One afternoon while sitting in the backyard, my 9 year old son Winn came to me with an idea to solve the wobbly table that we had recently experienced at one of our favorite restaurants. He thought that if we filled a balloon with sand it would be spongy enough to fill irregular gaps between the ground and the leg of a table. The solution would also be firm enough to stabilize the table and not shift from underneath the table's foot as people used the table.
We quickly found a party balloon, some play sand and a funnel to test the idea. It seemed to work well on our backyard table, but the real test was returning to that same restaurant's outdoor patio. By luck, we got seated at the very same table from the week before and it still had a wobble. We slipped our sand balloon device under the short leg and it worked like a charm!
After our success, Winn wanted to figure out how to manufacture these so we could sell them. While it was easy to buy balloons and lots of sand, it would require a lot of work to fill balloons with just the right amount of sand consistently. We also did not know how well it would last, especially outside on patio decks. So we started to think of ways to design a new product that had the same performance qualities but easier to manufacture and would be durable and attractive.
This led us to experiment with different silicone rubbers that had different hardness and material qualities. We purchased a 3D printer and Winn taught himself CAD and designed different molds so we could create multiple test products. We took the prototypes to local restaurants for their feedback.
Finally when we felt like we had the right combination of material, hardness, shape, size and thickness, we engaged with a local product development firm that specializes in helping start-ups get their product manufactured cost effectively.
One important piece that was missing was a name. We needed a simple name that would describe what the product does. One day while discussing names, Winn said that he thought "Stable the Table" would be a good name. And from that point we launched our company to forever solve the annoyance of wobbly tables.