They say “necessity is the mother of all invention”. Although in my case I might replace “necessity” with “frustration”.
How Poolhop Became a Reality
Let me explain what I mean. Not too long ago, I was tasked with the responsibility of maintaining our backyard pool. Tasked might be the wrong word. Let’s just say I was forced into it after parting ways with the pool guy because he complained about cleaning the leaves out of our pool…
And he wasn’t the first one we had to cut loose. Over the past 3 years, my wife and I have gone through 3 different pool companies. While I could bore you with all the details, the bottom line is that when you watch what they do, it’s hard to justify spending $100 plus per month, especially if you are a budget conscious family like we are.
So the responsibility of maintaining the pool fell to me. I wasn’t looking forward to it. With a small business to run, a wife that works, 4 small children, a cat, a couple dogs, a brood of chickens, and a few acres of land to manage, I barely get by as it is…On top of that, I’ll be the first to admit I’m pretty clumsy when it comes to all things handy.
But I jumped headfirst into the challenge. And produced what appeared to be decent results. Little did I know, I took the pool over at the time of year when things become far, far easier to manage (if you have a pool, you’ll know what I mean by this: Fall and Winter months 😊).
Several months went by and everything was going well, at least so I thought…
One night, after a long day at work, I arrived home to the beginning of a green pool. I rushed back out of the house and drove to 3 different stores. Finally, I found some Pool Shock, raced back home, and dumped it all in. Disaster averted, for the time being!
The truth of the matter is I had neglected to buy more chlorine tabs and kept forgetting. Honestly, after working all day, the last thing I want to do is go to a pool store and have the cashier (salesperson) try to convince me to buy a bunch of other chemicals I don’t need…
Anyway, I got everything back on track and started feeling somewhat proud of how the pool looked. That is, until all of the water mysteriously drained out of our spa. Puzzled, I spent hours researching information on the Internet and YouTube only to find no clear, actionable information. In fact, what I did find was downright confusing and often contradictory.
I must have pressed every button on our pool control panel at least 5 times, trying to make a difference. Nothing worked. I threw in the towel and resolved to do more research and try again the following day.
It just so happens that right around the same time my dad found a gentleman known as “the pool guy’s pool guy”. Apparently, this was the guy the pool guys called when they have a problem.
I scheduled a meeting with Mr. Mark Haan at our residence within the next week. He showed up at our house, diagnosed the problems rather quickly, and told me what parts would be needed to get things in proper working condition.
The thing I immediately liked about Mark was that he made a living fixing pools, and he wasn’t interested in providing a weekly pool maintenance service. In my experience, pool pros are more interested in adding you to their weekly pool route than solving your problem.
On the drive back to work, I thought to myself, “What a great experience. I wonder if there is a way to help people across America who want to take care of their pool but lack the confidence.” And the seed for Poolhop had been planted.
Over the next couple weeks, Mark walked me through how to fix all the problems he had identified. Shockingly, I was able to complete all the repairs with very little assistance. In addition to feeling supremely satisfied at fixing my own problem, I received a boost of confidence to the Poolhop idea. After all, if I (someone with virtually zero handyman ability) could do it, anyone could.
So, we started Poolhop. The vision for the company has gone through a number of changes since the first idea, but at it’s core it has remained the same: Ship the right amount and kind of chemicals directly to our customer’s houses (with instructions on how to apply them) and provide remote support to troubleshoot any issues they might be experiencing.