Ideas are everywhere, especially as you go about your daily business!”Jeff Sass
Are ideas actually everywhere? Let’s find out… In the session, we hear your stories about how you had those lightbulb moments, and wow… what stories they were! Our host’s Colin C. Campbell and Jeffrey Sass were amazed by the creativity of the speakers and even fired a few social media follow requests around the room!
In today’s session, we heard from all of you, to find out how you came up with your startup idea. Were you shopping at Target, taking the turkey out of the oven, or watching Netflix? There is a magnitude of ideas surrounding us that we’re apparently not even aware of!
“Opportunities are everywhere, there’s never been a better time to launch a startup!” We hear you, Colin!
You can work from anywhere or WFH (work from home) as we’ve seen throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Just because you’re not based in Silicon Valley, doesn’t mean you can’t venture into a startup.
Listening always goes a long way
Listening is a great way to spark those ideas! Listen to friends, strangers in coffee shops, movies, or the radio. Wherever you can participate in listening, there are opportunities waiting for someone to take them!
Your own experiences can always lead to the next big thing
Have you endured an illness or accident? Has something happened in your life that has affected you personally or someone you love? You may find yourself needing a product that isn’t available on the market, something that will make your life easier and more comfortable. Well, grab the opportunity with both hands and run with it!
Solving problems is gold
A lot of startups today exist because of current problems that need to be solved. Problem solving is a fantastic skill to swoop you into the startup field. If you can repeat the solution process to those problems, you can build a business off of it.
- TRANSCRIPT: SE.Club – EP37: How Did You Find Your Startup Idea? (11/19/21)
Today we are talking about. Ideas are everywhere before we jump into that, I just want to let you know that we have, a website called startup.club, and we have hundreds of recordings on that website, but just this week, Jeff, I heard that we are now officially a podcast on apple iTunes.
So if you like what you hear, we’d love for you to give us a review on apple iTunes. I know Rachel she’s in there now. She’s just hitting the record button. We are recording today’s show. So if you come on stage, you understand that, uh, we are recording and you allow us to use the recording.
Um, and it also goes into a podcast. I have some exciting news, Jeff, as well. We have a sponsor for today’s show and for a number of shows here for the next two [00:01:00] weeks. And that sponsor is P and G ventures. I had an opportunity to talk to the executives here. Well, let me tell you they’re doing something really cool.
And if you’re an entrepreneur in the audience here, or you’re a startup, they’re a division called startup studio is now accepting submissions for its next pitch competition and innovation challenged. They’re looking for entrepreneurs and innovators who have groundbreaking technology. Businesses are capable.
But listen to us that that contain a fast moving consumable product to improve the way people care for their families, clean their homes and live healthier lives. Now, P and G ventures is part of Proctor and gamble. Um, we are using the short-term P and G here, um, and here’s what’s even cooler. The top three submissions will get fully paid trip to CES, to pitch their idea where the winner of P and G ventures will also receive $10,000 and a chance to partner with P and G ventures.
Submissions close on November 29th. So get over to P and G venture studio.com to [00:02:00] check it out for the link above. I mean, this is a chance for you. One practice, your pitch to, if you have an idea, but you don’t have the money to take your idea to market. This is an organization that can help you do that.
And also there’s $10,000 price. All right, going back to today’s show, it is all about ideas are everywhere and this topic came up because. Uh, I have a signed a publishing deal with Forbes advantage to, um, write a book on the topic of start scale, exit repeat, which if you’re on this show often you’ll know, we talk about how is it that these serial entrepreneurs succeed over and over again, starting scaling, exiting, and repeating that process.
What is the secret formula that they have? And the first chapter of the book is startup ideas are everywhere. I mean, they are everywhere. I think probably one of the best places is if you’re in a career, you’re in a job, or if you’re even in [00:03:00] your first startup, you begin to see things in the industry. You see bottlenecks, you see pain points and you can begin to identify opportunities.
Let me give you an example of that. I have recently invested in and set up a nine units of a vacation rental unit. And I’m telling you that the reason why I did it in Fort Lauderdale. So I actually love going to Airbnb and booking. I loved the experience, but what I hate the most are the, when I arrive or the beds, the crappy frying pans, the lack of cleanliness, all that stuff in these, in a lot of the Airbnbs that I’ve stayed at.
So what we’ve done with our concept here in Fort Lauderdale is we’ve created an Airbnb that uses the Western heavenly beds. And these are expensive. But it’s prime. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a hotel experience in an Airbnb in a great location and a that’s a business that we started a few years ago and we’re expanding very quickly.
And we have [00:04:00] five star reviews, the hundreds of five star reviews on these properties, and we are able to charge a premium. So we identified a pain point just from my own personal experience of going to Airbnb. We identified that pain point. If you’re in an industry, you’re in a company, if you’re at your school, if you’re just going to the market or the grocery store opportunities are everywhere, there’s never been a better time in history to launch your startup.
Jeff, I know you’re going to be our moderator today. Sorry for being long-winded at the beginning here, but I just, I’m so excited about this topic. Also, if you’re in the audience and you have started. How did you come up with the idea we want to hear from you? Raise your hand. We want to hear how you came up with that idea.
And what did you do to vet that idea before you launch a startup idea? Uh, thank you, Colin, and thanks for sharing that story and it’s great to be associated with [00:05:00] the ventures challenge. Um, I think that’s really exciting. Um, you know, con I think I love this topic because startup ideas are everywhere. Has multiple.
You gave a great example of how something that you experienced, inspired you to start a business or change the model of your business. Um, so startup ideas are everywhere as you go around your daily business and we want to hear. How you came up with your ideas, but I also think the notion that startup ideas are everywhere can be related to geography.
And this is an amazing time because truly entrepreneurs and startups are everywhere. You know, if you go back in history, especially in the tech world, there was this notion that if you wanted to start up a company, you had to be in Silicon valley, but you have to be in one of the tech hubs. And you know, if anything’s come out of the, COVID a situation over the past 18 months, it’s.
No, you can be anywhere you can work from anywhere. And thus startup ideas literally can be anywhere, not just figuratively as [00:06:00] Collin explained, but literally when you think of geography, just because you’re not in Silicon valley, doesn’t mean you don’t have the opportunity to come up with a great startup, you know, you can be anywhere in the world.
And that’s really exciting. And that’s why, as Colin said, this is truly one of the greatest times to be an entre. Um, so with that, let’s get into it. If you have an idea that you want to share, if you want to explain how you were inspired with your idea, raise your hand, we’ll bring you up on stage.
Michelle, do you want to, um, share how you got one of yours?
Okay. I’ll come back to Michelle. Um, we’ll welcome to the stage. Good to see you again. Uh, what’s your story? Um, thanks for, thanks for inviting me on, uh, hi, Collin, Rachel Norman, you guys are fast becoming my, my heroes. Um, a couple of years ago, I’ll try to tell this story pretty quick. A couple of years ago, I had a client in Southern California, a really brilliant, uh, SEO [00:07:00] fellow.
And I was doing my goal boss thing, where we go in and we do consulting and goals and key metrics and team problem solving and all of that. We do. And, um, and Steve and I, the, the owner of this company, Steve and I are kind of pals. And he was like, Hey, man, I don’t want to put you in a slack group. Uh, so that you can just kinda, you know, if somebody needs you for something we’d really love to have you.
And I was like, oh, that’s cool. And so, so I hadn’t used slack and this was a few years ago. I hadn’t used slack very much in the past. And. But I turned it on. I installed the app and it just kinda like ran to look just like the feed for this client just ran past, out of the corner of my eye for, for several weeks.
And, and, and it’s turned out to be kind of like standing by the river. Uh, if you imagine yourself standing by the river, you kind of get to see what floats down. And there’s some leaves in two trees and every once in a while, oh my goodness. Is that a tire floating down? And there’s a, you know, it’s a Lowell.
If you’re standing by the river, everything comes to you and. I was the guy standing by the river and the river was this slack feed. And what I [00:08:00] started to find out, what I started to learn was like, there were a lot of conversations that went through the feed where somebody was either talking about, or, or, you know, or bill himself was talking about how bill would kind of like at the last minute, Hey man, I’m not going to make it in.
And this was pre COVID, right. Where you sort of had to go to work. But bill would miss a meeting or bill wouldn’t show up or, or, you know, Tamra, I’m just making up names. Tamra would, would do something really awesome. And so what I started to realize was that just by standing by the river, standing by the slack feed, I could very easily because of my training and experience, I could determine and know.
Um, what I would call strengths and opportunities for improvement in five areas that are important to me. As a consultant and those five areas are communication, delegation, time management, teamwork, and grit. Those are the five things that I think make or break, [00:09:00] um, a person and an organization. And so I started to kind of make a little scorecard just based on standing by the river and watching the slack feed go by.
And I was, then it was a couple of weeks later. I was at lunch with Steve and the, and the rest of the gang. And, uh, and I told him this because I hadn’t met any of these people very much. And I was like, Let me, let me show you my scorecards, that I’ve got three people and you tell me if I’m on or off. And, uh, and, and I showed them the score cards and I was like, you know, clearly Dan’s got some opportunities for improvement here and time management and Tamarisk could, you know, it was really good at, um, at grit, you know, we could, we could get her to help other people like dig in and never give up.
Cause I’ve, I’ve been standing by the river and. And Steve is like, yeah, you’re pretty, you’re pretty spot on. And I was like, you know, it’s not that that’s not that hard, man. I just like, I look at the words going by and I, I look for keywords and phrases and I figured out. I was like, it’s really not that simple.
I could probably teach a computer to do that. And then Steve says to me, oh, hell you, man, you could not teach a computer to do [00:10:00] that. And that for me is the moment when somebody tells me I can’t do something that really lights me up. So for the past couple of years, what my. What my, my business partner in this little venture and I have been doing is we have been building what we call gold boss AI, and we’re going to launch it early next year in public beta.
And what it’s going to be is I think the world’s first truly artificial intelligence business coach, and it’s going to stand by the river and it’s going to identify teams opportunities for improvement and strengths in. Communication delegation, time management, teamwork and grit. That’s awesome. Well, well we, we do, we have, like, we have a lot of people we want to bring on stage and we want to keep it like a high tempo, but I love what you said there.
I really did. Well when you said when, when somebody tells me I can’t do it, what was your light again? When someone tells me I can’t. Then, then I know it’s a good idea. Is that what you said? No. When somebody tells me I can’t do something and that’s all it takes, then I want to, if [00:11:00] you couldn’t do that, I’m like really?
And I’m sorry. I forgot. Tell it being so long, but I want it to show that the only issue we appreciate it. Well, we really do norm. We just want to jump right, right away to your dorm. You know, what was your business and how did you come up? Well, you know, I want to go back, not the business I’m in right now, but opportunity there’s opportunity out there that surrounds.
Everybody, regardless who you are and you just have to keep your eyes open. And I just want to give a quick example. So, uh, we were working with a, uh, a large, it was a fortune 500 company. Um, we were a 30 day contractor. We got paid 30 days, uh, you know, on the time, like right at midnight, but I walked into one of the offices and I think it was in San Jose and the purchasing department was all ticked off.
Like really, really just in a bad mood. I was able to go out with the purchasing manager who was from Calgary and what’s going on. And they said, oh, these are all our [00:12:00] subcontractors where the, these people who have no contract, like the non contracted suppliers, they’re getting paid 180 days, 240 days. Um, and they’re just ticked by the time the lunch was over, I had this idea and I said, why don’t you give that to me?
And he goes, what are you talking about? I will pay all be this fortune 500 companies purchasing department for non-contracted suppliers. You pay me in 30 days, give me 5% and I will make sure that this happens. And sure enough, it happened. I paid these guys 90 days, they ended up loving me and this actually launched me into e-com because one of the people that I was paying when the same fortune 500 company asked me to launch a website back in the nineties for them like late nineties, I was able to go to one of the guys that I was paying 90 days and he launched me into e-com.
So it’s [00:13:00] all I want to say. Yes. There’s opportunities. You just have to.
That’s um, great norm and, and, you know, one of the ways you find those opportunities and kind of will alluded to it is by listening, right. He was listening to the river of slack and you’re out there seeking those opportunities. So I think, um, you know, being aware of listening to your surroundings, listening to people, observing things is often going to be that which sparks a great idea.
So thank you for sharing that norm Jessica. Well,
Hi, Jeffrey. Hello. So tell us about how you just want to know what yeah. So just share, you know, what inspired your ideas? Where do your ideas come from? Isn’t it. Got it. So mine was, um, a particular situation. Um, I had, uh, Cushing’s disease. [00:14:00] I’m in remission now, but, um, Cushing’s disease is really, really rare.
So many people don’t even know about it, but it does all kinds of things to your body that are not good things. And one of the symptoms is, um, like constant heat intolerance and weight gain. And so I at the time was a community relations manager for a staffing agency, and I was going to a networking event for the chamber of commerce.
And I went, so I’m 80 pounds heavier than I normally am. And it’s the middle of Phoenix in may or no, excuse me. In July. And I walked from the car to the building and by the time I got inside, I was beat red. Hot felt gross. My makeup was running. My hairline was sweaty and I sat at a table with nine strangers, like a wedding style table.
And I didn’t want to look at anybody. I want to touch. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want anybody to looking at me. And it was just a waste of [00:15:00] time and I was humiliated and I just drank water and fanned myself as much as I could. And then by the time I felt comforted. Uh, the oven was wrapping up.
So I went home and I was very frustrated and I started to just think like, what could I have done differently? Or what could I have had with me that would be okay for that environment. And there really wasn’t anything there’s, you know, cooling neck wraps and there’s cooling tells that you snap and there’s, you know, the big vests with the ice packs and nothing that would be appropriate for that kind of an environment.
And then that’s when the idea for the cooling scarves cave came to me. So that’s how that kind of evolved into actually making, you know, an and now I have really 15 different designs and they’re functional. They’re beautiful. And you can take them with you. Um, away from the freezer, they come with an insulated [00:16:00] pouch.
So you just freeze the gel pack, you put it in an insulated pouch. Um, and then when you leave the house, you just take the pouch with you and a scarf. And when you need it, you just drop them into the secret pockets and nobody knows they’re there. And that was a very big part of that is the discretion part.
Thanks for sharing that, Jessica, you know, I’ve heard you talk about the cooling scarves before in other rooms on clubhouse, but I never heard the origin stories. It’s great to see how the inspiration for the product came. And that’s another great story about how ideas are everywhere. Thank you, Dr. Nate.
You’re up? Thanks so much, Jeffrey. I appreciate the, uh, appreciate that. Yeah, so briefly, uh, my entrepreneurial story actually started at age eight. Uh, my first startup I lived, we lived across street. Golf course. And we had a huge yard and I was tasked every Saturday to mow the lawn and we had a push mower.
It was not electric. And unfortunately there would be golf balls that always landed in our [00:17:00] yard. And I put them in these cigar boxes. You can probably date me by that. And uh, I thought, what am I going to do with these, all these golf balls? Well, I washed them off and I took them back across the street to the golf course, and I just sat in the tee box and I sold them for a one for 15 cents.
Two for a quarter. And that was my first exposure to a startup entrepreneurship. I was hooked at that time and I think it was revolving around this idea of I had a problem. And then I realized there was opportunity around. And I think a lot of, a lot of folks who are entrepreneurs or considering a startup that they’re focusing on, you know, what problems exist today in my current context.
And do I have the. Resources and the resourcefulness to try to meet those problems with some kind of an opportunity to, uh, to reach the market. Of course, fast forward until I, when I was 21 years old. Is when I started my first bonafide business, but I mentored for a couple of years underneath, uh, my cousin who owned a small business.
