Filip Valica, Entrepreneur, Inventor, Product Developer, Consultant, and Podcaster, Showing Inventors the steps to Success

Andrew Krauss
Andrew Krauss is a Licensing Expert with his Partner Stephen Key Their Company Inventright has helped hundreds of Inventors
March 13, 2017
Tom Storm
Get New Customers and Increase Website Traffic? Tom Storm Can Make It Rain.
March 27, 2017

 

Filip Valica is a mechanical engineer.

I love designing and improving on products

I blame it on a broken toy truck I rescued from a dumpster when I was 5 years old I replaced its missing axle for a rusty bolt and “repaired” it myself!

This planted the seeds of curiosity and self-dependance that shape me today.

For the past 12 years, I’ve worked for a range of companies – small businesses to corporations with more than 300,000 employees. I’ve designed, tested, prototyped, and brought to market products in the oil and gas, subsea, and emergency vehicle industries.

Building something is rewarding and relaxing (and frustrating!)

Along with my mom, I immigrated to the United States from Czechoslovakia when I was 7 years old. We carried two suitcases and $80 in cash and left behind all of our family.

Our journey and success in the United States are proof that it’s possible to create our own luck through hard work.

At an early age, I became the “man of the house” and was responsible for home maintenance and do-it-yourself projects around the house. This continued after college, when I pooled my savings, borrowed money from close friends, bought an inhabitable foreclosure and spent 2 years to make it livable.

Why now?

My mom worked 2 jobs to provide for us and I saw how a lack money or benefits created stress. So I worked hard in my career and was paid well my wife and I lived relatively stress-free lives.

As each year passed, my safe career fulfilled me even less. I struggled to drive in every morning because I felt that I wasn't making enough of an impact with my life.

After our daughter was born I couldn't sleep. I pictured myself sending her off to college, still talking about how one day I would do my own thing

In between diaper changes and bottle feedings, I built The Product Startup to answer questions my friends were already asking. I wanted to give back in my own way.

Is DIY Product Development a fit for you?

You're curious. You have questions and ideas. You know that there is a better, more efficient, easier, or safer way.

Whether you’re just starting with an idea or are already selling a product, I am committed to helping you using the lessons I've learned along the way.

By doing it yourself, it's easier for you to decide when, and where, to get the help you need. You’re the boss you have the freedom to change your approach anytime.

I love what I do and I will use my passion to help you get there.

Ultimately, we build our own successes, one step at a time.

Watch the podcast here!

Podcast Notes

1You Tube generated podcast notes, please excuse any typos.
0:00I'm glad to have you on the show I know
0:01you're busy out there and spending some
0:03time with us today I just wanted to hear
0:06about what you have going on I know that
0:08your podcast is out there and you're
0:10giving some people some information and
0:11being grown so once you tell us a little
0:13bit about the podcast before we get
0:15started so that in case some people have
0:17to drop off they'll know about the
0:19podcast sure so the podcast and site are
0:23called the product startup and on the
0:25show I interview shark tank winners of
0:28Kickstarter projects that have been
0:30funded and other small business owners
0:32that have taken their physical products
0:35to market themselves and so we talk
0:37about the whole process from you know
0:39generating the idea all the way to
0:41launching very good very good and I've
0:43listened to the pad podcast all you
0:45listeners out there i recommend go on
0:48out there to the to philip show because
0:50it's very very informative and i thought
0:52it he did it does a great job doing so
0:54Philip going back out let's back up a
0:56little bit I know that you do product
0:57development yearning you're an inventor
0:59how did you get into all this and how
1:02long have you been doing it yeah so I'm
1:04I been an engineer for the last 13 years
1:09and I got into it as an early age really
1:14you know i have to say when I was really
1:17little I you know I enjoy taking things
1:19apart but even before that before I I
1:22appreciated taking things apart to
1:24figure out how they worked you know we
1:26were coming to the states and we didn't
1:28have any money and we were waiting for
1:29our paperwork and so mom was working two
1:32jobs and everything and I remember
1:34walking by a dumpster and there was one
1:36of these dump trucks that was in a
1:38dumpster and it had what you know
1:40oversized bolts and everything so it was
1:41designed for a kid to take apart and it
1:43was missing a front axle for one of the
1:46wheels and I i found a boat and you know
1:48in the bin it was like a toilet paper
1:50holder or something like that and I
1:52jammed it in there and it kind of worked
1:53you know so I could still kind of pull
1:55it behind me and I was able to pile some
1:57of these other toys in there and and
1:59otherwise it was basically a brand new
2:01toy well it just I mean to me as a kid
2:04near a five-year-old's it just opened up
2:06this huge you no sense of freedom and
2:10control over my destiny and you know
2:13like this feeling behind it now that I
2:15could say wow but you know an hour ago I
2:18had nothing and now I have something and
2:20the ability to create and to think about
2:23the physical world around me helped me
2:26get to that point right that's pretty
2:29cool I mean you were so you were you're
2:31looking to just you were just kind of
2:33walking around you ran into a truck and
2:35decided to fix it which is good because
2:37it gives you that ability to know that
2:40you can make things you know nothing is
2:43out of reach I mean that's pretty wild
2:45so as you grew I mean were there are
2:48other things while you were younger that
2:49you should take apart and fix them uh
2:51you know I i would say more heavily on
2:54the taking apart part you know it has as
2:58a kid so it was a single child to only
3:01parent and so I was definitely the the
3:04man of the house so to speak a bit early
3:06on and so we did a bunch of DIY stuff
3:08that you're watching this on youtube you
3:09can see me in my workshop here and so
3:12I've been working on hands-on stuff I
3:15mean since I was kid and always learning
3:16from books and figuring out how things
3:18work than just being really hands-on
3:19about it and um and and yeah so I always
3:23enjoyed that type of stuff and it was I
3:26was happy to be an only child you know
3:28my wife makes fun of me big issues like
3:30how you always known because I can just
3:32sit there and like tinker with this like
3:34one thing for hours and I mean the whole
3:37world drops away and I'm just focused on
3:40like figuring out this problem and I
3:44enjoy it and it totally makes me happy
3:45and I know some people that be you know
3:47definition of insanity but um I'm okay
3:49with that so so fast forwarding into you
3:56know a few years ago whatever did you go
3:58to any training high school college dr i
4:01know your product designer and you must
4:03work with several different softwares
4:05and things was there any formal training
4:06or you kind of just what yourself know
4:10what to so what through after high
4:12school I went to college I went to the
4:14University of Texas in Austin for
4:16Bachelors of Science in mechanical
4:18engineering and in that they kind of
4:21teach you a little bit of everything and
4:23so people aren't aware about what
4:25mechanical engineers do
4:27it's actually one of the broadest
4:29engineering fields which was also
4:31another reason I went into it because
4:33everything from like mechanisms like
4:36that you'd find in appliances or cars or
4:38machines to they do stuff that's in
4:41power plants as you do a lot of like
4:43fluids and like thermal type stuff like
4:47heat transfer to materials knowledge to
4:51it's a pretty broad it's pretty broad
4:54degrees in all things physical so
4:57excluding like electrical stuff
4:59excluding chemical things Wow well
5:02that's great I mean being able to you
5:05know like you said come into the country
5:06and and and work through and then get
5:08yourself through college I think it's
5:10pretty phenomenal be able to do that and
5:11you know definitely commendable no doubt
5:14about it so so I know that you are an
5:18inventor of your own products is that
5:19correct yeah I've got some products I
5:22wouldn't really classify sell classify
5:25myself as an inventor yet you know I've
5:27got some products that I've launched
5:28that are selling on Amazon but they're
5:31privately labeled products basically
5:33what I did was I knew the process to
5:36create a product from scratch until it
5:38you turn on manufacturing but I didn't
5:41understand the marketing and sales as
5:43well you know I've sat in on business
5:45development meetings with clients and
5:47things like that but not really from the
5:49ground up and so what i did was i
5:51launched a couple private label products
5:53to to to see how that process was
5:58selling on amazon and driving traffic
6:00through e-commerce and doing all that
6:02you know the online marketing and sales
6:04aspect wow that's one way to that's what
6:07way to test you have market is to make
6:09your own products and get them out there
6:11and I agree with you you know there are
6:13so many aspects when inventors come to
6:16you you know they don't realize they
6:19just like making your product but they
6:20don't realize how many steps there are
6:22two get that product right from design
6:24all the way through and then actually
6:25selling that product is there are so
6:28many pieces that have to fit into that
6:29puzzle you get a lot of clients that
6:31come to you that just say here i want
6:33this product i want to be selling it in
6:35you know a couple months but they don't
6:36realize the steps and that what it takes
6:39usually it usually people will just say
6:42hey I saw somebody on shark tank I want
6:43to be on shark tank next we don't have
6:45to do to do that which is yeah I mean
6:48obviously right because it's really
6:49popular show and so I could I and on the
6:51one hand I appreciate that people are
6:53interested in this because I think we
6:55all need to be a little bit curious and
6:56just to take willing to take risk and
7:00experiment with stuff but i know i agree
7:02i think people want that quick fix or
7:05that here's my idea I think the top
7:09question I get probably two big
7:11questions one is can you introduce me to
7:14a rich investor and then two is I'm
7:19trying to get this idea patented what
7:22what do I do with that and how do I make
7:24it happen yeah that's that is true and
7:27yet one of the first steps and I don't
7:28know if you notice it on your end but we
7:30notice here at the launch pad is that a
7:32lot of clients are at a sequence when
7:34they come to us and wish they'd we wish
7:37they would come to us prior before
7:39either getting a patent we're really
7:40doing too much of that that costly work
7:43and I don't know if you've experienced
7:46that or if you even have anything that
7:48has come up recently about that no
7:50absolutely one hundred percent agree i
7:52think people in many cases i will get
7:55people to have already spent money on a
7:56patent and they haven't really done the
7:58upfront work to verify that there's a
8:00market and that there is an audience
8:02within that market that will pay
8:04whatever is the target retail prices so
8:08i think there's that's probably the
8:10biggest mistake is like you said that
8:12they're out of sync with what they they
8:15think they should do versus what you
8:16really need to do before you spend a ton
8:18of money and i am sure that you probably
8:22agree but in the process that i have at
8:25least online in my sight you know the
8:27way that I've got it set up its you
8:30reduce your risk as you go through the
8:32process and you add value as you go
8:34through the process and if you skip any
8:37of those steps you really you can roll
8:40the dice but you're basically taking a
8:41chance and and you have to be willing to
8:43let go of some of that money that you
8:45put in if you're wrong yeah and and i
8:49agree into you you know again i keep
8:51saying because we're in the same type of
8:53business and I know that your have
8:54specialties and different in different
8:56areas that we do but you know when you
8:59take on a client or an inventor
9:01sometimes you really you you get into
9:04that product and it's a great product
9:05but I don't know if you feel that way
9:07Phil but you feel like your hands are
9:08tied because they they taken the wrong
9:11steps and it's very tough to get them
9:13back in sync sometimes I mean you get
9:14that feeling yeah so yeah one thing that
9:17you brought up with it's a great product
9:19so I've seen poor products with amazing
9:22marketing do really well and I've seen
9:25great products with other things that
9:27are you know not in step the something
9:29else has whether it's the marketing or
9:32sales or other step that's just fallen
9:33by the wayside and they will completely
9:35fail so it's in my opinion it's not
9:38about you know you can have a great idea
9:41and you can still you could still
9:43stumble along the way and not make it
9:44but I agree with what you're saying
9:46where it's really hard to change
9:49people's perspective if if you've just
9:53dived into the process and you haven't
9:55gone out to see what all the steps are I
9:57encourage anyone listening you know look
10:00at the inventors launch pad look on my
10:02site you should be able to tell what all
10:05the steps from the process are really
10:06clearly like on my site if you hit the
10:08start button I've got all the 13 steps
10:10listed all that is free I'm sure you
10:12know on the launch pad you've got the
10:14same thing where you've got all the
10:16steps listed down at least familiarize
10:17yourself with everything that you need
10:19to do it's not on there because carmine
10:22or myself or any other professional
10:24wants to take money from you it's the
10:26steps are there because that's really
10:28the order that you that what at least
10:30what we've seen is you know the blade of
10:33profit so the way to reduce your risk
10:35and increase the value in the right way
10:39yeah correct that everyone like you said
10:41that's listening out there you know
10:43slope and I were talking prior to you
10:44coming on the show and and are we talked
10:48about on both of us our best clients our
10:50best customers the best inventors are
10:52ones that are educated they know the
10:54next steps they know what's happening
10:56and we have no problem giving that
10:57information out because we want them to
10:59be prepared we want them to know what's
11:02next because it's very important for for
11:05knowledge to have that
11:06and you know you walk into philip shop
11:08or you give them a call if you tell them
11:11hey Philip I've done these several
11:12things I am ready for you I mean it
11:14probably takes so much pressure off you
11:16write so well absolutely and you can
11:18it's look one of the reasons that I give
11:21out so much of my free content is
11:23because I want to educate the clients
11:25right it makes business easier for me
11:27number one because now we can have a
11:29more a deeper level conversation about a
11:32certain topic and number two it makes
11:34the client feel a little bit more at
11:36ease because they feel comfortable
11:38because if you're listening to this and
11:40you don't know anything about audience
11:42validation you might not take our word
11:45seriously but if you've actually gone
11:47through some of the steps and maybe talk
11:49to a few customers and set up the table
11:51or we're done whatever to validate that
11:53audience now all of a sudden the
11:55conversation that we're having it speaks
11:57a little bit differently to you and I
11:59think there's a lot of value in that and
12:01you know one of the reasons that I
12:03specialize in DIY product development or
12:06kind of teaching this process for people
12:08that like rolling up their sleeves is
12:10kind of the same reason that you know
12:12you would hire a general cut you know if
12:15you want to be your own general
12:16contractor if you're doing any repairs
12:17on your house you don't necessarily have
12:19to know how to do the tile work or do
12:21the plumbing but you have to know enough
12:23to hire the independent contractors to
12:26come and do the work for you maybe later
12:28on you decide to put that additional
12:30coat of paint yourself but that's a
12:32decision that you can make intelligently
12:33based on the information that you've
12:35learned and you know you you become the
12:38general contractor of your own product
12:40in the same way you know it's still
12:42that's a great way to explain that
12:44because having a broad view of the whole
12:47entire process is great very important I
12:50mean when you look at a coach or a
12:52golfer a you know a great golf coach he
12:55isn't we might not even play golf but he
12:57knows the perspective he knows how to do
12:59it so having that broad information and
13:02somebody comes to you with that broad
13:04knowledge it is more helpful so the way
13:05you were explaining it I you know it
13:07really puts it into a good perspective
13:09yeah I hope so you know i think you know
13:13my my client we know we talked before
13:15the show we've got different clients it
13:17definitely i speak to again
13:20client that that is willing to roll
13:22officially use and kind of do things
13:24themselves I'm here to help guide you
13:26along the way I don't do product
13:27development as much for people anymore i
13:30have my own products that I'm developing
13:32but I think that you know what is
13:35interesting to me though is that this
13:37process of product development is still
13:40even though it's been around for a while
13:43and it's been tested and you know I've
13:44worked for companies that develop
13:46products and and that's actually where
13:48my background comes from is I worked for
13:50small mom and pops and I worked for
13:52large corporations and I noticed that
13:54they were all going through this process
13:56the same way even though they had
13:58different budgets and different people
13:59and they call things different names
14:01they approached how they created
14:04products in the same way wow that's
14:07interesting so real question for you and
14:10we don't do too much corporate stuff
14:11here do you notice that sometimes the
14:13corporations have too much red tape and
14:15so they like to kind of outsourced to
14:18get something done quicker I have seen
14:21some of that um yeah so yeah it's
14:25interesting I think I think you can
14:29bypass some of that red tape if you go
14:30you're using outside consultants I've
14:32definitely hired some outside
14:33contractors before working for a larger
14:36you know company to do some quick things
14:38for us because what you know what
14:41happens with a big company is that all
14:43of a sudden everyone becomes available
14:44at least on the engineering design side
14:47right you have to account for the time
14:49that you spend on things so now you've
14:51got designers and drafters and even
14:55product managers and everybody that has
14:57to build to a certain code because the
14:59company wants to track how efficient
15:01products are and how much money things
15:03are costing them so they want to bucket
15:05for everyone's time right and because
15:07they're doing all of that all of a
15:09sudden now the billable rate for a
15:11project goes up really high because
15:13you've got all of these people that are
15:14dipping into this bucket and so
15:16unfortunately I think there's a point
15:19where the company starts to compete
15:20within itself because it's it's just so
15:23costly to get things done that now it's
15:27you know internally it might be a three
15:29hundred dollars an hour or four hundred
15:31dollars an hour burn rate for this
15:33blended mix of people that are working
15:35on this and it's much easier to just use
15:37somebody on the outside yeah no that's I
15:40was wondering as you mentioned that I
15:42was saying I wonder I wonder if if he's
15:45run into that before and we have not
15:48again not here but we have heard about
15:49corporations you know just even get
15:51something done quick they bring some
15:53guys in from the outside and there's no
15:54red tape this is the cost and that's it
15:58so kind of kind of going back I want to
16:01want to switch gears a little bit and
16:02talk about now do you actually set up
16:05manufacturing for your clients at all or
16:07do you help them to find manufacturing
16:09is that something you help them with yes
16:11now I go through and help with sourcing
16:13and QA and I mean I'm as involved as
16:15they need me to be involved but in
16:17general my perspective is to teach the
16:19client as much as I can as quickly as I
16:21can and get them to take on whatever
16:23they're willing to take on so either
16:25they hand it off there's a lot of my
16:27clients are small business owners and so
16:28I'm happy to Train somebody else on
16:31their team to take off these tasks that
16:32are already doing logistics or are
16:34already doing QA or whatever it is and
16:37it's just one more thing that they have
16:39to do and I'm more inclined to just kind
16:42of say here's what you need to know and
16:43call me when you need some more help or
16:45I can walk you through the process or
16:46set up meets or whatever this mmm now
16:49and probably some of the reason for that
16:51is and we see it here is that inventors
16:55or product developers region small
16:56companies they usually have several
16:58ideas or products that they want to
17:00develop so you're teaching them through
17:02the first one and then you're saying
17:03here the keys you guys can go ahead and
17:05do the rest and I mean and you probably
17:07see that and it's probably fun to see a
17:09client actually take that next product
17:11and move through with all of you taught
17:13them oh it's super rewarding I mean that
17:15look that's the dominant reason that I
17:17do all this stuff is because it goes all
17:19goes back to the truck for me right the
17:21feeling that I got when I created that
17:22truck just open up a world for me and in
17:25a deep down I feel that in in general
17:29this especially in the u.s. we we have I
17:32think we've been a bit complacent for
17:34the last decade or two or more arguably
17:38and we need to innovate more and we need
17:40to create more and the rest of the world
17:41is catching up at a blistering pace and
17:44in the next
17:46Cade we are set to be you know
17:48outsourced we talked a little bit about
17:50that before the show the automation is
17:52coming it's not about you know the other
17:54countries stealing work from us it's
17:57about the process is getting so
17:59efficient that now you know now those
18:02manufacturers that i was using 10 years
18:04ago are doing you know 15 million in
18:07revenue when they were doing three and
18:09when they had 30 people in the past now
18:11they have five yes because they've got
18:14guys running you know CNT equipment and
18:17doing automated processes and things
18:18like that which is really great because
18:20finally manufacturing is coming back to
18:22the US so we can compete on that level
18:24at the same time there's less employment
18:27out there and so we need to be yeah I
18:31think we're going to have to compete on
18:32innovation so it's something that's a
18:35little bit difficult for machines to
18:37replicate you know algorithms to come up
18:39with yeah now do you get and I'm glad
18:42you brought that up because is a
18:43something that I was going to bring up
18:46you get a lot of your clients looking
18:49for a us-based manufacturing I know we
18:51do and when you are are they able to
18:55manufacture in the US for like you know
18:57because because again you have to you
18:59have to match the market values is it we
19:01have the ability to review clients have
19:03the ability to do US based manufacturer
19:05or some of them some of them I would say
19:08it's still three quarters of the clients
19:11have to outsource their manufacturing
19:13outside of the country and so the main
19:16reason is the flexibility of
19:18manufacturers here in the US because
19:21they typically like to deal in much
19:23higher quantities than a start-up would
19:26so you're talking about not a thousand
19:28units but 10,000 units or the tooling
19:31costs are just oppressive you know
19:34instead of 10 grand you're paying 20 or
19:3630 or really they just don't have the
19:39capabilities because that has been lost
19:43to other countries and now they're
19:44trying to bring it back but it just
19:46hasn't fully realized yet you know
19:48there's certain specialized things it
19:51depends on you know your approach I
19:53think if you're looking for a one stop
19:55shop I think that's much harder to find
19:57if you're happy to outsource various
19:59components different
20:00educators and then bring them in and do
20:02assembly yourself or have an assembly
20:04shop for you that's a different model
20:06but yeah in general I don't think I
20:09think made in the US is still pretty
20:13difficult for for some products no yeah
20:16yeah we're we're seeing that too i know
20:18a lot of people are looking and we do
20:19too we think that if we can do some
20:21us-based manufacturing would be great i
20:22know a lot of the retailers are looking
20:24for that you probably run into that also
20:26but it's just not feasible for some
20:28products it's just not so i totally
20:31agree with that and yeah good
20:34information because i just thought maybe
20:35we were the only ones running into that
20:37oh well no just recently I I was working
20:41on a prototype and I can't really
20:42discuss into too much detail what it is
20:44I I can say that it is a metal product
20:49for baking how's that it is going to go
20:53into the oven and it involved a lot of
20:56sheet metal work and that type of thing
20:59and I we went out and and bid it at at
21:03least a dozen manufacturers here in the
21:06states that all had the capabilities to
21:08do it and the costs were the lowest cost
21:13for a thousand units was five times the
21:18cost of what we could get it in China
21:20Wow and and unfortunately if and we
21:24would be happy to pay that five times
21:26cost if we could then transfer that cost
21:28over to the retail side but the problem
21:31was by the time we're all done with it
21:32by the time you factor in everything and
21:35this is not even a huge profit for the
21:36creator of the part here we're talking
21:38about fifteen twenty percent margins or
21:41something like that you'd be selling the
21:43product for you know $150 and if you're
21:46williams and sonoma maybe you can handle
21:48that you know exactly you make a good
21:53point so let's talk a little bit and i
21:55know you have some extensive knowledge
21:57in this let's talk a little bit about
21:58you know all inventors not i shouldn't
22:01say that most inventors think they have
22:03a good product they have an idea all i
22:05need to do is get it made and a
22:06retailer's going to want it but let's
22:08talk a little bit about the price
22:10calculations from after you get that
22:12product made and a retailer may be
22:13picking it
22:14how does that work and and one of those
22:16calculations what are those margins what
22:17are those those costs yeah so in and in
22:21my experience it just really depends on
22:24the industry if you're going to be using
22:25a distributor okay so I'll take that a
22:27step back most of the clients I'll
22:30recommend to go direct and sell direct
22:33this will ensure that you keep as much
22:37margin as you can in the beginning when
22:39you might not be getting margins of
22:41cheaper price from your manufacturers
22:43because you might be dealing with lower
22:45quantities lower unit buys this will
22:48keep a little bit more margin for
22:49yourself as you're growing so that you
22:52could pour it in the marketing or
22:53whatever that is and so I always
22:55recommend people to go sell on
22:56e-commerce first whether it's through
22:58amazon or through creating your own site
23:00and driving traffic to that my
23:02preferences would still be going on an
23:04established site like amazon or ebay or
23:06somebody with traffic yeah the next step
23:10is I usually advise people to go to a
23:12mom-and-pop retailer a boutique store
23:15somebody that you can walk in shake
23:17their hand and negotiate a deal for that
23:18store because then it's a lot easier to
23:21close that deal with and and maybe make
23:24up a bunch of other deals maybe they
23:25have two or three stores which is trying
23:27to convince a bed bath and beyond right
23:29especially because Bed Bath and Beyond
23:32are going to want to see proof that
23:33people actually want what you're selling
23:34and so they're not going to just they're
23:38not just going to like sign up to buy
23:39forty thousand of these units not to
23:42mention that you'd be on the hook by the
23:43way for like funding shipping all that
23:46stuff until those forty thousand cells
23:48so it is easy as they think is it so so
23:55that that yeah so I'll take it to take
23:58it to take that one little sidetrack
23:59there but in general if you start
24:02getting into the big box and you start
24:04to sell wholesale then you've got some
24:05distributor costs that are you anywhere
24:09let's say ten percent or so there might
24:10be a bit higher or lower depending on
24:12industry then you've got some retailers
24:14that want to make fifty percent that
24:17want they're basically a markup a
24:19hundred percent so if the product sells
24:20for two bucks you better get it from you
24:22for one and it depends on the sales
24:24price because if you've got some
24:27obviously a really more expensive
24:29product that might be smaller might have
24:31a little bit lower margins than
24:32something that takes up more shelf space
24:34that yeah is cheaper it really all
24:38depends out you know how fast they're
24:40moving it as it seated and holders every
24:43retailer has their sweet spot but but in
24:46general I think that's probably the one
24:47thing that people fail to taking the
24:49account in the beginning is the margins
24:51for all these other players everyone
24:53else wants a cut right and so in the
24:56beginning it might look okay you're
24:57making fifty cents on you know on a four
25:00dollar item or three taller item and you
25:02might think i have to sell a couple
25:04thousand of these but that's that's not
25:07a pasture yeah not not if you want to go
25:10into big box anyway correct i mean you
25:12don't want to give yourself a job a lot
25:14of the inventors that you run into are
25:15probably looking to be able to get into
25:17big retail big places but as you said
25:19starting somewhere is so important
25:21because you need to show proof that
25:24people want your product and and anyway
25:27that's listed in slope is giving the
25:29exact information and if he's not just
25:31making this up he does it daily and
25:33going into a store and saying hey i love
25:35this product that's not going to make
25:37the buyer that store wanted you have to
25:39show them proof and he's telling you the
25:40past it go to amazon go to e-commerce go
25:43to mom and pop stores we're going to let
25:44you in that store and you need to
25:46exactly right showing the routine
25:48showing that people want that product
25:50important and and so that's what people
25:53are going to do right if you're a buyer
25:54and someone sells to you and says hey
25:56I've got purple bananas here that are
25:58selling off the wall what is the first
25:59thing you're going to do you're going to
26:01Google purple bananas or you're going to
26:03Amazon purple bananas and then you're
26:05going to read the reviews and if it's
26:07got like two star reviews with like
26:09people saying purple bananas don't work
26:11you're not going to buy into that right
26:14and you don't need any convincing and
26:16it's going to take you 30 seconds right
26:18that's right it's so important to prove
26:21prove prove the market prove that people
26:23want your product that's your
26:24grandmother not your cousin not your
26:26neighbor you have to prove to buyers
26:28that people want your product and a lot
26:30of cases that so said you do a good job
26:32people are going to want it there's
26:33going to be a market for your product
26:35you just got to get it out there
26:37yeah so I agree and it's some good
26:39information so so just backing up a
