Want a billion-dollar startup idea? Here’s one.
Have you ever seen a fridge with a water dispenser that actually fits HydroFlask-sized reusable water bottles?
These bottles are everywhere—the global market reached $8.6 billion in 2021—yet I’ve never seen a fridge dispenser big enough to fit one comfortably. Go shopping for fridges, and you’ll see the same thing, over and over: dispensers large enough to fit a 16-oz glass, but not a 40oz reusable water botttle.
So we’re all stuck holding our bottles at awkward angles…
and settling for stand-ins like the “Dr. Fill’s Water Tunnel”…
or forced to spend a few hundred dollars more—and finding space—for a separate in-home water dispenser…
The solution: the Tesla of home appliances
I think there’s a killer market opportunity for a “Tesla of home appliances” — a new market entrant eager to disrupt with huge leaps in innovation.
Just like Tesla blew all other auto manufacturers out of the water and became category king of the electric vehicle market, so too is there a ripe opportunity for a sexy, innovative appliance startup to breeze past the appliance industry’s slow, incremental steps and step into category leadership.
The fridge (is just the wedge)
A fridge is a great place to start. It’s something people interact with every day, and feels the most ripe for disruption.
I envision an all-glass fridge, made of some kind of fancy, sustainably made tempered glass that insulates far better than whatever fridges are made of now.
It comes with a well-designed app, and its own API/Zapier integration that you can use to build things like a smarter Notion grocery list that updates in realtime when items are added or removed from the fridge.
It’s got the HydroFlask-sized water dispenser, built-in reverse-osmosis, and a dozen more great features that were unheard-of in a fridge, but feel like obvious must-haves once they’re there.
How to get people to buy the fridge
A fridge is a big purchase. Not exactly something most people buy on a whim while browsing online.
My wife & I came up with a go-to-market strategy to overcome this hurdle. Part 1 is a trade-in/buyback program. It would sound like this:
“We’ll pay you fair market value for your fridge, and we’ll even haul it away when we deliver your new one!”
They’d likely benefit from selling retail in some capacity, at Spencer’s, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, etc… but, based on reasoning from Elon Musk on Tesla dealerships, Steve Jobs on the Apple Stores, and other D2C innovators, they’d probably be better off creating their own brick-and-mortar retail experiences. It would sound something like this:
“Come in, give it a test drive”—heck, they could really stand out by hiring chefs to serve up real meals from food stored in the fridges!—“and purchase the one you want. Our installation team will meet you at home with your new fridge-like masterpiece, haul out your ol’ clunky Whirlpool, and be on our way.”
Know of a company doing this? Have ideas for how this could be built, and want to jam? I’d love to hear it.
Originally published Dec 3, 2021