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The Banana Phone

the banana phoneCharlie Katrycz, Max Brown and Brian Brunsing created The Banana Phone for a couple of reasons. One, they have a warped sense of humor about the 1994 song, Banana Phone, by children’s musical artist Rafi. This song launched thousands of memes in the early 2000’s and their product, a Bluetooth enabled phone handset that connects to your smartphone, is a nod to both the song and the memes.

The second reason they launched the product is perhaps more important. The guys all love gorillas. Mountain gorillas in the Congo are endangered and, believe it or not, still subject to poaching as well as shrinking habitat. The Banana Phone guys donate 1% of all their sales to Gearing Up 4 Gorillas, an organization that protects the gorillas in the Virunga National Park in the Congo. The connection between bananas and gorillas is obvious, and that’s one of the things that helps drive sales to this business.

Max Brown and Brian Brunsing will pitch the business in Shark Tank episode 1402. The business started in 2017 when they fully funded an IndieGoGo campaign to the tune of $44,850. Since then, they’ve continued to sell the device on Amazon. The business is a side hustle for all three men at the moment, but if a Shark gets involved, at least one of them will need to go full time.

My Take on The Banana Phone

I like bananas. Most people do. Unlike people of my children’s generation, I remember when phones had rotary dial and were strapped to a wall or situated on a table. When cordless phones were introduced in the 1980’s, I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.

The Banana Phone is basically a new version of the cordless phones. It lets you talk on your smart phone, but you’re actually talking into the “banana.” I think this is a fun product. I also like their mission with the gorillas and the fact that the “bananas” are made from 100% recycled plastic and their packaging is fully recyclable. I’m not sure if I’d want one or not, but it would be a fun gift!

Will Sharks Go Bananas Over This Phone?

Sales will be a big factor as to whether these guys get a deal. It seems to me that they’re perfectly happy with The Banana Phone as a side hustle. I bet a producer reached out to them. As for the Sharks, I can hear the “you’re a product, not a company” objection as I write this.

The Sharks might also have a problem with flat sales. From what I can gather from my research, they made a big splash in 2017 with their crowdfunding campaign, but there hasn’t been much buzz since then. At least until they got on Shark Tank. My guess is sales popped in 2017 and have been flat since, that’s something the Sharks won’t like. I don’t think they get a deal.

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.

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