We interviewed founder Alex Craig who explained, “A Potato Parcel is one of the strangest, most confusing and weird package that you can receive and the level of customization is endless.” Craig, who faced the Sharks in none other than a potato costume, actually had sold the business before his Tank appearance, but still came on to try and make a deal.
Here’s what else he told us about…
How the Idea Came About
On May 15, 2015, the top post on Reddit.com was a potato that someone mailed with stamps on it. In less than four hours, it had over 2 million views and was voted as the top post on the community-based website. It was then I thought if enough people found humor in this concept, that they’d be willing to pay for it. I took the concept of mailing a potato further by allowing fully customized and anonymous messages to be written on a potato. My girlfriend and I had plans to go on a date, but I bailed on that to make the website instead.
The first three people I told: my girlfriend, my roommate and one of my best friends, all pretty much said the same thing: “No one is actually going to pay you to write on a potato.” We had our first sale at 7:08 am the day after we launched, and in the first two days, we did over $2,000 in orders. When you have a crazy idea and you don’t make any money from it, people call you an idiot. When you make over $100,000 in six months, they call you a genius.
His Appearance on ‘Shark Tank’
I originally applied for the show when Potato Parcel first launched. The producers said they loved the concept but we were too new of a business to be considered. They said they would check in for next season. When I sold the business to Riad, I included a clause in the contract that if we were to actually get on next season, I would join him as the founder, would receive a royalty deal following the airing and would become a member of the board of directors if we were to get a deal with a Shark.
Nerves in the Tank
It was a little nerve wracking walking out to pitch to the Sharks wearing a potato costume and realizing you’re about to potentially make yourself look like a total jackass on TV. But we had fun with it and had plenty of laughs with the Sharks. It was an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Plans for the Future
Seeing as I’m not the owner of Potato Parcel anymore, I won’t be heavily involved in the business, but still plan on working with Riad in small ways of contribution and strategy to help the business grow. Currently, I’m working on a new card game, it’s like the classic game of Guess Who meets your friends on Facebook. Guessfriends.com launches on November 1.
Other Season 8 Shark Tank products: