The NoPhone, which appeared on Season 7 of Shark Tank, is a unique product designed as a satirical solution to smartphone addiction, providing a physical tool to help curb the habitual need to touch and check our phones.
NoPhone is essentially a plastic slab miming a typical smartphone’s size, shape, and weight without technological features — no screen, apps, camera, or internet.
The NoPhone’s unique value proposition is in its simplicity. It acts as a surrogate for your smartphone, providing a familiar tactile sensation without the distractions of a traditional device.
NoPhone is especially useful for individuals trying to reduce screen time, stay present during social occasions, or mitigate the anxiety often associated with the ‘phantom vibration syndrome,’ where one constantly feels their phone vibrating even when it isn’t.
The design of the NoPhone is meant to be minimalistic, with no buttons, no moving parts, and a non-addictive, completely unresponsive interface. It’s available in a standard version and a “selfie upgrade” version with a mirror instead of a screen, adding a humorous touch to the product’s overall concept.
The NoPhone is a powerful reminder of the importance of real-world interactions and the psychological impact of constant reliance on technology. While it may seem like an odd product, it addresses a serious societal issue with humor and practicality.
Thus, the NoPhone can be an excellent choice for those trying to limit their smartphone usage, offering a tangible method for breaking the cycle of compulsive phone checking and fostering a healthier digital lifestyle.
|Chris Sheldon, Van Gould, Ingmar Larsen And Ben Langeveld
|Fake plastic phones to fight smartphone addiction
|Investment Asking For
|$25,000 For a 25% stake in NoPhone
|Season 7, Episode 23
|NoPhone Business Status
|NoPhone Net Worth
What Is NoPhone?
The NoPhone is a unique and innovative device that offers a technology-free alternative to constant hand-to-phone contact. It is designed to help people stay connected with the real world and make the world a more social place.
Unlike traditional smartphones, the NoPhone does nothing regarding actual phone functions. It is essentially a phone-shaped piece of plastic that simulates the weight and dimensions of a smartphone.
NoPhone aims to alleviate feelings of inadequacy generated by the constant need for smartphone use. Two individuals who recognized the need for a solution to break the continuous mobile device dependency introduced it.
With its minimalistic design and lack of functionality, the NoPhone stands out as a unique and distinct product in the market.
Who Is The Founder Of NoPhone?
Van Gould and Chris Sheldon are indeed the founders of the NoPhone. They designed the product to combat smartphone addiction by providing a ‘zero technology’ device that physically resembles a phone but lacks functionality.
Van Gould is a creative artist with a background in design and advertising. His work often focuses on creating products that challenge societal norms and generate thought-provoking discussions.
His co-founder, Chris Sheldon, also comes from an advertising background. They both shared a vision of a society less dependent on constant digital connectivity, and this mutual concern led them to create the NoPhone.
Before their appearance on Shark Tank, Gould and Sheldon started their project through a Kickstarter campaign. Their humorous yet thought-provoking pitch for a plastic phone look-alike that did nothing struck a chord with many people.
The campaign was successful, generating plenty of buzz and raising enough funds to kickstart their production.
Despite the seemingly absurd proposition, the NoPhone tapped into a real problem – society’s over-reliance on technology, especially smartphones.
By creating a ‘device’ that countered this norm, the duo encouraged people to reevaluate their usage patterns and consider whether they might be better off ‘disconnecting’ more often.
This innovative approach towards a growing societal issue made the NoPhone stand out and even find its way into the Shark Tank.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of NoPhone?
In their Shark Tank pitch, NoPhone founders Van Gould and Chris Sheldon made a unique entrance. Both entrepreneurs were completely engrossed in their phones as they walked onto the stage.
They introduced themselves without looking up from their devices, setting the stage for their pitch on phone addiction in today’s society. They were seeking $25,000 in exchange for a 15% equity stake in their company.
Sheldon started the presentation by emphasizing the severity of phone addiction, citing a study suggesting that most American adults keep their cell phones with them for at least 22 out of every 24 hours.
He humorously pointed out how people even carry their phones when driving, sleeping, or on dates. To illustrate their point further, Van revealed a picture of the Sharks themselves engrossed in their phones, which brought a round of laughter from all the Sharks.
To solve this problem, they introduced their solution, the NoPhone. Sheldon explained it as a fake phone for people addicted to real phones. The NoPhone is a piece of plastic with no screen, battery, or apps and is meant to be picked up and held, much like a real phone.
They compared it to the pet rock of the millennial generation. The Sharks were amused yet skeptical, questioning whether this was a serious proposition or a waste of their time.
As they handed out samples, the Sharks were informed that 3,100 units of NoPhone had been sold since the company’s inception in November of the previous year, generating about $42,000 in sales.
The NoPhone retailed for $12, with a $6 upgrade for a mirror dubbed the “selfie upgrade.” The cost of making each unit was $2.95.
The founders explained that the idea came from noticing the ubiquity of smartphone usage at social gatherings and the inability of people to disconnect. They positioned the product mainly as a gag gift and mentioned that they had applied for a provisional patent for the NoPhone.
However, the Sharks were skeptical about the viability of NoPhone as a business. Mark Cuban was particularly critical of the idea of patenting a block of plastic and declared himself out. Lori Greiner found the idea amusing but declined to invest.
Robert Herjavec felt that the market for NoPhone was limited, and Daymond John couldn’t see himself investing in the product. Kevin O’Leary was especially critical, likening the product to “poop,” and declared himself out.
Despite their best efforts to argue for the potential of NoPhone, Van, and Sheldon left the Shark Tank without securing a deal.
Despite this, they remained positive, stating in their exit interview that the Sharks had missed a tremendous opportunity and that the NoPhone was the pet rock of their generation, poised to become a revolution.
Final Deal: No Deal between Sharks and NoPhone founders.
What Happened To NoPhone After Shark Tank?
After appearing on Shark Tank, NoPhone, developed by Van Gould and Chris Sheldon, did not receive a deal from the Sharks. Despite this, the entrepreneurs continued to maintain and operate their businesses.
While they made a clear impression on the show and demonstrated the potential of their product as a solution for device addiction, the Sharks did not see it as a viable business opportunity due to concerns about its potential for significant growth.
The NoPhone is a mock phone designed to help people constantly reach for their smartphones. The product was intended as a novel gag gift, and it had two models: a basic model sold at $12, and an upgraded version with a mirror, sold at $18.
The production cost of each unit was only $2.95. Before appearing on Shark Tank, they had sold over 3,100 units, primarily driven by their Kickstarter campaign.
Post Shark Tank, Gould, and Sheldon continued to sell the NoPhone through their official website. Although the business did not significantly grow following its Shark Tank appearance, it remained operational.
The product was pulled from Amazon for some time in 2018 and again in 2021, but it was still available on their official website as of 2023.
It is noteworthy that the NoPhone received considerable media attention. The product was featured on Forbes, where it was referred to as the “first fake phone company to appear on Shark Tank.” It was also mentioned in Time Magazine and highlighted on TechCrunch’s landing page.
Despite the lack of active social media channels and substantial growth in their business, the NoPhone maintained a steady presence in the market, continuing to appeal to those seeking a gag gift or a symbolic solution to phone addiction.
However, both Gould and Sheldon moved on to other ventures, and as of 2023, they are both working as Creative Directors at Maximum Effort, a production company and digital marketing agency co-founded by actor Ryan Reynolds.
NoPhone Shark Tank Update
After appearing on Shark Tank, the founders of NoPhone, Van Gould and Chris Sheldon, faced mixed outcomes for their low-tech device to combat smartphone addiction. Despite not securing funding on the show, Van Gould and Chris Sheldon raised funds through Kickstarter and continued running their business.
They diversified their product lineup, offering new versions of the NoPhone, including a non-addictive, waterproof option. As of December 2021, the company remained operational, and the founders maintained a humorous approach to addressing technology addiction.
The product was available on their website and Amazon Prime, providing a technology-free alternative for those looking to disconnect from their smartphones. Van and Chris sold 3100 units of the NoPhone, generating $42,000 in sales.
Despite the initial success, the Sharks on the show were skeptical and declined to invest. The NoPhone remained available on their website as a novelty gag gift.
Interestingly, the founders, Van and Chris, moved on to work as Creative Directors at Maximum Effort, a film production company and digital marketing agency co-founded by Ryan Reynolds.
This suggests they had shifted their focus away from the NoPhone venture and were not expected to return to Shark Tank with the product.
NoPhone continued to be in business, offering new variations like NoPhone Air and even branching out into selling T-shirts on their website. The product’s unique concept and patent seemingly kept them free from direct competitors, allowing them to sustain their business.
The NoPhone remained in business and continued to be sold on its website, even though it didn’t experience significant growth after appearing on the show. The novelty nature of the product likely contributed to its continued availability and appeal to certain customers.
In summary, after their appearance on Shark Tank, the founders of NoPhone, Van Gould and Chris Sheldon, managed to keep their business operational and even experienced growth in sales and net worth. They diversified their product lineup and continued to offer the NoPhone as a novelty item on their website.
However, they did not secure an investment from the Sharks, and eventually, their focus shifted to other ventures, with Van and Chris working in the creative field. Despite this, NoPhone remained available for customers interested in a technology-free alternative to combat smartphone addiction.
Is NoPhone Still In Business?
NoPhone is still in business. Multiple sources mention that after its appearance on Shark Tank, the company continued its operations and offered its products to customers.
Despite not getting a deal on the show, the company gained success through Kickstarter and sold over 4,000 units. The practicality of this method varies; some think it is effective at breaking addictions, while others don’t. However, despite the company’s optimism, NoPhone continues to offer different versions of its device.
What Is the Net Worth of NoPhone?
According to our research, the net worth of NoPhone is estimated to be $500,000. The valuation of NoPhone was $100,000 when it appeared on Shark Tank.
Also, read other businesses that appeared on Shark Tank: