You may have seen the internet post about a poop-knife, it didn’t become a meme, but it did go viral.
The original post was as follows:
“My family poops big. Maybe it’s genetic. Maybe it’s our diet.
If anyone has laid a giant mega-poop, you know that sometimes it won’t flush.
Growing up, this was a common enough occurrence that our family had a poop knife.
It was an old rusty kitchen knife that hung on a nail, only to be used for that purpose.
I thought it was standard kit. You have your plunger, your toilet brush, and your poop knife. Fast forward to me aged 22.
It’s been a day or two between poops and I’m over at my friend’s house.
My friend was the local dealer and always had ‘friends’ over because you can’t buy weed without sitting on your ass and sampling it for an hour.
I excuse myself and go to the toilet and lay a gigantic turd.
I look down and see that it’s a sideways one, so I crack open the door and call my friend.
He arrives and I ask him for his poop knife. “My what?”
Your poop knife, I say, I need to use it please. He asks,“WTF is a poop knife?”
Obviously he has one, everybody does, but maybe he calls it by a more delicate name.
A fecal cleaver? A dung divider? A dookie dirk?
I explain what I want and why I want it.
He starts giggling. Then laughing. Then lots of people start laughing.
It turns out the music stopped and everyone heard my pleas through the door.
It turns out that none of them had ever heard of a poop knife. Just my family.
I told this to my wife last night, who was amused and horrified at the same time.
It turns out that she did not know what a poop knife was and had been using our old rusty knife, hung on a nail, as a basic utility knife.
Thankfully she didn’t cook with it, just used it to open Amazon boxes.
She will be getting her own utility knife now.”
There was an interesting response from someone who read this.
He had heard the business advice ‘Find a niche and own it’, so he was looking for a niche to own. About the post, he said:
“First, it was hilarious. I ran it by several of my friends and if I was laughing my ass off, and my friends were laughing their asses off, other people would laugh their asses off, too.
How could something like a REAL poop knife not sell?
Second, this was a niche. I looked out there and no one was selling a poop-knife.
Everyone was talking about it, but no one was making them.”
So first he designed the knife from silicone-covered metal (metal for robustness, silicone for its anti-microbial properties) then tested it on bananas, watermelon, finally real poop.
Then he got 500 manufactured in China and sent them to Amazon.
The 500 sold out immediately, so he ordered 5,000 more, which sold out, and so on.
He says roughly 50% are bought as joke-presents, 25% for medical conditions, and 25% for normal use.
For instance, at the 77th Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, all the journalists attending were each given poop-knives in their gift bags.
And now the man who sells the ‘The Poop Knife’ is on his way to becoming a millionaire, which was what he always wanted when he was looking for ‘a niche to own’.
The learning for me is in his line “Everyone was talking about it, but no one was doing it”.
This is the attitude most of us in the media have.
We believe our tastes are more sophisticated and broad-minded than the general public.
We may laugh at something, but the general public must be protected from it.
So we don’t try to produce edgy, interesting, unusual work, all our concentration is on trying not to offend even a single person.
This is a very patronising attitude, it assumes no one has a sense of humour.
No wonder ads have all the fun and creativity of a parish magazine.