. The faucet industry has never done that. Right? All they did was take what was done and started in Rome and Pompei thousand 2000 years ago. And the water continues to come out and go down. But if you do a functional analysis, what are the other things you do? If it goes down on your washing my hands, right? But if I need an eyewash, can I do it with that? No. Now without tilting my head underneath it, right. And the flow

Rich (08:03):
Know most people end up doing is cupping their hands and inefficiently using that.

Steve (08:09):
Well, and then the thing is my wife, before bed, every night, she used to take her hands, proper hands in order. What’s facial cleanser would splash your face. Water gets all over the counter dogs, messy plus you’re using too much water. We’re wasting more, same thing happens. EPA will tell you right now that a lot of Americans, when they run shading green, they waste up to 10 gallons of water. Um, just when they changed the rinse, the face off. Right? So with our solution, with a fountain stream, I reduce that water flow as much as 88% from a regular faucet. So instead of, let’s say, when you brush, right, you’re still in the brush for two minutes, a normal faucet is 2.2 gallons. Run it for two minutes. That’s 4.4 gallons. If you run our fountain feature and leave it running. And it’s only 0.2, six gallons. If you want it for two minutes, that’s a half a gallon 0.5, two. So 4.4 versus 0.5, two is a huge water savings.

Rich (09:04):
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s tremendous. So, so let’s talk about how you got it going. Uh, so like th the, with, uh, the, the initial, um, uh, you know, kinda initially you bootstrapping it, meaning like you using your own funds to start this business, but then you, you kind of like got some outside help through the use of contests. So tell me the story about that.

Steve (09:26):
Sure. Well, just so everybody can understand what I’m talking about, but I could show you the bosses, the way it works is you simply rotate this lever. And when you do the downward flow stops flowing down and it’s rotated upward through a flow regulator. That’s what reduces the flow rate and creates the perfect Waterfield.

Rich (09:45):
If you happen to be watching this on video, then uh, then you can see that otherwise use your imagination.

Steve (09:51):
Right? Okay. So what happens is now I’ve got this idea for this faucet, but I didn’t know how I was going to engineer it, like, cause I, I don’t have CAD modeling expertise. I’m not skilled in fluid dynamics, things like that. So I decided to try a tool called Elaine’s. Well, first I went to a university and I thought they could do it as a student project, but they couldn’t, they never got back to me on it. So I gave up on that. So then I went to Elance, which is now Upwork E-Lance merging load desk. This was five years ago. And I found an engineer in Thailand. That’s from the us that had both CAD modeling and blue dynamics. And we did an engineer design. The way it worked was, uh, at the mouth of the faucet. We had a ball lever about to rotate each shell off with downward flow.

Steve (10:38):
But what happens is when the water came past the fountain nozzle, when the water flows past the fountain nozzle in the spout, and you even just going downward, the water would still come out of the hole at the top. So we had to create a way to stop that. So what we did is we put a ball, a spring loaded ball valve up here, what happened, all of that became custom parts, which, you know, are not very reliable, but at the time that was my design. And so once I had to design y’all you get excited. Every inventor says, Oh, I’ve got this great design, right. I need to protect it. Somebody is going to steal it. That’s the first thing you think. Right? Right. So that’s when I went to try to find a patent attorney and I couldn’t find one locally. I didn’t have a lot of money at the time.

Steve (11:19):
And that’s what I went to India, foul one, we filed a patent in the us, a utility and a design patent. And, you know, two years later, as I continued to evolve this idea, it was turning into something. And I’m like, well, you know what? I really want to make sure that this patent goes through. So I need to get a us attorney that really understands the process and can respond to the office action. Because everybody, when you file a patent is going to get all the statues, right. It doesn’t going to get approved on the first go round. Right. And that’s when I got the U S attorney to go ahead and help me the rest of the way with that patent. But, you know, once had the patent filed, the neat thing was that the very next summer there’s a startup competition in, and it was put on by, uh, ink magazine and Cox media.

Steve (12:03):
And the prize was $10,000 in cash and prizes for the judges favorite and $250 for the audience favorite. And they down to five companies. Now didn’t even have a prototype while I was my CAD model and a design patent that had just gotten approved, right? So I go in front of the judges and the audience and I’ll make my pitch. You got two minutes and there’s a timer on you. And the long story short, I won the 10,000, the judges favorite, and I won the audience favorite, uh, for a $230 American express gift card. I took that money and I sped, it was about $7,500 to hire a company. Um, there’s a book called the mom and vendors handbook that I bought at the time. And she had referenced somebody that did some, uh, prototype work, which I looked him up, got ahold of them.

