The Genesis of an Office Product – Flip It

Janice Dill The inventor of Flip It
Janice Dill
The inventor of Flip It
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I wrote this article about Flip It back in July of 2013 and, I must admit, this practical office product has become one of the most popular products on this site. It is also the most highly pinned pin on my Pinterest Group Board Cubicle Nation (feel free to follow Cubicle Nation and I will send you an invite to Pin!). As of this writing, it has been repined 2543 times.

Note: Flip It has been updated to a larger 2nd generation model. Links in this article now point to that new model. The images in this article also reflect the new, larger Flip It, 2nd generation!

I asked Janice Dill, the creative inventor of Flip It, a few questions about this office accessory since it always intrigued me how people come up with an idea for any type of product. I have also been interested in what it’s like trying to get a new product manufactured and marketed. Here are some questions I asked Janice, the inventor of Flip It!

1. Janice, how did you come up with the idea for Flip It?
I came up with the idea for Flip It while at my previous job…our boss asked us to put up some sort of a sign or notice when we left our desks. If we decided to sit at our desks for lunch or break, he did not want us to be disturbed and he did not want people bothering others asking where we were if we were not at our desks. He wanted them to work uninterrupted.

2. Was creating Flip It something that you did on the side in addition to working a full-time job?
Yes, I was working full time when I created Flip It. It was very time consuming, as I knew nothing about design, manufacturing, advertising, marketing, fulfillment, etc.

3. Do you have any future plans for a different version of Flip It or modifications to the existing design?
Yes, we plan on producing larger units, probably the size of a credit card. (Larger Flip It, 2nd generation is now available!) We would also like to make the cards a little thinner, make the design of the text a little more modern, make the rings so they open and close so the customer can add cards to the existing unit. We would like to make cards that have additional statuses, and possibly a white board card with a mini dry erase marker so the customer can customize their status. We would like to be able to customize the front card for businesses, but we need to find a manufacturer whose minimum is lower than 5000!

4. What do customers tell you about Flip It, the product? Are they requesting any additions or modifications in particular?
Customers really love Flip It. I have companies all over the USA using it and the main modification request I get is that people would like it to be a little larger.

5. Do you have plans to develop any more office-related products??
Not at this time….. there is so much more to still do with Flip It and I am still finding my way around how to do things, such as finding a new manufacturer here in the US who can do the whole unit, as in the US, manufacturers seem to do the individual parts and do not put them together as one unit, and we would like get it into retail stores,etc.

My Favorite Status!
My favorite Flip It status!

I want to thank Janice Dill, Flip It inventor, for her candid responses to my questions. I have a Flip It in my office and use it regularly. It simply makes it easier for my coworkers who are looking for me at certain times of the day.

I think it's awesome that an ordinary full-time worker can recognize a need in the office environment and proactively come up with a solution that others can use in their own office environments. Flip It is affordable ($12.95) and it will enhance communication in your office. It works for me and it is my guess that it could also work for you…

(Disclaimer: Since I wrote the article on Flip It originally, Janice has advertised this practical product in my sidebar.)

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