OPCO's Creative Destruction in the Pet Care Industry
In his seminal contribution to economic thought published in 1942 and titled Capitalism, Socialism & Democracy, Joseph Schumpeter coined the term ‘creative destruction’ to describe the dynamic operation of the economy. This ‘industrial mutation… incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one’. Schumpeter saw this ‘industrial mutation’ or ‘creative destruction’ as being driven by innovation and, more importantly, by the entrepreneur. For Schumpeter, entrepreneurship was the application of innovation. It was the origination of superior organizational models, the development of more efficient methods of production and a wider range of products offering the consumer more satisfaction or, as economists are fond of saying, greater utility. No doubt the great man would have been happy with the creative destruction at OurPet’s Company (OTCQX: OPCO). OPCO is an innovative powerhouse with ‘over 160 patents, issued or pending’ and three-quarters of its revenues come from proprietary products.
OPCO’s story is, indeed, one of innovation. The company was founded in 1996 by entrepreneur Dr. Steve Tsengas because he saw how mired in the past the pet care industry was. He set out to destroy the old ways of thinking about pet care. And so, like the plot of many a good story, OPCO’s path of innovation is one of adventure and happy endings. The development of the Intelligent Pet Care™ line is one such chapter. The seed was planted at SuperZoo, The National Show for Pet Retailers, which was held July 21 – 23, 2015, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas when OurPets® Catty Whack® received the Best New Cat Product Showcase Award.
OurPets® Catty Whack® is an unpredictable game of hide and seek designed for cats of all ages. Cats love the electronic RealMouse® sound and the erratic movement of the feather keeps the cat guessing as it darts in and out at random. Catty Whack® sales ‘have started accelerating at the end of the year’.
The success of OurPets® Catty Whack® sparked anew the creative energy of OPCO’s designers and resulted in the development of the Intelligent Pet Care™ line. As Dr. Steve Tsengas explained in a recent MissionIR interview, the Intelligent Pet Care™ line of products is ‘the application of Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi to improve the connectivity between humans and pets’. Our pets cannot communicate with us in ways that we will understand. Nevertheless, we can infer a lot by collecting and analyzing data on their behavior.
The Intelligent Pet Care™ product line includes the SmartLink™ Feeder, SmartLink™ Waterer and SmartScoop – Intelligent Litter Box, which allows pet parents to monitor their pet’s behavior through the IntelligentPetLink™ smartphone app, which can be downloaded from the Apple or Android app store. The IntelligentPetLink™ smartphone app monitors a variety of data from the various Intelligent Pet Care™ products, such as the frequency and duration of feeding, water drinking and waste elimination.
The SmartLink™ Feeder – Intelligent Pet Bowl fits well in households with many pets. Using the Bluetooth® technology it will detect when your pet, wearing a unique SmartLink™ Tag is near and will only open for that tag. This eliminates feeding confrontations between pets, protects diet-sensitive meals and prevents small children from getting to the pet’s food.
Another product in the line is the SmartLink™ Waterer – Intelligent Water Fountain, which, employing the Bluetooth® technology, will detect when your pet, wearing a unique SmartLink™ Tag that is paired with the waterer, is near. It will then dispense filtered water from the reservoir and so allow your pet to drink clean, running water.
The line includes the SmartScoop® – Intelligent Litter Box, which uses infrared technology to sense when your cat enters and exits the box and engages the scoop mechanism accordingly to clean the box.
Over its 20 years in the pet care industry (the OurPets® brand has been around since 1996), the company has been practicing Schumpeterian creative destruction. OurPet’s Company has been destroying the obsolescent and creating the future for pets and for pet parents.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ourpets.com