Uh, it was a, it was a currency exchange. He did, he cashed checks. He did [00:18:00] money orders. He did taxes. He did all of these ancillary activities. And I mentored, uh, he was my mentor. And within a couple of years, I thought I’m just going to go out and open my own business because I thought, Hey, this is a great opportunity for me to express my own creativity, to have more control.
Um, ultimately maybe I can even have more cash. You know, money was certainly a motivator and, uh, he ended up selling me the business because I had already begun running it. So that was the beginning. And, uh, and 27 years later, I have the blessing of, of coaching and helping entrepreneurs as well, uh, create their startups.
Uh, it’s just funny because I had a similar path where I was searching for golf balls. I was around 12 years old, my, my brothers and I, we were going in the river. Actually it was public land, the rivers and, uh, four police car cars came onto the golf course and chased us down and surrounded us, threw us in the back of the police car, started driving us home and that was it.
And then they just let us out. They just [00:19:00] yelled at us Addison, let us out. I think it was probably very abusive what they did, but, um, it was, it was very funny. And uh, I told my mom about that and she, she had a good laugh. But isn’t it. Isn’t it so interesting. How all of these ideas that we’re talking about today, people are either experiencing an issue or you’re at a particular job or a career.
Um, Marsha, I know we’re trying to get you on stage. We’re having a technical problem with the app right now. If you, if you stop, if you lower your hand and re-raise it, we really want you on stage. Cause you’re an amazing speaker. Um, all right, but we’ll jump to you Alex, and keep it going here.
Hey, Alex looks like we lost Alex. We’ll go to Kim, Kim. Thank you. Um, I just recently joined this club because I was just looking [00:20:00] through different things. And when I saw start up club, I was like, Ooh, maybe I can get some help through this club. Well, my idea came because my daughter in 2002, she was walking across the street and was hit.
She was struck. Physically struck by a car, knocked up in the air, hit the hood, hit the ground. Got up off the ground. And she was only 110 pounds at the time. She still small. And she came to my office. I worked at this technical college. She came to my office and told me she was hit by a car. And I thought she was in my other daughter’s car.
And I was like, is the car total? Was it you okay? He said, no, my physical body, I almost passed out. So. No story short, he wasn’t limping didn’t have no internal injuries or anything. [00:21:00] I asked my supervisor, can I take her to the doctor? Only thing that was wrong with her was a lump on her leg where she knew she was hit by the car.
So 10 years later, I was with my same daughter and I saw a guy riding a bike and he had a skateboard between his backpack and himself. And. I well, let me tell you this. I forgot. I skipped the real major part. She said that when she was hit, she didn’t feel like he felt on the ground. It felt like she, um, two angels at undergo to her and just placed on a pillow.
She said it didn’t feel like no type of impact. And she didn’t have any scars on her. Only the bump on her leg. The last time, the guy riding his bike and they looked like ankle wings. I just saw angel wings on his backpack. And I was like, that’s a skateboard. How has he angel wings? So at that [00:22:00] about when she was hit by a car, like how can we make a backpack for kids?
Because you hear about so many kids being hit by cars and not being seen. So. I developed this backpack that has an angel is angel wings and they have lights and reflectors on it. So when it get dark or in the morning, if they’re walking and have to cross streets, the lights flashes to let them know that there’s a little person in the street and the Wayne’s can be taken off as they get older.
But. Back still have the trim in is still reflective. And I also got this pad and I also thought about ideas of parents carrying their babies. So Wayne’s can be put on baby carriers and another backpack with an airplane pilot for little boys. So I have this. Super idea, but don’t know where [00:23:00] to take it.
And I’m just stuck in this pat and all three of them are patent and they ready to go ready to be made. But I don’t know where to take them if I got them made and I needed help with that, you know, it’s interesting. We actually have a session on startup.club. If you go to start up.club and, uh, you, uh, click on recorded sessions, we have a session that we do.
Called from idea to start up. And it was all these serial entrepreneurs coming on stage, talking about, you know, what they did to get there, their idea to launch. So I think you’d love to hear that. Hear that episode. It’s on startup.club. They’re all prerecorded. Thank you very much, Kim. You’re a fascinating person.
I just follow. And, uh, I think that you’re a fascinating person and, uh, you’d be perfect to pitch for the P and G ventures and win the $10,000. Okay. Well, thanks for having me. And I’m gonna keep following you guys. Y’all have [00:24:00] awesome speakers and all these ideas, and it really makes. Well, want to really pimp my feet into this.
Thank you. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. Um, I help her pronounce it correctly, but next is Huda Huda. I hope. Yeah, that’s correct. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on stage. And, um, I’m actually a serial entrepreneur and my latest venture came about me traveling, trying to do some lead generation prospect different markets.
I used to work in the food industry for 10 years and I’ve traveled the world, going to trade shows and trying to find more clients and. And I thought, how can I make it more efficient? Because most of my time is spent just on transportation and flying over and jet lag and all that. So I had to go to Singapore, Rio de [00:25:00] Janeiro, Dubai friends.
So when the COVID heads and we were confined and had the time to actually think about the concepts, I teamed up with one of my partners we were doing. Um, I have a consultant company and I teamed up with a B2B matchmaking company. That was actually, we didn’t, um, the food as well. And we created the food issue, which is a platform more than an event.
We have an event plus a platform. We connect buyers, suppliers, service providers, anywhere from, uh, products, uh, transformation. That means manufacturers all the way to clients. So within our community, we have, um, Packers co-packers. Um, transportation companies, machinery companies, packaging companies, as well as all service providers, PR um, digital marketing and all of that.