Steve (12:50):
We made that prototype. He was in Maine. And, uh, the prototype, like I said, was 7,500 bucks. It came back and that’s really all it was, was a modification to an existing faucet. Um, but it was good enough that I then took that. I made a video of it and me using it. And I submitted it for a brand new TV show that was coming up at the time and it was called Steve Harvey’s wondered. And I got accepted to go on the show. So next thing you know, I’m getting paid to fly out to Hollywood and be on this show on stage was the Barbie. And I’m competing against another entrepreneur, uh, for the cash prize. Right. And so now, you know, you’ve got to win the audience vote. So I watched the other entrepreneur after he gave his pitch and I gave my pitch and we’re both standing up there, um, while the audience is making their boat. And he was just kinda standing there, lollygagging, I look around the audience and they’re kind of looking back and I started raising, you know, there was music playing, right? It’s that kind of dance around. I tried to get the audience engaged and make it fun. Right. It paid off. Cause I won. So you know, that, that went a long way,

Speaker 4 (13:57):
But he sure me, maybe Steve read the wrong name on the card. Is that possible

Steve (14:03):
In the long run? But the cool thing was that cash was the huge thing I needed to take that big next step, because the next thing I did was really, I had to come up with a better engineered design because what I did, what I like about the design we had now was it was not, uh, it was all custom parts, right? So what happens when you make custom parts, you have a chance for failure because then they’re not proven they’re not tested. So I said, let’s redesign this now that I have some money, some real money let’s re-engineer this so that it uses commercial off the shelf components. We call those parts components that have been reliably tested and proven. And that’s exactly what we did, but that meant we had a whole new design. So guess what? I had to file another patent.

Steve (14:45):
That’s kind of a cool thing now because I’m building this patent portfolio. And, um, so we followed that pattern, um, and then went into producing a bunch of pilot prototypes that you will, that I started now testing in homes, including my home, uh, install one in my saved, I install one of my wife’s thing and it was great every night now to see her, instead of coupling her hands and splashing her face, she now turns the warm and the cold all at the same time and gets a warm, gentle balance stream. It can dip her face in it and it runs away the, uh, the facial cleanser. So that allowed me to test and prove out, you know, the, the fact is it going to do what we needed to do and will it work well, will it be reliable? And we did that over a year.

Steve (15:28):
Right. Um, so yeah, that was really cool w winning really what helped. And, and I encourage anybody. That’s needing funding to look for those competitions because, Hey, you never know, man, if you, not only that, not only it would be a win, can you win money, but it also helps to validate the idea. And so I’m speaking to there’s one group, you know, and give them a presentation. And the lady says, Hey, can you put a filter on this thing? Cause our tap water isn’t any good. And I looked into it and I said, well, we put it into the faucet of the engineer and then it would be too small. So that’s when we developed this under count understanding water filter. So now we have an optional water filter that people can buy. They don’t like the tap water to ensure you have a fresh, clean water in the bathroom, remember Flint, Michigan, right. Certainly all the land.

Rich (16:16):
And in a lot of places though, that they’re just not accustomed to drinking the tap water. There’s not an expectation that you would, you would drink it. And it’s it’s. Um, so, so then you, you had a, a solution then for, for people that don’t have really good tap water,

Steve (16:34):
You know, it’s ironic you say about drinking it because when you brush your teeth, you’re still going to use that water. Some of it anyway, unless you’re using bottled water, which is very expensive and not really good for the environment, because all the plastic waste that gets generated.

Rich (16:49):
Yeah. I mean, see, I grew up in New York and we’ve got really great water there. Um, and

Steve (16:55):
Yeah, you know, the pizza restaurants playing that’s what makes their notes so good

Rich (16:58):
Bagel places too. Yep, exactly. So when I was a kid in the late seventies, we, um, we traveled across the country, um, for the entire summer and we went to lots of hotels and in different, um, kind of small towns, what have you, and it was kind of shocking to us that we couldn’t just drink the water from the tap. Uh, you know, cause you know, growing up, I mean, uh, we never even heard of bottled water. Like there was, I mean there was Perrier.

Steve (17:28):
Well, the great thing is we have a manufacturer here in the U S so in Maryland, we actually make these filters, uh, made right in the USA assembled. They’re not assembled here, they’re made here. So, and they’re NSF certified and it’s a 42 and 53. So against led and SIS and all those nationals.

Rich (17:46):
Great. Um, and, uh, so then there was another contest you entered that you didn’t win. So let’s talk about that.

Steve (17:54):
Yeah. The, the great story there, that’s an interesting story too. That was called entrepreneur elevator pitch. And that was at first, strictly on YouTube. And now it’s been put on TV as well, but, uh, it was at the time I think sponsored by sprint, but I had to fly out on my own nickel this time instead of like the other show. And so I fly out to California and I’ve got these new, uh, pilot faucets, which looked great. And um, I’m thinking, how am I going to present this? This is not, this is a show, right? So I wanted to make it entertaining. So I went to Walmart and because I couldn’t bring stuff with me other than my faucets and I bought a shelf, it’s on wheels. I put three faucets warranty shell, and then I had a faucet in a bag and I covered it all with a big black cloth.

Steve (18:36):
How does this show? The way it works is you get on an elevator and you got 60 seconds to pitch. And while you’re going up, if they like the pitch, they hear at the top, the judges opened the door, give you a thumbs up and you get to come out and finish your pitch. If they don’t like it, they give you thumbs down and you go back down so I can get on the elevator. I give them a pitch and then I’m going up. I’m thinking, wow, this is going to be great. Right. I’m going to knock it out. And next thing you know, I’m going back down. I’m thinking what the heck happened.

Steve (19:06):
So, you know, long story short was, um, two weeks later day, or, and I saw the judge’s reaction and one of the people said, Oh, he didn’t show us the product. That’s mean, you know, it’s somebody else. Another judge said, yeah, this world always leaves you wanting more. And the other guy goes, well, you didn’t tell us what he wanted. He didn’t show us a product. So I say, thumbs down. So you never saw the product that didn’t even vote on that or whatever. They just muddled it back. I didn’t show it to them, which to me, 60 seconds, I wanted to just build that in tree and then show you. So anyway, long story short on that was, I’m thinking to myself, you know, why did I fail at this? You know what, what’s the meaning behind it? Why I spent all this couple thousand dollars flat out here and you know, what did God have in store for me there?

Steve (19:49):
And next thing you know, I get a call and it’s a guy, his name is Ben. And he goes, Ben, my name’s Ben and Ben Barris. And he said, I had a call from a lady from the Richmond district SBA that you might know. And she said, I needed to meet you. Well, it turns out they rode the school bus together 50 years ago when their mom and his mom wrote, drove. And she worked with the Richmond district SBA, um, that I work with my wife’s company. I hadn’t seen her talk to her four or five years, but apparently she saw that YouTube episode until then you gotta meet speed. Well, Ben works with a couple of investors in Minnesota at the time. And you know, he said, you know, I’d like to hear what you got to say about your product and learn more about it.

Steve (20:30):
And if you’re interested, I’ll pass you along to them. And he did, he did pass a mill and then we had a call the next week. They liked what they heard, but they said, look, if we’re going to go any further, we think you need to come to Minnesota. So I had never been in Minnesota. Um, I’ve always heard about mall of America and they weren’t far from that. So my wife, I flew to the Marriott there, the JW Marriott attached to the mall, what a great mall that plays huge. And I got to talk to the general manager of the Marriott show and the boss, you don’t always sell it. Right? And so anyway, we met with them, they loved the faucet and we’re one of worked together. So they made a, a major seed round of investment for Nissan. And that allowed us to take the next major step, which was, you know, finish out our pet remaining patents that we wanted to do, uh, finish out certification testing out in California with atmo, which is the largest world’s largest plumbing, uh, certification agency.

Steve (21:23):
Uh, we got six green star certifications. We’re certified for the us and Canada. Um, and then we had our initial order of faucets made in different finishes, which were delivered late last year. So that was amazing. So the long story, the more that was, if I hadn’t gone on that show and bail, right. I didn’t get even to present to the judges, Marcy Posey and Richmond would not have called her friend. Ben, Ben wouldn’t have called me and I would never met the investors in Minnesota. So you never know when one door closes is another one right around the corner about to open, you know, that’s, that’s the message I have for your listeners.

Rich (21:56):
Absolutely. And that’s an amazing message because you can’t always, we like to label things as being, well, this is a good thing that happened, and this is a bad thing that happened, but you just don’t know until down the road, what actually you thought was going to be bad, actually turned out to be something, something great. Um, so that’s awesome. And, and how’s it going now with the company?

Steve (22:18):
Okay. So it’s very interesting. I’ll tell you why, because our go to market strategy was in January to bring on board a Salesforce, uh, a commission-based Salesforce, um, that were experts in the fields. So they’re called manufacturer representatives and we have Delco sales in California. We have champions marketing in Texas, Ben Franklin in Florida, Virginia, Maryland associates here locally. Um, and we sent them all a pallet load of faucets and filters and then COVID hits. And now nobody can go out really and do much marketing of these new products. You can’t do trade shows, you know, none of that’s happening now. So over the course of the next four or five months of this year running into may, you know, my board and I got together and we said, well, what do we need to do is okay, well, I think we need to boost up our e-commerce channel.

Steve (23:10):
So we joined the Amazon launch pad program. You can find our Amazon store now just go to amazon.com forward slash Nate Sony. And, and you’ll see our store. We have an amazing store. There’s video, there’s installation video, check it out for this really cool. It’s one of the coolest stories I’ve ever seen. All the Amazon launchpad program. I’d never heard of it until I researched this. And then the next thing was, you know, we have Shopify. That’s what our, our, our, our regular websites built on. Now, the problem is we didn’t build it for sales to begin with because we weren’t trying to compete with our rep manufacturer representatives. So, you know, at the time, really, we were just trying to present it in a good light, provide information about it. And so on. So now I’m in the process of implementing some stuff called click funnels. You may have heard that with click funnels. Yeah. So I’m working on some of that now, which is pretty cool. I’m listening to those podcasts as well.

Rich (24:08):
Okay. Yeah. You might want to check out the, I love marketing podcast by Joe Polish. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. It’s a great one. I’m in one of his groups and, uh, I’m actually going to have him as a guest. Um, I’m going to be interviewing him next week episode in the mountain. Um, well, he’s a, um, uh, I guess you’d say internet marketing. Um, he was a carpet cleaner, um, and like, so he started by learning how to market his own stuff, carpet cleaning stuff, and then it became, and one of the most respective gurus and incident marketing and, you know, he’s a big connector. He connects, um, industry leaders, entrepreneurs kind of the authors of probably most of the business books you might have or in his various groups. So interesting guy. Yeah. But, uh, um, yeah, check out the, I love marketing podcast and he also has, um, um, other kind of like lots and lots of recorded programs. Really great stuff.

Steve (25:05):
I’ll, I’ll write that down. Thank you.

Rich (25:08):
And, uh, but yeah, no. Um, so, um, so that’s a great direction to go right now. I mean, e-commerce is huge. I mean, through the pandemic e-commerce has just exploded. Um, it was already on a growth trajectory and it just, um, it just kind of brought it up out into the stratosphere for sure. Um, and, uh, um, and, and internet marketing is a great way to, to get your message out there to build an audience, build a group of people, um, and, and start, you know, getting your message across to them. And

Steve (25:41):
Yeah. Thing is you don’t know what you don’t know. Right. And I’ll give you a perfect example. So when I built the website, you might’ve heard of Donald Miller in story. Yep. Got the whole story, right. Approach. I went there last summer. I went to his training workshop in Nashville. I actually was on stage with him at that event. Um, great guy. He’s all about clarity of your message. Right. Um, so we kind of followed the StoryBrand process when we built our website. I, in fact, I hired a StoryBrand guide company, uh, rule 29. They’re the ones that build our initial website. But, you know, again, we weren’t building a PR for selling things necessarily. It was more informational because we kind of, we didn’t want to compete with our manufacturer representatives, but what I learned now, um, I hired an e-commerce expert to teach me a little bit about what, I don’t know, any one of the first things he had me do was install a tool called Hotjar on my website. And it shows heat maps, and it shows growling heat maps as well.

Rich (26:36):
See what people are really doing on your website. Yep.

