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Grateful for Bracelets & More

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The Backstory Begins.

Some years ago I met Romy Taormina when we were both serving on a judging panel for Camp BizSmart.

Camp BizSmart runs a unique hands-on program for teaching entrepreneurship to kids.

I met the founders of Camp BizSmart program at a Keiretsu Forum event where a winning group of kids presented the business idea they had put together in a couple of weeks at the Camp BizSmart program.

 

 
Courtesy of Romy Taormina

Peggy and Mike Gibbs can be truly proud of their students. The previous week I had led a due diligence group looking at a very similar business plan that a larger team of adults had spent the better part of a year and tens of thousands of dollars putting together. The adults should have thrown theirs away and used the kids’.

Keiretsu Forum is the largest angel group in the world and by some measures the largest investor in the world. More importantly, this group is among the nicest people that I have ever met. As a group, they remind me of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega that I had belonged to in college, and the community groups I have been in since.

During my life, I have created many groups that I am proud of. Randy William‘s Keiretsu Forum is, I think the group that always wanted to make. I am jealous and I am humbled.

 

And Now the Actual Story

Returning to Romy. She invented an anti-nausea wristband called Psi Band and created a company that has them manufactured and sells them. They are FDA-cleared, clinically proven, and highly effective. They sounded too good to be true. I have spent more time than I would like to think about with friends and family in infusion centers getting medical treatments. They generally are having a pretty terrible experience mainly including severe nausea. Romy’s Psi Bands were a miracle. A reliable and repeatable miracle.

I woke up before sunrise today thinking how grateful I am to Romy and then of how grateful I am to Peggy and Mike and to Randy.

Camp BizSmart in addition to giving me many happy hours and wonderful stories, also brought me to Romy.

Keiretsu Forum has given me many happy years and brought me to more wonderful people that I could list in a single article.

And Finally, Post Story

I don’t know how to sell Psi Bands. It is a difficult problem because the product is too good, lasts too long, and isn’t expensive enough. For under $15, you can buy a pair online or from a local retailer. And one pair will last a lifetime, if not longer. Even if you want all the colors and all the cute patterns, you can’t spend a lot of money.

 
Courtesy of Romy Taormina

If you Google Psi Band, competitors have bought ad space above them.

When I spoke to the head of obstetrics at one of the top-tier teaching hospitals in the country, she told me that she tried giving these to her pregnant patients. Romy invented Psi Bands because the other devices could not be worn in the shower as they were not waterproof, they were not adjustable so they didn’t fit many wrist sizes, and because they were ugly. The head of obstetrics was excited because she really hated giving any extra medication to her patients, but her patients insisted on pills and didn’t want devices. She eventually gave up.

How do you sell something that is durable, inexpensive, and never becomes obsolete? I’d be happy to hear ideas.

Today’s and baby animal pictures go out to Romy, Peggy, Mike, Randy, and the entire teams that make their organizations possible. They’ve brought # to my word in greater ways than they will ever know.

Comments

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  1. I’m afraid I have no immediate idea as to how to sell such an item. But, isn’t that what ideally we should be going for here?

    re: https://www.fastcompany.com/90707314/the-7-most-overhyped-trends-of-2022 on ‘sustainability’ + the need for more life cycle analysis of the things we create

    Obviously, such thinking flies in the face of creating a product that ticks the boxes you mention.

    I am not truly comfortable about the idea of making something that is more sustainable than other options, but not quite enough to make any resale obsolete. That just seems to generally suck…

    It’s kind of like the perpetual motion machine, ARC reactor, or anything that lacks financial (for loss or gain) incentive to make happen.

    Anyway… I can’t understand why folks would rather take pills than wear a device that worked – I know I would definitely have taken one gladly when I myself was in the throws (literally) of pregnancy-induced nausea :/p

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

 

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