No Venture Capital, No Advertising, but over $300 Million worth units sold

How does one create a million dollar brand without funds from an outside investor and sell with little or no advertising? Well, ask Robert Wang.


Robert, 53, after a brief and unsuccessful attempt to start his own tech company, turned his attention to kitchen appliances, a market that hadn’t yet been tapped by the tech industry.

Mr. Wang recruited two other engineers and spent 18 months and $350,000 of his savings developing a high-tech device that would combine pressure-cooking, slow-cooking, sautéing and other common cooking functions in a single appliance.

In 2010, after several months of sluggish sales, Mr. Wang listed the Instant Pot on Amazon, where a community of food writers eventually took notice. Sensing viral potential, Instant Pot sent test units to about 200 influential chefs, cooking instructors and food bloggers. Reviews and recipes appeared online, and sales began to climb.

There are now more than 1,500 Instant Pot cookbooks that have been written, including several of Amazon’s current best-sellers.

Amazon has played a particularly large role in Instant Pot’s rise. At one point, more than 90% of Instant Pot’s sales came from Amazon.

Mr. Wang has a secret message in every official photograph of an Instant Pot. The unit’s timer is set to 5:20 — a series of numbers that, when spoken aloud, sounds like “I love you” in his native Mandarin.

As per Mr. Wang, it is meant to show how much they care about customers

As this article is being written, Instant Pot has over 24,000 reviews on Amazon with an 83% 5-Star rating. On Youtube, you will find close to a million videos for the search term Instant Pot containing mostly reviews and recipes.

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