And how we get, we went to [00:26:00] market. We started with the first concept. We called some clients and ask them for priorities. What’s more important to. And once we had that, we launched the first, we went to market two months after we had the idea. So we launched, we started selling the product. We had a proof of concept.
So we had the idea by April last year, started selling it by the end of June. First event was in September and now we are at the third events. So we’ve gathered about 1300. Professionals in the food industry from a hundred countries. That’s my story. That’s great. Thanks for sharing the story. We want to try to focus.
The ideas and how we came up with the ideas. The, the, really the focus of the room today, as Colin mentioned, is, you know, ideas are everywhere. You know, how do we get those ideas? How do you find a great idea for your startup? And as a reminder, our sponsor for this hour [00:27:00] is P and G ventures startup studio.
And they’re featured in the link above, and they’re running the innovation challenge for startups, entrepreneurs, and inventors and inventors. And this is your chance to pitch your consumer product. Potentially win $10,000 and have a chance to partner with P and G ventures startup studio. So this is a great opportunity submissions close on November 29th.
So there’s plenty of time for you to participate and sign up. You can click on the link at the top of this room for more information. So let’s try to keep the stories focused on where the ideas came from. We had a great ideas come from a Garland. What’s your great idea. So like many others here, serial entrepreneur, uh, I was in the digital marketing world and still loved digital marketing for myself, but I, I got kind of tired of the consulting and the coaching and all the aspects there and all to make money, fast gurus who were moving into the, into the, so I, I went back to something that.
Been working for me years ago [00:28:00] and years ago when I worked for a large bank, my manager at Christmas time gave me a lovely leather-bound red day-timer. And at first I thought, wow, what a lovely gift? And my second thought was, wait, is he insinuating? I’m not organized, but in truth, I think it was really just a lovely gift.
And when I first opened the daytime. I was amazed at the level of thinking inside of it, that it has spot for all of my appointments is spot for my, to do list a spot for my expenses, spots in the back from meeting notes, uh, client notes, goals, and those kinds of things. And I determined to master time management for myself.
And I started listening to cassettes cause I’m that old in the car and the way to work and things like that. So I worked for many years to be, become very good at time management and everywhere I went, I ended up helping my coworkers. So when I was looking for where where’s my next idea for the business, I decided to become.
Captain time and start teaching and coaching people on time [00:29:00] management. By going back to something I’ve been working long and hard to master for myself, but to truly master something, you must teach others. So I took that to heart and started helping them. Thank you for sharing that Garland. I like how the, I enjoyed how, when you were given the gift of the organizer at first, you thought what a nice gift and then a, well, maybe there’s a message behind the gift.
And that was a great inspiration for you. So do you give people, um, red organized,
No, I don’t, most people have gone pretty much digital. I don’t use a daytimer anymore. Myself. I don’t use a paper one, but lots of people ask, you know, what tools I use. And then of course, I, I help them find the right tool because there is no one tool to rule them all. So I helped them find the one that’s the best.
Awesome. That’s great. Well, thank you for sharing that. Uh, Marsha welcome. I know that you’ve been involved in many, many great ideas over the years. Where do your ideas come [00:30:00] from? Well, good afternoon, everyone. My ideas like everyone else, I’ve been listening to. From an unfilled need that we have in our lives.
And before I go into my little quick story, I did want to make a comment to Kim Kim. I have a friend who just closed the backpack business because they have no sales. So I would suggest you wait until schools are back in session full time before launching your great backpack idea and Collin I’m still chuckling about the police picking you up.
Well, escapade are, are our dreams, get us into all kinds of problems. But mine started back in the 1970s. I had a young daughter who loved to play with creative art products. There was no products that filled the need I wanted for her. There was only Blackboard shock, which was. Then sticks like the size of your little finger and they were full of led dusty, dirty, broken stained.
So I spent that summer figuring out how to make a [00:31:00] better chalk and ended up inventing sidewalk chalk. It went global and that was the adventure of a lifetime. We garnered 72% global market share and many, many wonderful adventures came out of that. My next place. Major product also filled a need. Uh, back in those days we had typewriters and when we first got computers, they were very thick keyboards.
And when you would type a long time, your, my wrist would get sore. So I invented the gel filled. Stressed that went in front of the keyboards and the mouse pads. And that also went global. Um, I’ve done about a hundred products during my 40 years of dreaming up new products. And my most recent started five years ago.
Again, because of a problem, I developed a very deadly. Staph infection in my lower spine. And when I finally got better, I wanted to find a way to kill germs without using chemicals and drugs. And I [00:32:00] created stay well copper, which is an anti-microbial copper that I put on the things we touch all the time, like our backup, our phones and our car keys.
And, um, that’s been quite an adventure and I do want to thank you and norm, I love to follow any of your clubhouses, you know, Are always inspirational to me. And so I want to thank you. And even though I’m probably the dinosaur of the group being probably the oldest, I know there’s still a few good products left inside me.
And with that, I’m going to sign off Marsha. If you have a question. No, I just, like, I think it’s amazing that you experienced these issues, like, um, with the staph infection or the, the wrist pain in your wrist. And instead of just complaining it, but when you invent a product and make a ton of money from it, Well, thank you.