26:41little bit even more and we're going
26:43through this process which i think is
26:45really good and it's very interesting so
26:48how important is the packaging the
26:50design yeah so if you're selling retail
26:54in store it's pretty important in for me
26:57I find that packaging on e-commerce is
27:00not and so I've also used that as a way
27:04to kind of stretch my margins a bit so
27:06I'm not afraid to have to do something
27:10like a really nice white box with a
27:13custom label that gets printed on the
27:16box but the box might be a standard size
27:17box and then you put a custom printed
27:21label on on the sides and maybe it might
27:23be a translucent label maybe you spend a
27:24little bit more money on it so it looks
27:26fancy maybe you put for labels on the
27:28box so it looks like a custom box I'm
27:32not afraid to do something like that for
27:33e-commerce because it's it be people
27:36aren't buying based on the box or being
27:38buying based on reviews on description
27:40on pictures of the product it has to be
27:43something that by the way if you're
27:45selling online it has to be something
27:46that you can take a picture of that
27:48looks good in photos and I know that
27:50sounds really basic but there's
27:52definitely some products that don't look
27:53very good on photos or don't look good
27:56on amazon white background if it's a
27:58white product and it doesn't stand out
27:59you need to figure out something yeah
28:02and it's a syllabus saying it's a good
28:04idea to go out there and see what amazon
28:06requires or your products for you know
28:09seat look at tickers look what's out
28:11there it's that so it's not as easy as
28:13you think to take product pictures right
28:15now yeah well and on the same time it's
28:18not rocket science either you know I've
28:20got a home a photo studio here that I
28:24set up for the my products that i
28:26probably spent 50 bucks on and and i'm
28:28selling on amazon fine so it's you don't
28:30have to spend tons of money you do have
28:32to be detail-oriented about it and you
28:34do have to be professional about it and
28:36that that could be relatively free if
28:38you've got pictures yeah but to answer
28:41your original question you know the
28:43packaging is super important in source
28:45because people need obviously need to
28:48see your product and a few of other
28:49products
28:51and you know if your product doesn't
28:54sell then the stores aren't going to
28:55stock it anymore because it's just
28:57taking a valuable space and so I one of
29:00the tactics that I like to do is just
29:02walk into a store and kind of blur my
29:06vision a little bit like where you kind
29:08of squint your eyes and so you can't
29:10read the text but you see shapes and
29:13colors and then I like to look at what's
29:15jumping out at me and a shelf and you
29:18can do this for websites too but and
29:20that will usually tell you what's kind
29:22of the most attractive in that in your
29:24view on that aisle or where's your I
29:26kind of jumping to and then that will
29:29like for example you go in the tomato
29:31sauce I'll everything is red right
29:33labels are red with green or maybe some
29:36brown everything looks the same so maybe
29:38if you came out with the sauce that was
29:40blue and it reminds people of the ocean
29:42or capri or you know if you come out
29:45with a brand that just completely stands
29:47apart you won't get lost in that green
29:49red label see that is out there right
29:52now yeah that's some good advice I just
29:56thinking about how to picture that
29:57coming right because in reality it has
29:59to stick out okay has to be done in and
30:02I would highly recommend unless you are
30:04a designer you've done this before that
30:07is the what people see and i would
30:10highly recommend bring something like
30:11Philip in to give you that advice
30:13because just because of what you are the
30:15inventor like that doesn't mean that's
30:17what your target customer is going to
30:19want so this is some really good advice
30:21because you don't want to package your
30:23product and find out that it's not going
30:25to work or the retail is not going to
30:27use it and it's very important to sort
30:29of specifics for packaging to right so
30:31if I mean that retailers would want or
30:33even amazon well even so speaking
30:35specifically for Amazon's you need to
30:37have country of origin on there it needs
30:38to have a unique identifier like a UTC
30:41or what Amazon calls the FN sku which is
30:44their own unique identifier to track
30:46packages should have your brand name and
30:49model number and things like that on
30:51there you know I like to do double duty
30:53so i put like quick start guides on the
30:55back of mine and stuff like that but you
31:00know again on the mail order is not it's
31:02not as important you know i like to have
31:04some
31:05congruence obviously so you want your
31:06logos to look the same in your colors
31:08and and your theme and so again if
31:10you're not a graphic designer hire one
31:12because it does pay because your
31:14customers notice things being out of
31:16congruence you know if they see that
31:18your site has particular theme and your
31:21products have another theme and then
31:22what they get in the mail is a third
31:24theme it just doesn't it doesn't smack
31:27professionalism and they and while they
31:30might not you know mine and they might
31:32continue to use the product they might
31:34not recommend it either because they
31:35might say I was just kind of bland it
31:37didn't it didn't it didn't connect with
31:39them at all yeah i agree and you know I
31:41the good part is what you're saying is
31:43that there is some leeway on on the
31:46online e-commerce stuff and we've all
31:48seen it because it goes into a brown box
31:50it gets delivered to your house and
31:51you're so excited that you just open it
31:53up and you so yeah I agree with you but
31:56you want to have that brand because you
31:58want to segment that brand you want
