American Dreams Particpant; Carlos Marrero Discusses The Marrero Collection
March 7, 2018
Kamela Hurley
Inventor Pitches Their Product; Madison & White CEO Shares the Benefits of Her Pillowcases
March 19, 2018

Lou Lentine believes that the frontier of innovation starts with an idea. Developing products that make sense or solve a common problem is one of his biggest passions. In his opinion, watching a product blossom from an idea to a reality, to ultimately landing in the hands of a happy customer is the biggest success any inventor can reach.
No stranger to direct response TV, Lou Lentine developed some of the most popular items on TV including the Hurricane Spin Mop, a revolutionary mopping system that cleans floors throughout the home without the use of harsh detergents. With the Hurricane Spin Mop floors are clean and dry in half the time. As a current top ASOTV seller, the Hurricane Spin Mop has landed on the shelves of major retail giants including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and CVS. The Hurricane is also being distributed in over 30 countries.
www.viatek.com

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Podcast Notes

1YouTube generated podcast notes, please excuse any typos.
whoo thank you so much for stopping by
0:03
today I know that you're here at the HSN
0:05
American Dreams Academy really to help
0:07
inventors what to do how to move their
0:09
product forward there's probably so many
0:11
questions that they have but they all
0:13
probably fit into a certain category you
0:16
have like a certain frame or a certain
0:18
idea when an inventor comes to you when
0:19
there are new inventor is there is there
0:21
some certain steps that's they should
0:22
take before they do anything well yeah a
0:26
lot of inventors come to us I said we
0:27
were working with 20 probably 20
0:30
different active inventors right now and
0:32
they you know sometimes people just send
0:34
us an email and and an idea or say I
0:37
have an idea or I have a product that
0:38
we're we're looking at we came up with
0:41
and number one we always haven't signed
0:43
an NDA so we want to make sure that they
0:45
feel comfortable and we also want to
0:47
make sure we feel comfortable as well so
0:49
we haven't signed an NDA and that's very
0:52
important some of them asked should I
0:54
have a patent should I not have a patent
0:56
and and you know that's a hard question
0:58
but your patents take a long time and if
1:01
I sat around and waited for every patent
1:02
every invention we develop to be granted
1:05
you know I'd probably be five years I
1:07
mean where I am today it wouldn't be it
1:09
would be five years later because it
1:10
takes so long and you miss opportunities
1:12
and the markets change so first sign an
1:15
NDA first and then you know get a phone
1:18
and discuss it it's always great to have
1:20
drawings if you can do CAD drawings if
1:23
it's a something that you can actually
1:24
have a higher or someone to do a CAD
1:27
drawing for you it's great because you
1:28
got to present your product so we
1:29
understand it some people will do a
1:32
video you know and try to explain on the
1:34
video yeah I always like them to show me
1:37
okay so what's out there what why is
1:39
this something different why why have
1:40
you improved on something what's your
1:42
what's the competitors who what's the
1:44
marketplace like you know maybe you came
1:47
up with a next widget but why is this
1:49
widget better than the next widget so I
1:51
like them to try to explain that to us
1:53
um you know we we have a partnership via
1:56
tech with quirky and quirky gives gives
2:00
the platform so people can go in and if
2:02
they have an idea and pretend I look at
2:04
hundreds of products in quirky every
2:06
single week to look at and see if they
2:08
are something that we want to take to
2:11
market and but yeah that's I
2:13
try to do a good presentation so we
2:15
understand why this is something
2:17
different because we don't always get it
2:19
you know but we you know from a phone
2:22
conversation we need to look at it and
2:23
we need to kind of understand it and
2:26
instead of making us try to go out there
2:28
and do the homework try to do it for us
2:31
so it makes it easier for us you know
2:33
yeah yeah I mean an inventor is so
2:36
emotionally attached and they've talked
2:37
about it so much that they don't realize
2:39
