Husband and wife entrepreneurial duo Adam and Katie Stephey went to ABC’s Shark Tank to pitch their product, the Toilet Timer, to the Sharks, hoping to get a bite from one of the investors.
The couple pitched their product to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner. Toilet Timer is a timer that tells users when to “poop or get off the pot.”
According to the episode synopsis, the “husband and wife from Normal, Illinois, have come up with a solution for his lingering in the bathroom.” Tune in to Shark Tank to see if they can score a deal from one of the Sharks.
Here’s what you should know about Toilet Timer from Shark Tank:
1. The Product Is a Timer for Bathroom Use
As the name suggests, the Toilet Timer is a timer for bathroom use that was created after Adam Stephey realized that he stayed on the toilet for much too long — so long, in fact, that he found he couldn’t walk on his legs.
“My wife would ask me, ‘Where are you?’ as she was trying to take care of the kids,” Adam Stephey told CBS Chicago. “I realized I was probably spending too much time in the bathroom.”
The product is marketed mostly as a gag gift, but Adam Stephey said he’s seen it written about on plenty of blogs and shared around by mothers on the web.
2. The Toilet Timer Was Funded on Kickstarter
In 2017, the Toilet Timer went live on Kickstarter. It has since been fully funded, raising more than $23,000 with an initial goal of $20,000.
“This is a sand timer done differently,” the Kickstarter description reads. “Toilet Timer Tommy keeps time for you by emptying his contents (sand) into his tiny toilet. The Toilet Timer reminds you that when time runs out, it’s time to move on.”
The timer runs for about five minutes before running out of sand. Instead of having to be flipped to reset like most hourglasses, it just needs to be rotated a full 360 degrees to be restarted.
3. The Product Has Been Backed by Doctors
While the story may have been originally picked up as a gag, there is research showing that spending more time on the toilet could be detrimental to health.
The Kickstarter campaign quotes a Dr. Bradley Rieders, MD, as saying, “As a gastroenterologist, I tell my patients to sit no longer than three to five minutes. This prevents fissures and hemorrhoidal bleeding. I will promote the Toilet Timer in my office when it’s available. This is also a medical device. Brilliant.”
The Kickstarter campaign page also says the comments from Rieders were “unsolicited,” and that the doctor is one of the project’s more than 900 backers.
4. Katie Stephey Works in Marketing
According to her LinkedIn page, Katie Stephey is currently working as a marketing vice president at Gun Storage Solutions. The description on her page says she is passionate about small business and doing what it takes to get through challenges.
Toilet Timer’s parent company, Katamco, is not listed on Katie Stephey’s LinkedIn page. Adam Stephey, on the other hand, is listed as an entrepreneur at Katamco.
“Inventor of useful and interesting products spanning multiple industries including 3D printing, retro video game preservation, home goods and funny gifts,” the description reads. He has been at Katamco for more than five years.
5. Adam Stephey Wrote a Book of Poems for the Bathroom
Adam Stephey hasn’t just made the Toilet Timer; he has also written a book of poems for use in the bathroom.
The book, titled When Dad Goes Poo, is sold at Target for $19.99 at the time of writing.
“Potty poems to provoke poo-crastinators,” the description reads. “A bathroom book.”
The book is illustrated and full of “short, whimsical poems” that will “motivate that man to do his duty and move on.”