I have been very fortunate. I was able to invent not only a new product, but an entirely new product category - the windshield and multi-purpose cleaning tool. Prior to 1998, there were no cleaning devices designed to clean the inside of windshields ever sold or marketed in any significant measure, anywhere in the world. Today, just my invention alone is sold in over 30,000 national retail locations, as well as online, and in many consumer and automotive catalogs. Now, while there are a few knock-offs, it is without question that my original windshield cleaning tool is still the “standard-setter” and premium windshield and glass cleaning tool in the market today. Also, my invention was the first cleaning device to ever feature a triangle-shaped cleaning head.
However, the concept of trying to clean the inside of windshields with some sort of tool is not new. As a matter of fact, the “idea” for this type of tool is about as old as the car industry itself. I found that out after my initial patent search. Then why was my invention the first product to ever “make it” to the mass market? Well, like a lot of things in life, I believe it was timing. You see, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that plastic became a widespread manufacturing material. So that being the case, this sort of tool wasn’t even feasible in mass market form until the second half of the twentieth century. Second, microfiber as “the ultimate cleaning material” wasn’t really in vogue until sometime in the late 1980s or 1990s. And finally, I had the good fortune of being the person to recognize all of these elements at once, and then go on to create the right product, at the right time, at the right costs, and sold at the right price. As an added bonus, I was raised in an engineering family where things like “design for assembly” and “you have to always think about costs,” helped steer me in the right direction.
Going forward, there will always be various enhancements and improvements being done to make the tool better. The idea being that it is always good to “reinvent yourself” from time to time to keep a product relevant. No product is perfect, or will ever be perfect, but a good inventor always strives for perfection anyway.
At this point, I just count my blessings for all that I have been able to accomplish. And though I have always dreamed of achieving this kind of success, it is still hard for me to comprehend it at times. In the beginning, all I really wanted to do was invent a better cleaning widget to help people clean their windshields and other glass surfaces. I had no idea that on March 17, 1998, I was inventing a little piece of history.
The Windshield and Multi-purpose Cleaning Tool:
Inventing a Piece of History
By Ken Post