And it has been the lifetime of all [00:33:00] lifetimes. I’d love. I’ve met the greatest people along the way, and it’s interesting when I really get down and out and can’t figure out a solution. There’s usually somebody that I can turn to for help, like the beard of knowledge, which is what I call them. But there’s so many of us willing to help each other.
And I think that’s the beauty of entrepreneurism, big corporate America. We’re all protecting our own backs and we aren’t as helpful to one another. As I found the entrepreneurial community. That’s great. Marsha, I had a question for you that you have all these ideas and you’ve had many successful products that stemmed from those ideas, but, but does every idea, every inspiration you have turn into a product or do you have some that you have a good idea, but then you decide not to pursue it.
And what makes the difference? How did you know that CHOC was the way to go? How did you know the copper? This, this copper was the way to go and not, not, you know, other ideas.
I’ve had [00:34:00] my fair share of flops many years ago, when we first started having TSA, I developed a product called the quick check-in, which was a folio that had your passport, your driver’s license and your boarding pass all in one easy, fast presentation. I was sure it was going to be a home run. It didn’t even get to first base, but to your question, I always would with the sidewalk.
My daughter. Loved it. And all of her little friends loved it. And I first started selling it at craft fairs and that’s how I found out what moms were willing to pay for it, how much they wanted to buy, whether I should put four pieces and a pack or six or 24, and one craft show led to another. I did 86 craft shows that year and by then stores were calling me wanting to know where to buy it.
So, um, With each of my products, I do run them by a focus group. With Staywell copper. We [00:35:00] have 200 people in our focus group who have been using our phone patch and our germ stopper, hand roller. And no one in 200 people have had a cold or COVID since August of 2019. So again, just looking for validation from my peers, if they, if I have the problem, I know other people do as well.
And so that’s how I determine whether to turn it into a product or just put it in the also ran file. That’s a great point. You brought up there Marsha about the focus groups and I think that’s something, you know, a lot of people, when they have an idea, they want to keep it very precious. They don’t want to share the idea.
Everyone’s always worried that someone’s going to steal your idea. Um, but if you keep it completely to yourself, You know, have focus groups, even if that starts out being friends and family or coworkers, um, that you can run the idea off of and get some reactions, you know, it’s going to be [00:36:00] hard for you to develop that idea.
So I think focus groups, whether they’re formal focus groups, as you get further along, or whether there’s just some trusted people or some people who, you know, will tell you the truth and give an unbiased opinion. I think it’s important to bounce ideas off people and not necessarily hide your ideas. Um, completely because, um, you know, execution is everything, you know, ideas, lots of people will probably have similar ideas.
I’m sure Marsha, wasn’t the only person to think of a better, uh, sidewalk chalk, but she’s the person who went ahead and actually. You have a very great point there. And I do always depend on focus groups. However, I will tell you it’s hard for those of us who fall in love with our product to listen to criticism.
And I want to counsel everyone, listen to the criticism. The most of all. That’s where your best product revisions will come from. And then to your point of sharing, I had Crayola, Benny and Smith rip me off of a couple [00:37:00] ideas. I shared with them that taught me a very expensive lesson, and I don’t share any of my ideas without people executing.
Uh, non-disclosure non-compete because back when I started selling sidewalk chalk, I sold that to Walmart when they had 66 stores. That’s how long ago it was, there weren’t even computers yet we hand typed invoices, but, um, I, you have to learn that the trust is a big issue, but, uh, but you do have to bring a lot of people into your confidence as you’re creating your.
Great great points. I was just going to say, I, I like what you said about the flops too. I think this idea that it didn’t make first base, you know, this idea that you can, um, kill your flops quickly, essentially. Right? Cause sometimes we fall in love with our own ideas and we just, you know, it’s the best idea this passport [00:38:00] protector or this is the best idea ever.
It’s got to work. It’s got to work in. Lost a lot of money. So how do you know when to start of. Well, I guess that’s maybe a little bit of gut intuition, but we did make a, I made a production run of them, not a big one. I never go big until I, you know, even with Walmart, we started testing in seven stores.
Then they gave us a 14 store test and they gave us all 66 stores. So even back then we tested, we walked before we ran and what I was going to say back with the Walmart. By the time I showed a buyer, something I had at least nine months before it, they bought it, it got to the shelf and a competitor could see it.
Now, when we put an idea on Amazon, we have about nine minutes before Chinese competitors see it and knock it off. So. It is a very different landscape today than it was 40 years ago. [00:39:00] But still, I do think it’s important to walk before you run because making products mass producing them is expensive. And if you do have a flop, I guess then you get to go talk to the dollar store.
Uh, great, great points. Um, and Marcia, it’s really a pleasure to have your insights as someone who’s done this so many times for so long and so successfully. So thank you for sharing that really appreciate it. Thank you very, very much. Have a germ-free weekend. W no worries. Colin. How, how do you start? How so?
How, excuse me. I’ve got a lump in my throat there. How have some of the business tell us how some of you? Oh gosh, I’m having a, a, a senior moment here for a second and I’m not even really a senior, but you in five minutes, how do you start some of your business? Oh, wait. Yeah. It’s like, I’ve, I’ve done over 15 companies, I guess in a, probably.
Eight or nine [00:40:00] really successful exits. Um, let me just, you know, a couple of them go, go back in time here. When I was in college, there was this, uh, thing that these geeks were using called the internet. And, uh, after I graduated from college, I was so fascinated by it and I had never used it myself, but I was so fascinated by it that I thought.
