Are you ready for the "bathroom economy"? That's what the Flushd app wants to create.

The app is based around about 100,000 bathroom listings from Foursquare.

You can review and rate public bathrooms.

Make use of an "emergency locator button" to find the nearest john.

And even digest content curated for "in-stall" consumption.

Since launching last summer, users have submitted about 1,000 of their own reviews.

The app, which is available in an iPhone version, has about 1,200 regular users.

2014-04-10

Co.Exist

Flushd Wants To Build A Network Around The In-Stall Experience

Welcome to the "bathroom economy."

Need a bathroom? A while ago we heard how two guys from New Orleans had set up Airpnp--the toilet equivalent of Airbnp. Frankly, we thought it was a bit of a joke. But then Jamey Edwards got in touch to tell us about Flushd, which is a little like Airpnp, but a lot more ambitious.

Are you ready for the "bathroom economy"? That's what CEO Edwards wants to create with the Flushd app, which is based around about 100,000 bathroom listings from Foursquare. You can review and rate public bathrooms, make use of an "emergency locator button" to find the nearest john, and digest content curated for "in-stall" consumption.

See an irreverent introduction here:

"For us, it's not just about bathroom way-finding," Edwards says. "It's about making that entire experience better for the user. The location is only one aspect of it. The other aspect is about making that a more enjoyable experience."

Since launching last summer, users have submitted about 1,000 of their own reviews, and the app, which is available in an iPhone version, has about 1,200 regular users, Edwards says. (Plenty of people have also submitted bathroom selfies, as you can see from the slide show.)

Edwards sees the bathroom as the last "green space" on the Internet, with everything else controlled by the big companies. He would like to review every bathroom out there, and help drive business to, say, Starbucks, by highlighting superior facilities. "Let's improve the overall quality of the bathrooms to make them more attractive and as a result they'll see more traffic," he says. "It's about proving a [return on investment] on a space that previously was thought a cost center."

The idea of building a brand around toilets started as a joke among Edwards's friends, but gradually became more serious once he realized how much time people spend on the toilet, and that the time is private and (generally) uninterrupted. That makes it a potentially valuable moment for marketing and advertising. "Nobody had tried to build a global bathroom brand before," Edwards notes.

Personally, I won't be opening any app named Flushd anytime soon. But good luck to Edwards. Perhaps there are enough people out there who want to be part of a bathroom economy.

Add New Comment

2 Comments

  • Well Ben, we'll consider part of our mission to make you a convert ;)

    As a point of clarification though, people have been sharing their private bathrooms for free on Flushd since June of 2013 so one of the main differences between us and Airpnp is the "r" between fee and free.

    We don't believe that people should pay for bathroom access. It is fundamentally a different strategy and there is room in the market for both approaches.

    The Airpnp model may indeed be better suited to getting folks to open up their homes than ours. We, instead, are focused on getting businesses with "bathrooms are for patrons only" to realize that their bathroom can be a differentiator. Our "crazy" idea is that a clean and accessible restroom is good for business with a significant return on the restroom (ROR).

    Max, we look forward to our paths crossing and applaud what Airpnp is doing.

    The more people trying to make bathrooms more accessible the better!

    The Flushd Team

  • Maxwell Gaudin

    I'm the PEO and co-founder at Airpnp. I think what Flushd is doing is a solid and needed concept but is ultimately different from Airpnp. Flushd a place where you can rate a business' bathroom. We help residents and businesses make their bathrooms available to guests for a fee.

    Airpnp wants to give anyone in the world a clean, comfortable place to pee at any given time. We hope to provide a seamless pee experience for a decent slice of the over 20 billion pees that happen on a daily basis. I feel that's pretty ambitious.