The Evening Standard: Next Generation Pooper Scooper
This article was published in October 2011, six months prior to launch. We were extremely nervous about leaving our prototype with one of the journalists after a morning photoshoot. Who knew creating a pooper scooper could bring such glamour?!
Seriously though, this was an interesting experience for us. We met with other inventors and just being at the Science Museum was inspirational in itself. Little did we know that our first taste of fame would become the constant reminder that reporters can be extremely inaccurate with their reporting.
Various points outlined in the article were wrong and though it may not have seemed important to reporters at the time, these inaccuracies painted the wrong picture of the product we'd worked so hard to invent and almost bring to market. Lesson - yes, the press is important but make sure you see the copy before it goes to print!!
So this is what it said:-
Who Needs the Dragons?
It's a dog's life
Helen Kirby, 31 and Stuart Kirby, 36
Product - The dooup - a kind of portable bin that scoops up dog mess and sprays the garden with disinfectant
Background - Brother and sister team grew up in Hainault, Essex, Stuart studied politics and economics at the University of East London, while his sister Helen honed her marketing skills with a degree in English and Communications at London Guildhall.
Currently Stuart lives in London and Helen in Herefordshire.
Eureka Moment - 'When our mother passed away in 2009, Stuart and I went back home to live with Dad while he adjusted to life without mum. Knowing how awful the dog mess situation is in many places, we decided to invent The Complete Solution - a prototype made from household materials: a dustbin, an olive oil spray and a water gun that would clean up dog mess and sterilise the area simultaneously.'
To Market - 'It's taken 18 months to get it from a prototype and cost about 80,000, not including the fact we haven't been earning. We've dedicated all our time and energy to this - we even travelled to China to get the right price from manufacturers'.
In the club - We went to the British Library where we met Mark Sheahan, inventor-in-residence, and through his help we've been able to get expert advice on our prototypes and access to funding.
Economics - We're about to go into production hoping to tap into the Christmas market. We're looking to be stocked in Pets at Home, where the product will retail for around 59.95, including bags and fluid.'
Wackiest Idea - 'Outside our bathroom, there was a hole in the floor where we had a laundry chute that linked to the utility room where the washing machine was. What a revelation!
Millionaire By? - There are around 285 million dog owners around the world - so hopefully not too long'. thedooup.com