31:59people to notice who you are so if they
32:00tell somebody who doesn't like buying
32:02things online they're going to go to a
32:03store and they're going to be able to
32:04recognize it it's very important as well
32:06you just there's no doubt about it and
32:08there's not that much more cost to it
32:10it's just it's very important to set up
32:13your brand ahead of time that's why I
32:15getting somebody like Phillip right from
32:17the beginning is important for those
32:19little steps getting at a sequence could
32:20be very very costly so you know so i
32:24agree with you so Phillip we're kind of
32:26getting low on time here I just I wanted
32:28to go over I mean we talked about it
32:30ready to begin in your podcast for
32:32people that are still on or maybe came
32:34on late i would highly recommend going
32:36to fill a podcast and and real quick so
32:39let's give a little overview of why you
32:41started the podcast and i think you
32:42talked about it but let's go over i is
32:43it mostly for educational purposes yeah
32:46that was the main reason you know I i
32:48was a bit frustrated to where i got to
32:50and my job because I started doing you
32:52know I went from doing the thing to the
32:54managing teams that were doing the thing
32:56to the managing teams that did the thing
32:58um so you know from team lead to manager
33:02and then and I realized that I was so
33:04far removed from the process but I
33:05wanted to jump back into it so that was
33:07it was a passion project in a way and at
33:09the same time I also had people asking
33:11me hey how do I get on shark tank like
33:12literally like people are making money
33:14on Kickstarter I want to do that show me
33:16the way and I thought okay well you know
33:18a lot
33:18the stuff that they're doing is stuff
33:20that I get paid to do so I want to just
33:22throw it up on on a website and see and
33:24I didn't really have a way to monetize
33:26it or anything like that it was just I
33:28want to talk to cool people and I'm I'm
33:30interested to see how you know somebody
33:34created a company that that makes cake
33:38makes for dogs and how they launch that
33:40in two months and was you know for under
33:44five thousand dollars and they're out
33:45there make making money nine years later
33:47like that's interesting good thing
33:51you're today uh you know because I and
33:54the perspective of I have is that you
33:56can always learn at least one thing from
33:57every guest and even me who's a seasoned
34:01pro I try to and if I've been listening
34:04to so I've been interviewing people now
34:07for the about 40 episodes and I think
34:10people will see it change in some of the
34:12questions that I ask because I'm trying
34:14not to ask repetitive questions as much
34:15try to ask some questions for the new
34:17guys that come in and you want to learn
34:19a little bit about the process fine but
34:21I'm also trying to kind of dive get a
34:22little bit deeper and explore you know
34:24how somebody with no knowledge on
34:26something had the audacity to go out
34:28there and compete in the cosmetics
34:31industry with you know a homebrew lip
34:35gloss or something like that but you're
34:37doing it and now you've got you know now
34:39you've got employees or now you've got
34:41your selling it online and that's
34:43fascinating to me and how people's minds
34:47tick and things like that and how you
34:49know even tactical stuff so know what I
34:51like about the podcasts and again
34:53everyone if if you're out there and you
34:55looking for the product startup
34:57excellent practice what I like about it
34:58is it kind of eliminates some of the
35:00fears that people will have to do the
35:03things they need to do there's that fear
35:06to get you over that next to that next
35:07step and some of the information that
35:09I've heard Philip and his guests give
35:12out I mean it should be still some of
35:13those fears and that's one of the things
35:15that really brought me to listening to
35:17your podcast because it's just so much
35:19information you're basically giving your
35:21whole playbook out there because you're
35:23educating your listeners yeah I'm
35:25basically that's that's the goal is to
35:27educate people and and get as many
35:30people as possible to go out there and
35:32start
35:32good thing you know and if and if you
35:34need extra help you there's guys on the
35:36site and there's all sorts of free
35:38content and if you need more help than
35:39that then you know carmine's here I'm
35:41here we can help like steer you in the
35:44right direction or do some of the work
35:45for you but in general the most
35:48important part is you know what you said
35:50is to get started yeah no I totally
35:52agree so so we're going to start
35:53wrapping up so if I mean we talked about
35:55the products thought up that on it's on
35:57iTunes I'm sure it's on google play and
35:58other other platforms or podcasts how
36:02else can people get in touch with you
36:03that's the best just go to the product
36:06startup calm and you'll have links to
36:09all that stuff yeah that's awesome man
36:11that's great and so I really appreciate
36:15you being on the show I'm hoping to have
36:17you on again in the future I know that
36:18you're your podcast is certainly helping
36:21people I'm hoping that we can get some
36:23more information out there if you do
36:25listen to either a podcast either the
36:27event is on pet show or the product
36:29start up please go out on itunes or
36:31google play like to show subscribe we
36:34reviews we could all use it because all
36:36we're doing is trying to get this
36:37information out there so Phillip thank
36:39you so much for being on the show today
36:41thanks for having me on the show carmine
36:43it was a pleasure to talk to everybody
36:45and I hope everybody takes action and
36:48does something this week to help them
36:50take that next step yeah I hear that my
36:53friend you take care

Inventors Launchpad 

can help you bring your

invention to life.