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GLT Datebook: Toilet Timer Millionaires In The Making

A pair of Bloomington-Normal entrepreneurs with an eye to the future and a strong sense of humor have launched a Kickstarter campaign for an intriguing new product.

Because everyone needs an anatomically significant sand timer for the procrastinator—and bathroom lingerer—in their lives, Adam Stephey and Elliot Worth created one. The Toilet Timer from Katamco is a sand timer with a twist.

The gadget features the silhouette of a fellow seated on the … uh … throne. He’s on his cell phone and paying little attention to the sand that is dribbling grain by grain from a strategic portion of his anatomy right into the loo.

Credit Laura Kennedy / WGLT
For the procrastinator in your life...

The bathroom can be a great escape, said Stephey. Until one’s wife comes knocking at the door.

“She pointed out that sometimes when I go into the bathroom, I can get caught in a time trap, especially if I take my phone in with me," he said.

And thus was born the Toilet Timer, aiming to prompt the bathroom lingerer to do one’s business … or get off the pot. There were a number of prototype Toilet Timers, said Worth.

“We did lots of trial and error. And it involves not just the amount of sand that goes through the timer. There’s the size of the hole that the sand goes through, the size of the sand itself, and then the amount of sand. We tried about 10 different sizes of sand and had over 20 different timers with different sizes and amounts.”

To get the timer to work, you just rotate it 360 degrees. It was decided that the timer should last five minutes exactly—after some intense market research.

“We asked three friends what would be an ideal time: three minutes, five minutes or seven minutes,” said Worth. “It came back five minutes.”

“For us, there’s really nothing at risk with the project,” explained Stephey. “We both have day jobs and we like doing our side business, so we’re trying to grow that. So we’ve put it on Kickstarter and we’ll see what happens.”

The device also serves as a metaphor for those who have been procrastinating for too long and need to … go or get off the pot.

“This project for us is about taking action, it’s about doing something,” explained Stephey. “It’s time to go!”

The Kickstarter campaign is underway and continues until Aug. 14. The campaign has been chugging along nicely as it’s gathering attention from the media and bloggers like scarymommy.com. The goal is $20,000.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.