Photo Credit: Deedee Zimon
True Play LLC is a product innovation firm that sells direct to consumers via e-commerce and retail distribution. Their for-profit business believes in preserving the innocence of childhood by fostering active indoor play. Its founder, Jacob Webb, was inspired to create its patent-pending Stairslide™ during the Covid-19 pandemic, as he spent more time at home with his children. During this time, he found his kids spent an inordinate amount of time on electronic devices and less time engaged in active play. When they did engage in play they would often use sleeping bags and laundry baskets to slide down the stairs, which wasn’t safe. Jacob is a parent that values the educational and developmental benefits of active play. As such, he was encouraged to develop a safer, home-friendly alternative to sliding down stairs.
Jacob developed the Stairslide modular sliding system after several iterations and prototypes. The final Stairslide product crowdfunded over $350,000 in 2020 and has grown to achieve international success, with hundreds of thousands of slides having been sold online. There is no other indoor slide on the market that is as customizable, portable, or durable as Stairslide. It uses a unique design to nest on top of each other, which allows customers to extend or shorten the overall length of their slide depending on the unique dimensions of their staircase, creating a more universal fit. Customers can easily store their Stairslides by collapsing them into a convenient stack. Furthermore, it weighs less than a folding chair and uses less storage space. The unique “hook” design self anchors to stairs without the need for permanent installation. Not to mention, Stairslide is made from high-density recyclable ABS plastic that provides long-lasting fun for years to come.
“The difference between a successful entrepreneur and the rest of the general population can be boiled down to a single word: risk. Or more specifically, tolerance to risk. Entrepreneurs must be willing to take (the right) risks if they’re going to be successful. Taking the right risks means doing your homework before making big decisions. Talk to people. Pull comps. Test. Re-test,” shares Jacob.
At True Play, they invested thousands of dollars into developing product molds immediately after their crowdfunding campaign ended. Investing cash flow into mold production was a long term risk that paid off. Now, they have the production capacity to meet demand as month over month sales are growing over 100%.
Jacob Webb founded True Play in 2020 during the global pandemic as, virtually overnight, the world was forced to confine itself. As for many people in the business world, True Play LLC has not been immune to the devastating effects of Covid. Having the right mindset was definitely key in pushing through this time.
“Our own mindset is used to identify opportunities. But sometimes our mindset can be self-defeating; it can trap us in counterproductive cycles,” explains Jacob. “There are so many unknowns, there are even unknown unknowns. Having the right mindset helps us navigate the entrepreneurial landscape when we step on a proverbial land mine.”
Currently, True Play is developing a number of new product solutions for the Stairslide brand. While these products are confidential, their development is a direct response to the most common feedback they have received from customers. These solutions will help complete the Stairslide brand and make the modular sliding system more robust. At the same time, they are working on additional product partnerships for the purpose of expanding True Play’s range of active indoor play products.
True Play’s strategic partnerships, access to working capital, and corporate agility have already proven to be advantageous. The company may be relatively small, but this means major decision making is done by key members of the team. This gives True Play the corporate agility it needs to quickly adjust and redirect their focus on strategic opportunities that will yield strong results. The Stairslide is such a unique and innovative product that it barely has any competition; the few products that try to compete with Stairslide are too heavy, inconvenient (due to having a fixed length), bulky, delicate, non-sustainable, and usually require permanent installation. This is why Stairslide is the best choice for any parent looking for indoor play for their children.