when they're explaining it to you or
2:40
somebody that has no idea they're
2:42
probably moving a lot out because they
2:44
know their product inside and out yeah
2:46
and we need to try to understand it we
2:48
again we get so many submissions we we
2:51
want to understand it quickly and easily
2:52
and and then what you know once we get
2:55
it and of course the process you know
2:56
the process is if it's inventor who who
2:58
wants us to license the product I'm you
3:01
know will will sign a licensing
3:03
agreement our agreements are pretty
3:05
pretty simple but some of the things I
3:07
we put into the agreement why should I
3:09
think benefit the inventor probably as
3:11
much as they benefit us or if not more
3:13
for them you know timelines you know if
3:17
you've signed an agreement with a
3:18
license agreement there's no timeline
3:20
that's a that's a problem because anew a
3:23
lot of these licenses will happen and
3:25
and the manufacturer or the manufacturer
3:28
at your licensing it will table it or
3:30
that they won't move at a pace that you
3:32
want so you gotta have it laid out so
3:33
you know the timelines not five years
3:35
maybe it's six months maybe it's a year
3:36
to get it to market
3:38
you know things aren't done overnight
3:40
and sometimes these inventors expect to
3:41
be done overnight yes but you know
3:44
understanding that you know
3:45
understanding if there's any cost to you
3:47
you know when we work with with
3:49
inventors it when there's no cost so
3:50
we're not charging them a fee or
3:52
anything sometimes there are there are
3:54
great great companies out there that
3:56
that do charge fees but you know for us
3:59
we don't charge a fee so we're looking
4:01
at trying to make an agreement that's
4:03
easy for them to understand even though
4:05
maybe it's 10 or 12 pages but also
4:07
there's timelines and again that's
4:08
that's what I think these guys sometimes
4:11
the inventors go wrong by not clear
4:12
being clear on the timeline yeah that's
4:15
that's a good point because you know me
4:17
even as an inventor I know you're an
4:19
inventor also yeah you could get excited
4:20
and caught up in the you know just the
4:23
talks and the program but you you need
4:25
somebody to help you make sure it's done
4:26
correctly
4:27
because it's gotta be done on paper like
4:28
you said it and you obviously move your
4:30
company and yourself you've been doing
4:32
this a long time and if you're not doing
4:33
things right you don't last that long in
4:35
this business I know you've been around
4:36
since like 92 so you're obviously
4:38
working and doing the right thing yeah I
4:39
started in 92 just right out of school
4:43
working for a actually there was a I
4:45
went to University of Central Florida
4:47
national champion but yeah we went to
4:52
UCF and when I graduated I had an
4:56
opportunity to go to business my father
4:57
and that just didn't seem like I wanted
4:59
to go down the family path and I saw in
5:03
the job board this gentleman was looking
5:04
for a sales person he was importing a
5:06
product from South Africa Wow so I
5:08
replied to it and I got $400 a week
5:11
until he ran out of money and he said
5:14
I'll give you half of whatever we build
5:15
and we built a multi-million dollar
5:18
company with some great success stories
5:21
over the years and then in a early 2000
5:23
we sold that and then I started via tech
5:26
yeah we sell in them in over 50
5:29
countries so to all the major retailers
5:31
around the country and we not only do we
5:34
develop and have our own brains we have
5:36
about 10 brands ourselves but we also
5:39
lie also were licensed as well because
5:41
we'll come up with ideas and we just
5:43
can't you can't maximize everything so
5:45
you know maybe you don't make as much
5:47
because you're you're not doing it
5:49
yourself but if I can you know if our
5:52
company can generate 2 or 5 percent and
5:54
so million own units rather than selling
5:58
a hundred thousand because we just can't
6:00
maximize that I mean there's certain
6:01
categories of business we're just we
6:03
can't maximize so you know always want
6:05
to try to figure out how to maximize
6:06
before someone else does yeah so I mean
6:08
I mean I've learned over the years I've
6:10
had items I've been successful for me
6:13
and I've watched someone come up with
6:14
something similar and even be more
