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Episode 146: How One Idea for Improved Skimming Transformed into a Line of Innovative Pool Tools with Eric and Jenel Resh

Pool Chasers Podcast

Release Date: 03/29/2021

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Pool Chasers Podcast

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Pool Chasers Podcast

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Pool Chasers Podcast

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Pool Chasers Podcast

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Episode Summary: 

Eric and Jenel Resh are the owners of Piranha Pool Products, formally known as the Smart! Company based in Temecula, CA. An industry leader among pool cleaning brands, Piranha’s products include leaf nets, poles, and brushes which are available through hundreds of wholesale distributors around the country. 

Eric and Jenel look back on a long career in the pool industry. They got their start buying a bare-bones route in Southern California in the mid-1990s, at a time when pool service as a career or a business—particularly one that is scalable and whose foundation is its brand—was far from the point where it is today. 

Similar to the pool businesses back then, the tools were far from where they are today as well. Eric described his tools from the past as “working with toys”. The lack of innovation from the 60s to the 90s left the door wide open for the Resh’s to take advantage and build products that would change the industry. 

Listen in as Eric and Jenel discuss the moments that sparked the ideas for both the Smart! nets and Power Poles, what goes into the production of them, and how they have developed into their highly acclaimed Piranha nets, poles, and brushes. 

Topics Discussed: 

  • 03:35 - How the Resh’s got into the pool industry 
  • 14:27 - How they built their pool service company 
  • 16:56 - Eric’s first idea to make skimming better 
  • 22:37 - How the industry became more “professionalized” 
  • 35:11 - Taking your pool tools seriously 
  • 38:40 - The first net prototype 
  • 40:47 - Production of the original Smart! net 
  • 44:15 - How Eric and Jenel got into Superior 
  • 46:17 - How it became known as the $45 net 
  • 49:35 - The Smart! Company acronym 
  • 52:52 - Operating in the 90s with limited resources 
  • 56:00 - A primer on patents and intellectual property rights 
  • 1:03:03 - Progression of the Piranha nets 
  • 1:15:06 - How the twist, scoop, and flat lip came about 
  • 1:28:36 - Eric’s Home Depot trip that gave him the pole idea 
  • 1:31:55 - Developing the Piranha Power Pole 
  • 1:41:05 - Piranha replacement parts  
  • 1:46:13 - The Piranha brush line 
  • 1:55:12 - Piranha II nets 
  • 2:01:11 - Tweaking Piranha’s products over time 
  • 2:03:20 - How the name “Piranha” was thought up 
  • 2:05:22 - How to contact Piranha Pool Products 
 
 
 
 
 

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Key Quotes from Episode: 

  • When I think back, in the pool industry, things had not changed much from the 60s to maybe the late 90s. That was when a lot of real innovations really started happening. It was an open door for us then. ~Jenel 
  • I think the pool industry has come a long way where you can make more of a career out of it. I think the actual business part of it has been refined quite a bit. I think it was kind of tongue-in-cheek in the past. It wasn’t as “professionalized” as a trade. ~Eric 
  • I think one of the myths about entrepreneurs is that they tend to be cutthroats. I find entrepreneurs tend to be generous because they’ve discovered something and they like to see other people succeed, too. We received a lot of help from a lot of people. ~Eric 
  • When you have a patent, first of all, you have to have a well-written patent; you have to cover a lot of bases in your patent. But the other thing is, you have to be willing to fight for your intellectual property rights. ~Jenel 
  • The quality comes in the nuances that you wouldn’t normally stop and think about. We clean a lot of pools—we have thousands and thousands of pools worth of experience. There may be a little nuance on something that may not be big in its appearance but, man, did it make a difference in how the whole pole worked. ~Eric