Last week I was doing an interview that really made me stop and think about creative disruption and the significant opportunities out there. The story is Drew Westervelt as a professional lacrosse player wanted a solution for stopping blood and dirts on the playing field from causing infections like Mersa. He came up with a solution which worked commercially on the playing fields, but then transformed it to solve a more universal problem By mixing it he was able to form a new solution that could actually remove the odors from synthetics that athletes wear (current laundry detergents are actually built for cotton and natural and not the new athletic gear). The breakthrough invention was Hex Performance. Westervelt told Jay Contessa, a 29-year laundry executive for companies like Unilever. Fast forward a year and Hex Performance laundry products are sold in places like Targets and Wegmans … and is taking the nation by storm as the laundry solution for all sports related fabrics.
Here are Jay Contessa’s thoughts,” Consumer education has been one of the most important pieces for HEX as we’re introducing a new product into a crowded market. Our consumers might realize that their laundry stinks, but we’ve found that they don’t suspect the laundry detergent could be the problem. Once they find HEX and try it, the problem is solved. In a crowded laundry aisle, you can’t rely on packaging to jump out at a consumer, so our job is to help them find it.”
To me this is an example of realizing that any industry, no matter how large and the significant barriers to entry will have an opening for those with genuine innovation.