6:17
successful so you know you want to try
6:20
to if you have to license it because
6:22
someone else is bigger and stronger than
6:24
you you license at all and don't don't
6:25
be afraid to yeah and we've done that
6:27
successfully over the years as well
6:29
well it's apparent and you know I
6:31
congratulate you in this industry and if
6:34
any you listeners are out there you know
6:35
Lou's not kidding I mean he's an
6:36
inventor himself he knows what he's
6:38
talking about hundred pounds he's at
6:40
over on her patent
6:41
yeah so so you know don't don't you know
6:43
say don't put it brush it off he
6:44
definitely knows he's been around he
6:46
knows what's happening me selling on HSN
6:48
you've been on HSN you go back watch the
6:50
shows he's awesome and I know you just
6:51
went over and you just coming back off
6:53
the CES show how is that any any cool
6:56
news out of there
6:57
say yes show is a phenomenal show our
7:00
company does the International house
7:02
were show we do CES show we do the
7:05
hardware show we do international shows
7:08
that come beyond a in Germany we do Hong
7:10
Kong trade show so we do lots of Show
7:12
CES is is ginormous I mean it's a
7:15
monster show and there's so much
7:17
technology and so much hype and
7:18
someone's happening there but yeah we we
7:21
have a good show there and this year I
7:23
think it was especially good for us
7:25
because we we've developed a couple
7:26
products and bitten and got involved
7:28
with a couple of projects that are so
7:30
right for the CSO one of them the lily
7:32
drone we acquired the Lili drone us and
7:36
our partner Corki acquired it and this
7:39
Lily drone is a fascinating story about
7:41
two guys from two young kids from
7:44
Berkeley went out raised seventeen
7:46
million dollars and developed this drone
7:47
they that's it yeah they actually
7:52
developed it and then they went and
7:55
pre-sold 37 million dollars of drones
7:58
and unfortunately they never shipped it
7:59
and they had manufacturing problems in
8:02
China they had a manufacturer that that
8:04
unfortunately didn't do them the best of
8:07
service and and if they ship them what
8:10
happened is the pricing got so out of
8:12
whack that if they would have shipped
8:13
those 37 million dollars they would have
8:15
lost so much because the cost became
8:17
more so they couldn't ship they were
8:19
just forced not to and we've gotten it
8:21
you know we were able to acquire the
8:23
company and we actually hired the the
8:26
old president the founder of the company
8:27
so we have so have his vision and his
8:29
knowledge and I mean he's been doing
8:30
this for three or four years and
8:31
fortunately had a setback but he still
8:34
was amazing so we launched we launching
8:36
that product and we I know more about
8:39
drones and I thought I'd ever would I've
8:41
been visited 10 drone factories in China
8:43
I've I have more drone to list and you
8:47
can imagine out of my house but you know
8:49
that that was exciting and people were
8:51
so excited to see it everyone
8:53
oh my gosh is that the drone is that
8:54
that Lille drones like that lowly drone
8:56
so we we need renamed its Aeon we bought
8:59
20 patents and they've got 20 innovative
9:02
patents we actually competed against
9:04
GoPro when we we acquired it so we were
9:07
we were going against GoPro to acquire
9:09
and actually GoPro last week announced
9:11
that they're getting out of the market
9:12
so so we think that that probably had
9:15
something to do with it
9:16
but yeah that that was exciting and then
9:18
we also launched a brand called a salon
9:20
which you can see it on QVC Ashland is a
9:24
innovative fitness bike using an app
9:29
technology and you can ride we can ride
9:32
with our riders and we created a whole
9:34
studio in 14 we have 14 instructors it's
9:38
really a neat neat process product and
9:41
that product has gotten a huge amount
9:42
and because the whole interactive and
9:44
fitness is big right now yes big big I
9:46
mean yeah so that's that was another big
9:48
project that we launched yeah yeah I
9:51
mean the CES show you said is so
9:54
enormous and so many to choose from I am
9:56
getting just one product out of there
9:59
and getting the company that that's
10:00
that's unbelievable what I noticed and
10:03
from what you just said and even as
10:05
you'd Windell down to an inventor even
