G8 Spotlight: The Perfect Bacon Bowl, Invented by Thom Jensen

You’ve read about them here in our blog, you’ve seen their announcements on our Facebook page and if you’re an Insider, you may have gotten the news about them in Room 5. Yes, we’re talking about the Edison Nation members who have had their ideas selected for a licensing deal or for As Seen on TV (ASOTV) marketing. In other words, these are the inventors who have achieved a G8!

Invention process
This is the first post in a new blog series spotlighting our G8 EN members’ success stories, and we are kicking things off with a guy you may have heard about – Thom Jensen, inventor of the Perfect Bacon Bowl.


Perfect Bacon Bowl

First, a little background on the story behind the product…

On July 12, 2012, Scott Dromms was the first person to review Thom’s submission. He was in the process of reviewing concepts from the ASOTV search and when he saw Thom’s ‘Bacon Bowl Tin’ he knew it HAD to be added to the list of ideas to be presented for potential market testing.

Fast-forward to July 24, 2012…Soon after the team’s initial excitement, Scott came to realize that Thom had deleted the ‘Bacon Bowl Tin’ submission from the ASOTV search. Shock, awe and fear ensued in the EN offices…

As it turned out, Thom had decided to remove the Bacon Bowl Tin from the search because it received an R4 in a previous search. Following that R4, he decided not to give up and tweaked the idea, making it more marketable and then resubmitted it. It reached G3 status quickly, but Thom was concerned he would see another rejection. He removed the idea to attempt to pursue it with a friend. Unfortunately, they did not have the collective resources to bring it to market on their own, so Thom considered giving Edison Nation another try.

Little did he know that he was about to get a phone call…As one to NEVER admit defeat, Scott reached out to Thom directly to share our wish to present the idea to our As Seen on TV partners. A collective sigh of relief was heard when Thom agreed to have the idea resubmitted.

“EN didn’t look at my idea and think, “We already saw this…” No, they re-evaluated my invention with the new information I presented and they treated it as if it were a new product, then they went out of their way to contact me to see if everything was OK and if I would be willing to resubmit my idea again.” – Thom Jensen

Following that call, the ‘Bacon Bowl Tin’ was presented, selected and the rest, as they say, is history…

Let’s take a step back B.P.B.B. (Before Perfect Bacon Bowl)…

As an inventor, Thom has had more invention “flops” than he really wants to share. While approximately 95% of the ideas he thinks of are not worth his energy, he does keep notes of ideas that may be good inventions.

“Observing people doing stuff is my best inspiration and often times it’s just me doing something different when cooking or whatever, that’s when I will get my flash of inspiration. The Perfect Bacon Bowl came about that way.” – Thom Jensen

When you submit an idea, one of the questions we ask in the submission form is “When did you come up with your idea?” The answers to this question run the gamut…from waking up in the middle of the night to a never-ending search for a product that does not appear to exist to the ever-popular answer, “I was in the shower”… “BING!” moments can strike at any time and the same holds true for Thom.

“When I have an invention in my head it’s hard for me to do anything else creative, even sleep. I’ll think of an idea all night long. It can be draining. I am an artist, I sculpt, draw and create things all the time. Inventions occupy a lot of my brain energy and often it stops me from doing my art so I try to be critical of what it is I am inventing. I don’t want to waste my energy on something I am not confident will be a useful product. If something comes to me in bed I will get up in the middle of the night and do a quick Google Patent search to see if it already exists. If it does exist then I can go back to sleep. If it doesn’t exist then I will be up for an hour or two making a drawing of my design. If I don’t draw it out or write it down I’ll think about it all night. I will keep turning it over and over in my head and not fall asleep until I am exhausted. I hate it when that happens… Writing or drawing it clears my mind and lets me sleep. In the morning my mind will be fresh and I can look at what I created with a fresh mind.” – Thom Jensen

Thom was looking for an easier, healthier, fun way to make breakfast for his family when he came up with the idea of the ‘Bacon Bowl Tin’. Here is how he described what was innovative about the Bacon Bowl Tin within his submission:

Presentation at mealtime has always been a fascination and hobby to people around the world. The bacon bowl is a favorite. But it is difficult to do with out a form to wrap the bacon around. In the past people have used glass cups wrapped in tin foil or an upside-down cupcake pan. These techniques work but the bowls have inconsistent shapes and cleanup can be messy and often time consuming. The Bacon Bowl Tin solves these issues. Thus bring the fun back into breakfast and dessert.

To test his theory, he created a rough prototype and immediately knew it was an amazing product. His family, on the other hand, needed a little more convincing. They were used to seeing Thom get excited over his inventions, so this one was nothing special…at first. Then, he used the product to cook their favorite dish, zucchini soup in a bread bowl, needless to say, that got their attention and they started to experiment using different types of foods, including, you guessed it, bacon.

Invention ideas
 

Once the ASOTV team decided to move forward with the product, we asked Thom to send us some food ideas created with the product. He turned to his wife, Jennifer, for her advice. Jennifer had never actually used the Perfect Bacon Bowl, but once she started creating food dishes using it, her eyes lit up with excitement.

“…it was like a revelation to me. At that point my family had never had the chance to cook with my invention, I cooked everything myself. This is when I knew that she knew; this is a special product.”

As Seen on TV products

When Thom entrusted his Bacon Bowl Tin prototype to Edison Nation, he knew his basic design was good, but did not know what the final material was going to be OR what the final product was going to look like. He was excited by the email updates he received from the EN ASOTV team giving him details of what was happening behind the scenes. Then, testing started.

Each product selected by the ASOTV team is tested in select markets to see if consumers relate to and like the product, the packaging, the price and more. Thom found the process nerve-racking, but was confident in the work EN had done on his behalf:

“All I can say about this part of the process is to have patience and keep thinking positive.  EN is trying to do everything possible to get your product to succeed.”

As an ASOTV finalist, Thom was able to preview the commercial spot about a month before it aired to see the final product in action.

“I loved watching family and friends see it for the first time on TV.  And since I had already watched it like “50” times I was able to observe others’ first time experience. It was cool.”


As Seen on TV
The Perfect Bacon Bowl tested successfully and then, the fun really started. All of a sudden, Thom and his family couldn’t go anywhere without seeing his product!

“Walking into a local Walmart and seeing a pallet of Perfect Bacon Bowls by the front door of the store blew me away. And then Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and more. It was nuts. A month later my son went camping and in the little local trading post in the middle of nowhere was a couple Perfect Bacon Bowls displayed on a shelf. He shot me a picture and only texted. Dad…. It’s everywhere!” – Thom Jensen


As Seen on TV invention

Following his success with the Perfect Bacon Bowl, Thom did not stop inventing and has continued to submit ideas to Edison Nation for evaluation. There are always problems to be solved or different approaches to existing methods. BING! moments do not stop and neither has he…

“I think the more you invent things the more you realize it’s hard to be original. For some people inventing comes naturally and for others, like myself, we have to work at it. It’s a real high when I think of something new or a method of making a process better. I love thinking that way. Some people love doing word puzzles or math puzzles to stimulate their brain. I love inventing. It’s my outlet, it’s my passion. I have always been that way and I can’t see me being different.”

We are so excited to have partnered with Thom on his journey with the Perfect Bacon Bowl, and can’t wait to do it again.


Never lose YOUR passion for inventing – keep those ideas coming, and who knows, one day the subject of this post could be YOU!

 

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