Other people might like this as well. So we decided to launch an internet service provider and, uh, it became the largest in Canada and eventually went public as well. Um, another one I think about, um, was, uh Hostopia and while, while I was at this internet service provider, I was approached by a telecom.
Who asked us to build them a platform that was similar to the platform that we had for hosting. And our hosting company was very similar to GoDaddy, you know, we’d, we’d do domains and we would do hosting and we had a control panel and whatnot, and that stuck with me that this customer [00:41:00] had wanted us to, uh, um, build a product for them so that they could have the service available to their customers.
So we launched an entire company around it, just because of this one customer SaskTel, by the way, it’s, that’s, it’s the telecom. We launched the entire company around it and grew it over six, seven years and took it public as well, and eventually sold it to a fortune 1000 company. Uh, the other one that I did was.club and a lot of people ask me, well, how did you get the idea for.club dot.club, as you probably know, and you see a lot on a lot of companies using.club on this.
Dart club has an alternative to.com.net.org. And I, I had, uh, been working for years after I’d sold the company at this fortune 1000 company. And I commissioned a study from a friend of mine who owned an aftermarket called after Nick on the new domain extensions and what consumers would be interested in buying and of all the names that [00:42:00] came up.
Was the one that stood out for me. I thought that was the most interesting. So after I had left, the company went, skiing, broke my legs, lying in bed with my leg up in the air and oxycodone. Um, I thought, what the heck, why don’t I go check out these, uh, what am I gonna check that out again and see what’s going on with the regulations around it.
And I discovered that they were opening up the namespace and, uh, managed to raise almost 12 and a half million dollars. And we actually won the rights to doc. And just this year, you know, the story ends with us selling to GoDaddy. Um, so all of those ideas, a lot of them came from my prior businesses or prior experiences.
Not unlike everyone here. I think it’s one thing I will say. It’s a lot easier to see opportunities around you when you’re in a company. I see a lot of entrepreneurs who sell their. And they spend years before they jump onto the next idea, because they don’t see as many opportunities when you’re working somewhere or you’re [00:43:00] actually running a company.
It’s a lot easier to see new opportunities.
All right. So we have, oh, sorry. I’ll get there. I was thanking you for sharing that. I, I still got to use that mute button, but I noticed that ed is joined. And since we’re here in startup club, ed is, is the founder of startup club. And I’m curious to know how ed gets his ideas and maybe he’ll share with us how the idea for startup club.
Wow, such a big question. Uh, but first, uh, just wanted to remind people to top that link at the top of the room, it’s actually, it looks like a pretty amazing program. So thanks for bringing that to startup club, uh, in terms of starting club itself. The origins of list. Ashley, go back to early LinkedIn. I was fortunate enough to be, or lucky enough to be one of the first thousand people on LinkedIn.
And those first time was at the beginning of like [00:44:00] a emerging new social network and watching that social graph evolve, watching the community, watching the product evolve. And then fast forward to April, 2020. I was one of the first few hundred people on clubhouse. And I was like, I’ve seen this show before.
And if I’m early on a new social graph in a new medium, what are the things I can do to help kind of build infrastructure and community to. More people be successful in the platform and how make more connections. And so that’s kind of where the seed of startup club came from of let’s make it easy for everyone to find each other in the startup community.
So we can all learn and grow together. And. It’s been amazing because it’s been that elect super electromagnet. That’s attracted so many great people to become part of the community to step up, to get involved, to, to, you know, to end last time, I actually kind of ran the numbers. I think over a hundred million of venture capital’s come through people who’ve met through startup [00:45:00] club on clubhouse.
So just the magic of serendipity of connection. And so, so going back to w you know, the initial spark of it was recognizing that on a fast-growing platform, these look there’s small things early on can have a huge impact later. And it’s I’m so, so overjoyed that startup club and clubhouse as a whole has been able to touch and connect to so many people in such a positive.
That’s great. And thank you for sharing that story. And I think you sort of reiterated what Colin said that a lot of the new ideas can come from past experiences. Because if, if I understood correctly, if you hadn’t had the experience you had earlier with LinkedIn and recognize that pattern, you know, perhaps you wouldn’t have had the idea for startup club.
So we should think about what, what is within our experiences that can be applied to some new options. Um, as a way to start ideas. So thanks for sharing that. Yep. Yeah. Back early, LinkedIn had a lot of fun experiment, a lot made a lot of mistakes, but then kind of applied those lessons to you when I [00:46:00] saw a clubhouse starting up and that allowed startup club to start up and here we are talking about it and just, uh, just so appreciative of all the people who’ve been part of the startup club community.
So I’ve seen so many. That connect with the people and resources that otherwise wouldn’t even known about. And that’s really helped people build upon the success of whatever they’re doing. And then also going back to the earlier point of ideas are everywhere and it’s, you know, just being inspired by being around so many enthusiastic capable, experienced people, you know, makes me want to go explore and figure out more things as well.
So definitely, you know, just increasing your servicer for opportunity. Bye expose yourself to different ideas, different businesses, different industries, and clubhouse and start club helps all up. Yeah, I love that. And really exposing yourself to so many things, you know, when you think about it, even in the, in the movies and entertainment and, uh, you know, literature, so many ideas come from people reading a [00:47:00] newspaper article, right?
