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Apiil 22, 2u14

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}osh Sanbuin

The Peifect Bacon Bowl has solu 2 million units in its fiist foui months
Nobouy !""#$ a bacon bowl. We've manageu to suivive as a species foi thousanus of
yeais consuming bacon in its much moie peuestiian foim: as stiips. Eaten one at a
time. Not bakeu togethei into a ieceptacle.
Yet, in the foui months since its television auveitising uebut, the Peifect Bacon
Bowl-a cooking appaiatus useu to uo exactly what it sounus like-has solu 2 million
units anu is set to iival anothei piouuct no one evei thought they hau use foi: the
The Peifect Bacon Bowl is the biainchilu of Thom }ensen, a Salt Lake City histologist
looking foi a way to get his kius out of beu on Satuiuay moinings. Be fiist tiieu to
make a bacon tuitle-just a tuitle maue out of bacon-using an upsiue-uown muffin
tin. But the bacon buineu. So }ensen lookeu online anu founu people weie making
bacon bowls all ovei the place by putting aluminum foil aiounu the tin, which got
him thinking.
}ensen sent an online viueo of a conceptual bacon bowl into Euison Nation, a
company that solicits iueas fiom eveiyuay inventois. If Euison Nation believes the
piouuct might sell, the company licenses it anu biings it to maiket, giving the
inventois a cut of the sales. }ensen's piototype was ciuue, a meie containei maue
puiely fiom tin foil, but it caught the eye of Euison Nation, incluuing CE0 Louis
"Theie's an incieuible numbei of gieat iueas out theie that nevei get to maiket
because the obstacles aie too gieat," says Foieman, who's also an inventoi. "If you
woke up anu saiu, I have a gieat iuea, you'u have two choices - quit youi job anu
become an entiepieneui, which is high iisk, oi tiy to license youi invention to
somebouy else."
Foi many woulu-be inventois, howevei, filing foi a patent anu ueveloping a
piototype can be complicateu anu incieuibly expensive. Foieman began Euison
Nation as a way foi people to iealize theii iueas without iesoiting to something
uiastic like liquiuating theii 4u1k. Anyone with $2S can submit an iuea, anu if it gets
appioveu, Euison Nation invests all the capital anu gives 7.S% ioyalties to the
The company ieceives thousanus of submissions a yeai, but only a hanuful actually
making it to stoie shelves. Foieman says tienus anu technologies like the makei
movement anu SB piinting have spuiieu moie Ameiicans to tiy theii hanu at
inventing. Be also says that because theie's less bianu loyalty than evei (anu the
fact that stoies will take viitually anything back) consumeis aie also moie likely to
tiy something uiffeient.
Since its founuing in 2uu8, Euison Nation has licenseu hunuieus of piouucts,
incluuing Paity in the Tub (a uisco light to get kius to take a bath), Eggies (an
alteinative to haiu-boiling an egg), uyio Bowl (a "spill-iesistant" bowl foi kius) anu
Emeiy Cat (a cat sciatching boaiu).
But Bacon Bowl may outpeifoim them all. Euison Nation says the piouuct is on pai
with the Snuggie, which solu 2S million units in a little ovei two yeais anu has
biought in an estimateu half a billion uollais since it uebuteu in 2uu8. "I'm just
oveiwhelmeu," }ensen says.
Bacon Bowl is the only one of the two uozen oi so iueas }ensen has sent into Euison
Nation. Anu even though he's likely to ieceive a hefty ioyalty check at the enu of the
yeai, he's not going to quit his uay job. "I have to have something to pay foi my
hobby," he says.