The Story of Becoming a Millionaire by Inverting a Ketchup Bottle
Today's children and even teenagers may not remember that extracting ketchup from ketchup was once one of the world's hardest jobs. But once upon a time, ketchup / mustard / mayonnaise bottles were truly a design disaster.
Since the cap of the bottle was on top, all the ketchup would accumulate to the bottom and it would become torture to squeeze out ketchup. Especially when the bottle was half full, you had to split the bottle with a knife to extract that ketchup.
Maybe millions have experienced this disappointment, but only Paul Brown made millions of dollars.
In the early 1990s Paul Brown was working in a small factory in Michigan, USA. Originally the designer and manufacturer, Paul Brown first noticed the problem of capping ketchup bottles with shampoo bottles.
He started manufacturing bottles with the cap on the floor for a customer. At that time, he started working with mold press, silicone and perseverance instead of computers. He prepared the design of the bottle but could not produce the result he had imagined.
He spent days improving the design, and at that time he used all his credit cards to the limit to prepare prototypes and purchase materials. However, he did not give up. He borrowed thousands of dollars from his 11 friends and family in total and continued to improve his bottle design.
However, he still couldn't produce the design he wanted. He needed to develop a cap that allows the bottle to open when squeezed and closes automatically when the squeezing is finished.
After a total of 111 unsuccessful attempts, he thoroughly lost hope. He called a mold maker friend to try his luck one last time. In the 112th attempt, he got the exact design he dreamed of. The valve now opened and closed successfully. Now his potential customer for this type of cover design has turned into a real customer.
Over the next few years, this valve system, which Paul Brown patented in 1993, became very popular. The baby food manufacturer, Gerber, used this valve system for the baby food bottle. Even NASA used this valve for their containers that do not leak into space.
The design was originally created for shampoo bottles, but the cosmetics industry also embraced this innovation.
Paul Brown's fate changed when Heinz, one of the largest ketchup companies in the world, reached him.
For years, ketchup users were placing the ketchup bottle upside down in the fridge, although its design was inappropriate. As such, ketchup gushed out of the bottle.
Thanks to Paul Brown's inverted bottle design and cap technology, people were now able to pour ketchup from ketchup bottles more consistently.
Paul Brown adapted this cap he developed for shampoo bottles to Heinz's ketchup bottles, and as a result it was a great success.
Heinz executives were extremely pleased with this situation. Instead of taking the ketchup left at the bottom of the bottle with a knife, people started to squeeze the bottle as much as they wish and add it to their dishes as they wish.
There was a huge advertising campaign with the slogan “Ready When You Are” and Heinz started breaking sales records.
In 1995, Paul Brown sold his company called Liquid Molding System for $ 13 million. He paid his debts and got a serious amount on top. Then he bought himself a beautiful summer house in Florida.
Paul Brown, who made 111 unsuccessful attempts for an idea he believed in, and succeeded in the 112th attempt, we think he overcame his stress and disappointment with $ 13 million.