10:08
really how much money they raise and all
10:10
the things are going on they still had
10:11
problems with the manufacturing they
10:12
still have problems with those things
10:14
and that's what you guys do you bolt on
10:16
your knowledge your experience when
10:17
somebody brings a product or an idea and
10:19
that's what's so great about it yeah we
10:21
have a great team our VP of Product
10:24
Development comes with he's got a long
10:26
history of developing products he used
10:28
to actually work at sharks remember
10:30
sharper image store oh yeah he was a
10:31
gentleman who came up with all those
10:33
made you know she's made invented here
10:35
type products at sharper image so he's
10:36
got a great knowledge working with China
10:38
I spend six weeks a year in China
10:40
working with our manufacturers and we
10:43
have 20-year relationships with some of
10:45
these manufacturers so between the
10:47
relationships and some of our you know
10:49
the knowledge of our team and we also
10:51
have an office on the ground in China
10:52
which makes a big difference just
10:54
following up and and making sure things
10:56
move as they should because you know you
10:58
have issues sometimes when you're doing
11:00
so far away and the communication issues
11:02
and but you know that's helped us a lot
11:05
but you know we always weren't they
11:07
trust me I've had some setbacks and and
11:10
some challenges and and dealing with
11:12
manufacturing anything you're gonna have
11:14
it problems so I mean it's sad that
11:16
these guys that happened to him but I've
11:18
seen it many times and you know they
11:21
dealt with a really big factory to you
11:22
it was a two and a half billion dollar
11:24
factory in China so you would think that
11:25
this big factory could have got this
11:28
right and done it right but it doesn't
11:30
really just the size doesn't always
11:32
matter is you know it's just that they
11:35
didn't have the knowledge of making a
11:37
drone these guys never made a drone
11:39
before that manufacture oh okay so
11:41
different I know I don't get that if
11:43
you're gonna manufacture a blender I'm
11:46
not gonna go make it with a guy who
11:48
makes headphones I mean you got a
11:50
picture right factory and anytime you do
11:52
something ya know there's no doubt about
11:54
it and you know uh China they're great
11:57
people I deal with China a lot and stuff
11:58
they all want to do good they're nice
12:00
guys and like you said they're just not
12:01
gonna say no they're gonna say yeah we
12:03
can try to make it or we can do this so
12:04
yeah they have the mentality of saying
12:06
yes yeah you know they say that the
12:08
Chinese will want no they like to say
12:11
say yes and you know I've had meetings
12:14
with with with manufacturers over there
12:17
and you fly over there you negotiate and
12:19
you you know yes yes yes you get back in
12:21
sometimes things or anything yes because
12:24
they think about it afterwards and then
12:26
they say they realize they can't do it
12:27
right so yeah you just have to be clear
12:29
and you have to ask the right questions
12:31
and make sure that they're capable of
12:33
making the product you want to make well
12:36
again that's you know you go over there
12:37
you gotta go over there I mean did these
12:39
people who try to do things for Alibaba
12:41
or do things through you know the
12:45
internet it's never gonna work and I try
12:47
to explain people you got him and we got
12:49
to invest in making a trip and sitting
12:51
with them and understanding are they
12:52
really the factory are they are they
12:54
really have knowledge in this and the
12:56
expertise and they have the resources
12:58
and just the factory owner which is
13:00
really born is is he is he a hundred
13:03
percent because if that factory owner is
13:05
not in they're not gonna get the support
13:07
because they all they all funnel down
13:09
from that owner yeah I know what I'm
13:10
saying yeah so that that's very
13:12
important for for everyone to know when
13:14
they're trying to do work over so yes
13:16
well there you go I mean the the
13:18
listeners we know that
13:20
it's important to get the right people
13:23
get the right people involved if you're
13:24
gonna stake your invention on it your
13:25
money or harder and earn any resources
13:27
you have you really got to get the right
