The idea of The Invisible Undershirt came from one of those random conversations that pops up. Wasn't a business school project that forced you to think of ideas. Wasn't from reading an article about money making ideas. It was simple as my co-founder, Jason, asking me a question while we were in LA traffic on the way to class at USC.
"Have you ever struggled with your undershirt"?
I have a pretty open mind about stuff and am pretty curious. I gave the question some thought and it opened up memories that were locked pretty deep in my brain. They were strong memories, but ones I never really connected to a product solution. They were just personal frustrations.
My childhood and adult life were plagued with scores of stories about my sweat issues. Sweating at dances. Sweating at weddings. Sweating while at dinner tables with friends. Sweating while delivering a speech. It could be hot. It could be cold. I could be wearing a jacket. I could be wearing a thin shirt. I had a sweat problem. At one point I went to the doctor to see if I had a condition known as hypohidrosis. Basically my body can't regulate my sweat and I sweat profusely. Made life fun! ha.
I had struggled with my undershirts for years because if I put the classic thick cotton one on underneath clothes it made me really warm......and made me sweat more. If I didn't use one, then if I sweat at all it would immediately come to my outer shirt and people would notice. Major embarrassment would ensue. It was something I just accepted and didn't think much about.
When Jason asked me the question I thought about it and responded that I had MAJOR issues with my undershirt. I shared my experience and that's when some sparks started fly.
Jason struggled with the visibility of the undershirt. He was in investment banking and hated that the undershirt was clearly visible under his nice white button down. He hated how people could see the cheapest item of clothing he had on right through all his nice clothing. That was actually a tension I never had.
The combo of my sweat issue with Jason't visibility issue is where the idea was born. I believe that having an open mind to questions is what enables this type of solution. Many people immediately try to criticize ideas or have THEIR vision of what the idea could be. Many times it's the combo of two perspectives that makes the idea special.
Keep an open mind. Be curious. Be humble. Ideas are everywhere. You need to be open to them versus dismissive.