Marc Newburger and Jeffrey Simon were scraping by in Hollywood, filmmakers waiting for their big break. Marc was crashing on Jeffrey’s couch; Jeffrey was still driving his mother’s hand-me-down car. They supported themselves by working as nutrition counselors, and Jeffrey made extra money playing poker in Las Vegas.
Then came the day when Marc almost killed himself and anyone who was unfortunate to be in the path of his careening car. His cellphone rang and vibrated itself into that black hole between the car seat and the center console. It could be a producer calling! He had to get the phone! And that’s how he found himself on the sidewalk, inches away from a telephone pole with a very irate pedestrian who just escaped certain death.
That night, Simon explained to him that no one escapes the scourge of the “Carmuda Triangle.” Is there anyone who has not lost phone, credit card, keys, pen, money, that last French fry to the black hole? Right then and there, Marc and Simon decided to solve that problem. Though it took considerably longer to actually do it.
First thing they did was make sure there was nothing on the market that would cover that hole. Second thing was to buy, “Inventing for Dummies.” Since they had no idea what to use for a prototype, they went to Big Lots and bought whatever . . . . Just whatever. Among the unlikely assortment of items, there were dress socks and a car sponge. It took a while, a long while, but they eventually cut up the sponge, put it into a sock and cut out a notch so it would fit over the seat belt anchor. It worked!
The finished Drop Stop is made from black Neoprene and polyester fiberfill. It can stretch or scrunch and adapts to every known vehicle that has a “Carmuda Triangle.”
Marc and Jeffrey solved more than the annoyance of losing things under the seat. Reports say that 80% of all car accidents are caused by drivers taking their eyes off the road for three seconds or less. Drop Stop greatly reduces driver distraction.
By the time Marc and Jeffrey appeared on Shark Tank, they had sales of $1,300,000 from their website and their 42 appearances on QVC. Kevin and Lori competed for the deal. Lori got it.
Where Is Drop Stop Now?
When their episode aired, Marc and Jeffrey did almost $500,000 in sales. Lori helped them get the Drop Stop into retail stores across the country, including Bed, Bath and Beyond; Walmart; Target and Staples. In the 5 years post-Shark Tank, sales exceeded $38,000,000 with no signs of slowing down. They made deals to equip the cars of Police Departments in 10 major cities, and Drop Stop is the best-selling car accessory on Amazon.