Turning an idea into reality can be a daunting task for entrepreneurs. Where do you even begin with creating a prototype? Sometimes, you need only look as far as your bathroom.

For Melissa Kieling, starting PackIt was as much to cure her own frustration as it was for anyone else’s. She’d packed her umpteenth lunch for her children when she heard the repetitive complaint from her son about having refrigeration-required food in the sack that was never cold and always soggy by the time he got to lunch.

Looking in the freezer and trying to find the small ice packs that had already disappeared from her household in the first weeks of school, Kieling thought there had to be another way to do this.  

She decided she couldn’t wait for someone else to fix her problem. Instead, she ransacked her bathroom in order to create something of her own—her first minimum viable product.

Creating an MVP is just the first step for many entrepreneurs. You must be constantly iterating on your first model in order to work out the defects and bugs along the way. Nothing is perfect from the start.

Kieling knew the shower sheet wouldn’t last her forever, but it was what she needed in order to get to the next step of prototyping.


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  • Amanda Schnieders