Steve (26:39):
Well, the thing is when he showed me the result and he’s like, this is how far down 75% of people, they stop right here above the fold and they don’t look any further down, you know? And when you start to realize that you realize how important it is to put the most important messages in that space. Right. Right. And if you’re not going to misquote a Barnum, he said, well, why is that? Let me change my site to accommodate

Rich (27:03):
Exactly. Well, well that right there is the whole key to incident marketing. It’s not about great ideas. It’s about, um, I mean, it’s partially about great ideas, but what it’s really about is it’s about analytics. It’s about, uh, measuring and then iterating. So you do something that you think is a great idea, but then you measure it and you see what happened and then you

Steve (27:25):
You’re spot on you’re right. In the next point I was very mate. What we did is he had me installed Google analytics, right. So what we did, he said, okay, go to your homepage. And we said like the world’s first mountain philosophy, like, why do I care if I’m a customer? Why do I really care? What does that do for me? So we had to change our message, but the very step where the button underneath that said buy now. So he said, let’s see what happens. Let’s go, uh, what, when you, when somebody puts on by now, the first thing you do is see the faucet and the price. And so let’s look at Google analytics and we did, and we had like a 90% bounce rate and he goes, that’s because you haven’t showed them the reason why they need it. You haven’t bought warm them up to the faucet first.

Steve (28:05):
And that’s what the Google analytics did. It showed the bounce rate, right? So now you said, okay, we got to take them through a step. This is the difference between a regular faucet and a fountain faucet. And then this is how you determine which falls that you need. And there may be like a lead page and sort of, it helps with chronic health conditions, for example. Um, and you can talk about water conservation, all what, people that care about green and saving the planet. They’re going to want to see a water conservation where you page, you know, those different kinds of things you can do. But the whole point back to your point was you need Google analytics installed to get the data, right. And things like Hotjar can give you the maps.

Rich (28:41):
Exactly. Well, you want to measure things and then iterate. It’s like, you don’t expect that your first idea is going to be the end all. And it’s like, even once you have that, that buy now button, then you split test, you split test. Well, let’s try a red button versus a green button. And then you run that for a while and you get to find out that the red button outperforms the green button by 30%, and then you, um, you switch it over to the green one, and then you say, okay, well, once we have the buy button, um, let’s try, um, um, launching a video versus like bringing them right to the price or whatever. And you can split test that. And so basically, uh, I guess all I’m saying is that internet marketing it’s about endless testing and iterating, as opposed to

Steve (29:30):
It couldn’t be any more important than what we’re doing because we’re taking and creating a paradigm shift. Right. We’re trying to break people’s old habits of doing things the way used to do with the faucet and teach them a new and better way. Right. So we have to really make sure that message is coming through correctly.

Rich (29:48):
Yep, exactly. Exactly. Um, and so if people want to learn more about you or get in touch with you, how do they go about doing that?

Steve (29:57):
First thing is they can go to our website and they sony.com, uh, it’s NAS O and i.com very simple to get to, uh, we also have an Instagram page, instagram.com/makes Stoney F F as in Frank, Frank actually stands for fountain faucet. Um, same with Facebook, facebook.com forward slash and they Sony it’s the same thing.

Rich (30:19):
And also you’d mentioned that, um, that you have, uh, the store on Amazon and a, this it’s, um, you’re particularly proud of the way you set that up. And, uh, that I think was amazon.com/nasuni

Steve (30:31):
Correct. That’s correct. If you go on there, there’s a, the store homepage at the very top, there’s also an installation tab. If you click on that, you can see videos on how to install our faucet or center set and how to install our widespread and how to install our water filter. I mean, it’s loaded with content and I’ve never seen many other, uh, Amazon pages with as much detail. I’m really proud of what we’ve done.

Rich (30:55):
I love it. I love the passion that you have for, uh, for this product, for your company and the mission that, um, that you were bringing out into the world. And I really appreciate you being here.

Steve (31:08):
Thank you. There’s one last thing I’d like to say, if you don’t mind. That’s okay. Of course. I look, when I look back at my life and I look back and said the first 25 years, we’re building nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines. And I looked at my, the next 11 years with my wife’s company. And I said, is that really the legacy I want to leave behind at the end of the day? You know, when I’m done working and I want to retire and I thought, no, that’s not it. You know? And, and when the faucet idea came up, I thought, you know what, here it is. I want to create a product that disrupts a mature market to make people’s lives everyday lives better. And at the same time, save water to benefit the planet and along the way, be a good role model to my sons and other entrepreneurs. So that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing and I’m now on it. Full-time and I’m, I’m very happy to be doing it because it’s a lot of fun.

Rich (31:57):
Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. And, uh, and again, I appreciate you being here. Hopefully I’ll get to see you again sometime soon and see them see you us. It’s everywhere.

Steve (32:07):
Rich. Thanks for having me. It’s a lot of fun. Thank you.

Outro (32:13):
Thanks for listening to innovations and breakthroughs with your host, rich Goldstein. Be sure to click, subscribe, check us out on the [email protected] and we’ll see you next time.

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