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BusyBox – Smart Do Not Disturb Sign

busyboxSteve Skillin created the BusyBox in March, 2020. Like many of us, he was working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns. The problem was, he kept getting interrupted and he interrupted others in his household. He wanted a way to let others in his home that he was busy and vice versa. So he got access to a 3D printer and made a prototype. What he came up with is a box that lit up with the word “Busy” when activated. That would let others know not to disturb him.

He took it one step further when he created the second model, the Busy Box D has a screen that you can put custom messages on and even pictures. Both are controlled with an app. The boxes can be networked together and even controlled by Siri and Google calendar. As of the night of the original air date, the BusyBox D is only available for pre-order due to the global chip shortage.

They got things going quickly by raising over $300,000 on IndieGoGo. The company wants to give back, too. They donate returned BusyBoxes to schools and other organizations that could use their products but might not have the budget for them. One of the co-founders (not appearing on the show) is Ukrainian and the company is hiring software developers there to “help with the rebuilding of normalcy for that part of the world.” While the company is growing, the chip shortages are short circuiting rapid growth. They’re hoping a Shark can help them out with that.

My Take on the BusyBox

I have been writing this blog full time since 2012. Sometimes I do the coffee shop thing, but I work at home mostly. I am lucky enough to have my own home office. My wife and daughter both know if the door is close, stay out unless you have bones sticking through your flesh. Interruptions have never been an issue for me, so I’m probably not a customer.

I can see the usefulness in some applications. While a simple sign could accomplish the same thing, some people like the BusyBox. In a cube farm or open office environment, these would be welcome by a lot of companies as interruptions are often a real problem in those environments. The company has other products in the pipeline too, so they aren’t a one trick pony. I wish them well.

Do Sharks Think In or Outside This Box?

This product kind of reminds me of Mute Me from earlier in season 13. It was an illuminated mute button for Zoom calls you could quickly activate if the dog starts barking or someone starts talking. While it isn’t an app enabled sign, it’s addressing the same problem. None of the Sharks made offers for Mute Me.

This is why I’m unsure whether Busy Box gets a deal. It’s basically an illuminated sign controlled by an app. Will the Sharks even see it as solving a problem? If they do, either Mark, Robert or Kevin will bid on it. There will need to be good sales numbers, which they have. If one of these three makes an offer, a deal will be done.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob and more.


  1. Crazy price point. But definitely potentially useful.

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