Busy Box Shark Tank Update: Where Is BusyBox Now?

Image Credit: Christopher Willard/ABC

Season 13 of ABC’s ‘Shark Tank‘ witnessed Steve Skillings and Conor Smith presenting BusyBox in the hopes of an investment. Essentially a digital do not disturb sign, BusyBox was aimed at making work from home sessions just a little bit easier. The product, while interesting, is also quite useful and deserves a detailed look. Well, we traced the company’s journey and development, and here is what we found out!

BusyBox: Who Are They and What Do They Do?

The idea of BusyBox first occurred to Steve Skillings, who obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business from Clarkson University. Following his graduation, Steve worked at Gates Corporation for over six years, before earning an MBA from Portland State University in 1999. In the same year, he entered the Bose Corporation as an Automotive Systems Product Development Manager and quickly rose up the ranks.

Steve’s time in Bose proved quite beneficial as he attended two of the top leadership programs at the company and also won the President’s award. However, willing to establish and operate his own business, Steve co-founded JamHub Corporation in 2009 before going on to launch BandLab in 2012. Interestingly, Steve was still working at Inventive LLC, a company he joined in January 2013, when he first came across the idea of BusyBox.

When Steve began working from home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, he realized how important privacy is for an efficient working environment. He kept getting interrupted while working at home, which seriously disrupted his workflow. That’s when Steve thought about building a BusyBox, and 3D printed the prototype. Surprisingly, the device worked wonders as people saw the visual “busy” sign and tried to stay away. Impressed with the response, Steve thought of taking his product digital and thus contacted a friend for the same.

At its core, BusyBox is a small digital display that can be customized according to the user’s needs. It comes with a large enough battery to get one throughout the day and is also operable through Bluetooth. The initial version Steve came up with has an LCD screen and six slide-in digital messages that can be interchanged. Users can also customize the outer cover or control the screen through a smartphone app.

Where Is BusyBox Now?

Determined to bring BusyBox to others, Steve undertook an IndieGoGo campaign in September 2020, which fetched a hefty investment of $332,202. Upon its release, BusyBox was received positively and Steve’s business grew through leaps and bounds. Moreover, in order to stay relevant in the fast-changing market, Steve introduced an advanced model of the BusyBox that came with a beefier battery and a high-resolution LCD screen that allows users to put up custom images and messages through the help of the smartphone app.

At present, BusyBox can be found on their official website as well as on Amazon, where the original version will set you back by $129. On the other hand, the enhanced BusyBox has a price tag of $299. The company also sells a Bluetooth-operated remote programmable button for $39. Unfortunately, the chip shortage during the pandemic stopped the booming business in its tracks. However, BusyBox has since adapted to a first-come-first-serve process and seems set for further success in the future.

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