If you haven’t seen a Fidget360, you must have been sleep walking for the last six months or so. They’ve become the big thing for bored kids and they’re just about everywhere now. If somebody at school doesn’t own a Fidget360 original, they’ve probably bought themselves a cheap copy.
What Is A Fidget360?
A Fidget360 is a simple spinning toy. It’s made of a plastic body with three arms and a central spindle. It’s the perfect tool for somebody who fidgets. It doesn’t distract the people around them and gives them a way to satisfy their urge to fidget without driving others crazy while they do so.
The Way Things Began
It was discovered by Allan Maman who suffers from ADHD. He’d been looking for something that would let him fidget without breaking his concentration. He felt that most of the products on the market were cheap and nasty and didn’t do the job properly and then he came across the Fidget360 and it solved his problem perfectly.
Other kids saw him using the Fidget360 and wanted their own. Fortunately, for Allan at least, there was no readily available supply in his neighborhood. So, he got together with one of his friends, Cooper Weiss, and decided to start making them.
They Looked For Help
Allan and Cooper need to learn how to make the Fidget360 so that it worked properly. They turned to their school’s physics teacher, Eric Savino, to get the knowledge that they needed. He taught them how to get the balance on their design just right. They then turned to their school’s 3D printers to produce the Fidget360.
They Sold A Bunch Of Fidget360s And They Got Into Trouble
The boys learned two valuable lessons from their start up ventures. The first was that their Fidget360s were in high demand. They made a small fortune in a matter of days as their classmates lined up to buy as many Fidget360s as they could produce.
The second lesson wasn’t quite so happy. They’d been using the school’s printers to save on costs and the school wasn’t happy about them turning their education tools into a commercial operation. They very nearly got suspended for their efforts. Not cool.
They Got Back On Track
Once the issue with the school had calmed down, the boys went out and invested in their business. They bought eight brand new 3D printers and installed them in Cooper’s basement and started printing Fidget360s 24 hours a day. It wasn’t enough and they soon found themselves looking for a way to expand further.
They Took On New Premises
It seemed like a good idea to grow the business by buying more printers. So they rented an old factory building in Brooklyn and installed another 30 3D printers there. Once again they quickly ramped up to 24 hour working and soon discovered – they still didn’t have enough capacity to satisfy demand.
They Went To China
It was time to call in the big guns to support their efforts and the boys made the incredible move of flying to China and engaging an injection molding company to produce the Fidget360 in much larger volumes than they could ever print at home in America.
They Saw Serious Marketing Return On Investment
$150 in Instagram advertising raised nearly $2,000 in sales. It was a no brainer. The boys took to social media like ducks to water (they have over 160,000 Instagram followers now) and they saw huge growth in their business.
The High Point
As the Fidget360 turned into a full on craze amongst school kids they made hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of sales. They’ve shipped the Fidget360 to more than 30 countries and all 50 states of America. Not bad, right?
The Low Point
When a toy becomes a big seller; fakes naturally follow and that’s what happened with the Fidget360. The boys saw a bunch of cheap knock offs hit the market and start eating into their sales. The next move, however, was ingenious.
Fighting Fire With Fire
Showing an amazing level of maturity, instead of fighting the fakes (a losing battle in any industry) the boys decided that two could play the same game. They created their own cheap knock off version of their own product and began selling those too. The money kept coming in.
The Big Picture
There’s no doubt that Maman and Weiss have succeeded in their business venture. They’ve even had 6 figure buyout offers. However, that success came at a price. They’ve got into a bunch of additional trouble at school and Maman was suspended for taking an investor’s call in class.
Once they graduate, they’ll be focusing on what they feel they do best; creating innovative products and they’re keen to start the research and the development process for their next big thing.