Once in a great while, innovation will transform an industry. While this invention is so simple and sleek, it may not carry the weight to completely transform an industry, but it has definitely been a part of the journey of legalization and is now an industry staple.
Most products have a similar product life cycle.. when it’s first released there are early adopters, then the early majority, late majority, then finally laggards adopt this product or technology. It’s a simple bell curve. But, as with all bell curves, there is a drop off at the end.. for whatever reason, this invention has not taken the usual product life cycle, in fact, it has obliterated that methodology of thinking and has created an all new product life cycle that has never been seen before. That’s why it is the best stoner invention ever… it’s barely scraping the tip of the iceberg as far as how many people it will help; not only medicate (or just straight up get high), but do so many other things, complete tasks that are both smoking related and non. It will transform what you carry in your pocket every day. The old adage of “keys, wallet, phone, and weed” will soon become “keys, wallet, phone, weed and KASHER”.
We are making such big claims because we’ve been around for 15 years now, before any state had legalization in place – we’ve seen the industry change dramatically and have a strong brand and foundation underneath us at the forefront of an exploding industry. We’ve seen so many brands come and go.. stores open and even stores that have been around for decades close their doors. Yet, we are still here.. and we are just getting started. People are finally starting to connect the dots, and realize how incredibly handy and useful our products are. It just took some time – longer than usual because most people didn’t even know what it was or still haven’t heard of it. Even after buying one, most don’t use it to its full potential until they have had it for several months, sometimes even longer.
Mark Twain once said: “During the gold rush, it’s good to be in the pick and shovel business”. That’s exactly what the small team in Portland Oregon is doing at Kasher Inc. They are staying focused on the core concept of their patented product, The Kasher.
When Andrew Sweeney graduated college, it was 2008 and the economy had just collapsed. No companies were hiring. He had many ideas for products he wanted to invent and bring to market. But given the fact he had nothing but a car, a laptop, a phone, and a pile of student loan debt, he had to start with something that was feasible. Inventing the Kasher was just that. It is a simple product, easy to manufacture (no moving parts), but the potential is huge. He knew the cannabis industry would one day come out of the depths of the black market. “I just didn’t think it would happen so soon” said Andrew. “I wasn’t even sure if it would happen in my lifetime”. Part of the reason he thought this way is because he grew up in Idaho and graduated in business from the University of Idaho. If you don’t know, Idaho is probably one of the most strict states when it comes to cannabis laws. In fact, they might still try and keep it illegal after federal legalization happens. Which as we all know, is only a matter of time. It’s a question of “when”, not “if” it’s going to happen.
To escape all the crazy laws against a plant that can literally cure cancer (yes, the US Government has patent on the cure for cancer, which is from cannabis, but are still claiming it’s a schedule I drug, which means it has “no medicinal benefits”) Andrew packed up and moved to Portland Oregon. He started out sleeping on his brothers couch for the first 6 months. He would wake up every day and go to the library to simply write a business plan.
“I had to raise money” said Andrew about his early days starting Kasher Inc. “I was fresh out of college, had no money, and I love cannabis”. So out of his notebook of ideas, he selected the Kasher to pursue. “I never thought it would turn into what it is today. I thought it would be a 2-3 year project where I start it and then license it to a bigger company or sell it outright.” The problem was, most people didn’t connect the dots with all the different uses this product provides and how helpful and beneficial it is to carry one on you at all times, whether you’re a weed smoker or not. I didn’t even connect the dots right away myself and it was MY OWN PRODUCT. I would have a Kasher in my pocket, and find myself struggling with random tasks that a Kasher could solve in seconds. Here’s a random example: I had just bought a bag of brand new socks.. I had a Kasher in my pocket, but I was sitting there struggling to cut the tab they use to hold the socks together.. using my teeth and shit.. when I had a Kasher in my pocket the whole time. Finally I was like, oh duh, my Kasher… so I whip it out and cut the tab in seconds.
These types of things kept happening… I would find myself struggling with a random task.. for 30 seconds, then 90, then several minutes go by and I’m still struggling to open this package, or unlock a door, or scrape excess glue from a seam I just glued together. When I had a Kasher in my pocket the entire time. Finally I remembered I had my Kasher on me, and it would work perfect, so I take it out of my pocket and sliced that shit open in two seconds, or unlock the door with a quickness, or scrape off the glue easily.
It took me a while to admit that if this type of shit keeps happening with me, and I’m the fucking inventor for fucks sake, it HAS to be happening with most people that buy our products.
That’s when I realized the true potential of the product. But at the same time, I realized the enormous task it would be to educate people on all the uses of this beautifully designed, simple, yet genius product. Even people that already have our product and use it daily.. chances are they are using it for about 10% of all the things they truly could be utilizing this genius product for.
This is when we pivoted from a company that sells a “pipe tool” to a “multi-use lighter tool”.
I originally invented it just to kash my bowls of weed out in college. I never knew it could do so many other things that spans across different industries and can help people who smoke or not. This also explained the slow start, and the need to educate people about all the uses Kashers provide. I released the Kasher to market right around the same time a good friend of mine released his product to market. His was a no brainer… but it wasn’t that innovative and practical as far as using it every day and for many different tasks.
Now, we have people that have ordered consistently on our website for the past 5, 6, even 7+ years. Each order getting bigger and bigger. Our re-order rate is crazy high and it’s due to this phenomenon of people finally realizing how many things their Kasher can do.
So our product life cycle chart doesn’t look like the rest; even though we’ve been around for nearly 15 years and sold millions of units, we are still in the early stages of our product life cycle. All we need at this point is to get the word out. We need the right celebrity to get their hands on our product and see the potential.. or if we are able to get on Shark Tank, it will be lights out. For now, we are just going to keep grinding and wait for the masses to catch up.. It might just be a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But one thing is for sure, Kasher will eventually be a household name. There is no doubt in my mind about that. Question is, when will you give it a shot? Maybe you will be the person who finds that breakthrough use that brings Kashers to millions more people. Or maybe you know someone who will. Either way, we are super excited to be at the forefront of an exploding industry with a solid brand, a strong foundation underneath our company, and an awesome line of patented products with much more to come… all the ingredients for success!
After I graduated college, I asked my favorite professor about my idea and if he thinks I should start in now (this was in 2008), or get a job and start it later? He said the latter and I didn’t take his advice. I went against the current. I swam upstream. And it was the best decision of my life. I really think that if I got a job and tried to save money like my professor said, I never would have even started Kasher Inc. And that is probably the best piece of advice I have for anyone who has an idea for a product or invention… just start! Start as soon as you can. Just take it one step at a time and never quit. I wish I would have started earlier. I learned more from owning my own company for 2 years than I did in 5 years of college. Now I can’t wait to release more products under the Kasher brand and start up another handful of companies. I have tons of product and business ideas… but ideas are a dime a dozen. Executing on them is the hard part. And every journey starts with a single step, so if you have an idea, or want to take the entrepreneurial leap of faith, don’t wait one more day, just do it! The sooner you start the better. And you will fail, but as long as you learn from every failure, and keep going, you will never truly fail completely. Starting this company and getting a utility patent was the best decision of my life, and now that I’m on this side of the table, there is no going back. I’m an entrepreneur for life and I can’t wait to bring more products to market and make Kasher a household name!
Entrepreneur – Inventor – Realtor – Cannabis Connoisseur