13:28
thing and that's what's what's great
13:30
about what who's talking about real
13:31
quickly I want to back up a little bit
13:32
to this particular HSN it's put a great
13:35
program together and walk it around I
13:37
notice that there seems to be a huge
13:40
amount of women inventors and
13:41
entrepreneurs here do you see that as a
13:43
trend or have you noticed them you do
13:45
this a lot so you see that there's a lot
13:47
more women entrepreneurs or inventors
13:49
that are coming out sure yeah I
13:51
definitely do I mean I deal with a lot
13:53
of women entrepreneurs and and you're
13:55
definitely seeing it more I have a lot
13:59
of slow the key management roles in our
14:02
company are women not ok man but but
14:06
I'll tell you they just they got hey
14:13
guys you got to watch out because these
14:15
girls these girls got it I mean they
14:17
really do they they're the motivation
14:20
the dedication that the work they put in
14:23
and you know my wife is you know has a
14:28
manager's of business or self and and
14:30
trying to do a business and managing
14:33
that family it's extremely difficult I
14:35
mean we had a story yesterday during our
14:37
symposium about a lady and she talked
14:39
about her kids and young kids and
14:40
everything and we have I have a 16 a 17
14:43
and the 13 and she's talking about her
14:45
young kids let me tell you about older
14:47
even what the what the nonsense they get
14:49
into it you know with just my wife came
14:50
in coming down with me she had a she had
14:52
a whole letter of what needs to be done
14:54
and how to manage and all that stuff and
14:56
you know for them to try to juggle
14:58
everything is is amazing so I think the
15:01
ability for them to to manage that at
15:03
home in the you know and and and to try
15:06
to be an entrepreneur ISM is outstanding
15:08
and and you know we see a lots of
15:09
inventions coming from women and I was
15:13
talking to one this morning actually who
15:14
had an invention that we're working on
15:16
forms oh yeah it's it's great it's great
15:18
and you know the conventions are coming
15:20
from everywhere I mean every yeah
15:21
everywhere every every place so it's
15:24
always great it's a great business it
15:25
really is we got about one minute left
15:27
what's happened with the book my book
15:29
yeah give us give us some inside scoop
15:31
well we're I'm working on our action
15:33
working on a book I've been working on
15:35
it for a couple years and it's all about
15:37
manufacturing taking a product idea and
15:39
bringing it to market we're hoping June
15:41
July will have it ready but I really
15:44
want to make something that someone can
15:45
pick up and actually learn something
15:47
from it it's not all about me it's not a
15:49
me there'd be some stories thrown in
15:51
because I have some some crazy stories
15:53
that happened over the years but it's
15:55
all but I'm trying to you know how do
15:56
you how do you you know find a
15:59
manufacturer how you do importation how
16:01
you select your warehousing facilities
16:02
how you price your product to them to
16:05
the retailer I mean there's so much and
16:07
we're in a couple hundred pages now and
16:09
I actually just hired a new writer a new
16:12
ghostwriter as helping me he did an
16:15
antique Sullivan's book if you know
16:16
Sully's rhonda shear's book oh wow so
16:19
yeah he's he's done a great job so we're
16:21
excited and you know him and I are
16:23
hoping hoping by mid year we'll have it
16:25
ready for everyone but I'm just trying
16:26
to get I want to have content yeah a lot
16:28
of good stuff that people can refer back
16:30
and almost be the Bible to help them
16:32
real experience though yeah all right
16:34
well sounds good Lou I know you're busy
16:35
I thank you so much for stopping by the
16:37
show today and we'll keep in touch man I
16:39
think that the listeners gonna be real
16:41
happy to learn this and real quick how
16:43
can I get in touch with you I'm good
16:44
Avaya tech VI a Tek calm and just go on
16:48
there and you can submit a product idea
16:49
or you can just send an email and say
16:51
you want to talk to me and happy to chat
16:53
with chat with them uh-huh get them on
16:55
my schedule
16:55
great cool in teen folks thank you very
16:57
much Luke appreciate thank you

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