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... or how the slopesteps (or hillstairs) were created!


In 2016 we bought a beautiful house, with a nice view and on a slope. But everything that has an advantage also has a disadvantage :) We were not immediately aware of this and when we started working on the slope (plant care, new planting, weeding, etc.), we only realised how steep the terrain is. It is an area of about 300 square metres, with a slope of about 50%. It was not possible to work reasonably, let alone have a good stand.

At the same time, there was the wish to build a barrier-free path running diagonally up the slope. My enquiry at the garden and landscaping company sobered me up. It's possible, but it's all manual work, costs around 15 T€, takes time, etc.! So we didn't learn anything good, but that contributed to the creation.

So the idea was born that there must be another way! So I started searching the net and found one or two solutions. However, these were not fully developed and not practicable.

That's how the first slopestep (or hillstair) came into being. Little by little we built several prototypes and improved the product until it was finally ready to say: It is practicable and works. Today, we wouldn't want to be without the steps, as they offer countless advantages for us. We would not be able to cultivate slopes otherwise.

And suddenly I saw steep sites and slopes everywhere. This led to the realisation that many people have the same problem as we do. The product range was expanded (different sizes, surfaces, etc.) and I applied for utility model protection for the product at the German Patent and Trademark Office. This protection was then granted.

Today I can offer a saleable product that I fully support because the quality is right and I see the benefits for the user. It is a problem solver. In that sense, I hope it is for you too. And in a world that is becoming more and more digital, that is something "tangible". You will feel it when you hold a step in your hands.


Your Ulrich M. Wilhelm

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If you would like to know more about the development of the slopesteps (or hillstairs), take a look at this interview ...

The challenges of product development. From problem to idea to solution
(Audio german).

The challenges of product development. From problem to idea to solution
(Audio german with english subtitles).

Ulrich Wilhelm takes us on his journey. A journey that began with a problem and led via an idea to the solution of the development of a product. In this episode, he describes what this is and the challenges that accompanied him along the way. He gives us insights into the legal hurdles of a product development as well as hints on how he proceeded with the marketing. A practical example with ups and downs, from which you can certainly learn a thing or two.


The interview for this podcast episode was conducted by Thomas Schmitt from online-zeitung.de, publication in February 2021!