If, if, if you’re constantly being aware of what’s going on around you and what’s going on in the world, you’re going to be more likely to have inspiration strike and see that opportunity maybe when other people don’t see it. So that’s a great, great thoughts for us. Um, we’ve got a few more minutes left before we hit the top of the hour.
And, um, we’re going to end this room at three. O’clock sharp because at three o’clock sharp, we have the startup club town hall coming up next here on start-up club, sweetheart. You’ve been very patient in waiting. Do you have, uh, some ideas you want to share with us how you come across? Uh, sure. Uh, getting Stover, moderators, speakers, and others in the room.
Uh, Uh, I would like to introduce briefly about myself and the non, um, we, I would just go right into your ideas. Cause if people want to know about you, the beauty of clubhouses, we have the profile. Everyone can tap on our profile and see everything they need to know. So we can spend our time on the topic and not [00:48:00] too much time with.
Alright. Okay. So, uh, to get a great idea, it start with the problems I KV create a problem dashboard. It just shows. And entered the public and quieter and other two sources like, uh, social media platforms. So to that, we will create a, uh, problem dashboard, uh, uh, through, uh, from the problem set port, uh, dashboard.
We will, uh, create ideas using the jobs to be done and other frameworks, uh, this is all that we approached to get a great idea. So I like that you’ve turned idea ideation into a bit of a process that you follow and, um, that leads you to your ideas first, looking at the problems and finding ways you can.
Yes. That makes sense. Process calling you’re a big process person. What do you think about having processes for ideas versus serendipitously coming across? You know, we don’t [00:49:00] often think about that. You know, like. For the most part. Um, the ideation around these ideas tend to be very casual, very, you know, just ad hoc in nature.
And I think that works well, but adding a little bit of a process into it, a dashboard, I never considered that. That’s something that, uh, that’s the first I’ve heard that. And I think, I think you want that open serve relaxed, uh, brainstorming, you know, ideas and you want the room to be just to know that you want the.
Whiteboard and you just start balling, throwing things up on the whiteboard. I liked that at the same time. The idea of a, of an idea dashboard. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. Uh, Sridhar. Um, we have a little bit of time left, so, um, again, thank you for being patient Babbitt, girl. I hope I pronounced that correctly.
Uh, thank you. Thank you all. Thank you all for having such a great room [00:50:00] where people will kind of, uh, inspire each other by telling about the idea. Uh, my idea came from me being a cab driver sitting on there and work night shift. Uh, one time I. Kind of got robbed. Almost somebody tried to Rob me and a shot of the window of the cab shatter the window.
Luckily I was in, I was just hit and I was like, I just took off like a stopped half the block. I grabbed my phone call nine one one. Uh, they tell me, well, wait right there. And the guys are running towards me because they thought that they hit me. Uh, so I looked back and I see the guys running towards me and I say, hell no.
And I took off, I wouldn’t do that. I waited again. And these guys still running. They’re assuming that they hit me and injured me, maybe even, um, I logged breasts. Uh, that moment kind of taught me, like, put me into thinking about what would be the best message to call. [00:51:00] Uh, and also like having evidence to, to show what happened to you, uh, this, besides the mother, very, very like long, long hours of me sitting in a downtime in the parking lot of a gas station and watch YouTube and see all the, you know, you know, nine 11 calls and, and police response and all these videos that inspire me basically to come up.
Way to create an app by the be on forms. And when you tried to call you real court at the same time, you’re making the phone calls. So you have the evidence to prove it. And you have the, uh, the, the fact that you call the authority. So that’s how I started. And that’s how safety coach started. Thank you for sharing that.
Say safety scope is the name. That’s a great idea and a great. And a great example of how, uh, your own personal experience led to an innovative idea. And it also, I thought it was great that you shared the [00:52:00] fact that, you know, as a taxi driver, there were times when you were sitting in the garage waiting for either service on the vehicle or waiting for the next call to come in.
And you were able to use that time to develop your ideas and develop, develop your thoughts. So not only our ideas or any. But ideas are any time. And I think that was a great example of that. So thanks for sharing. Um, I know we’re coming up to the top of the hour. So Colin or Michelle, do you want to, um, kick in with some final thoughts on where ideas come from?
Well, yeah, I’m being, I’ve just immensely enjoyed hearing everyone because one of the things. I always feel it’s like, gosh, it’s so hard. If you’re just like trying to force yourself to think of the next great idea. It’s almost impossible. So I love hearing, everyone’s just brutally honest, transparent truth about health.
In many [00:53:00] cases, just kind of stumbled on the good ideas and you have the courage and you have the no with all to just like really just lean into it. So I think that’s amazing. And it’s something for us to all think about, you know, every day in our life, where do we see obstacles? Where do we see opportunities?
So great. Thank you so much for everyone. Who’s been on the stage and sharing that it’s been amazing.
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think this is, this is an example of the power of the community here today. We’ve had so many entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs come on stage and share their stories. And we talk about in this show, you know, how do we crack the code? And we take sort of each piece of that entrepreneurs journey.
And we try to figure out what it is that they do to become successful at starting that business. And, you know, I think just [00:54:00] coming up with that idea and just understanding that these ideas are everywhere and the knowledge that we have from everybody, I just think it’s incredible. Um, I know that ed already mentioned that we’re having a town hall, but if you love, if you really loved what you heard today, if you liked this concept of startup, We’d like to hear from you because you know, we’re having a town hall where we’re going to talk about shaping startup club.
And also we are going to have hosts who do regular shows, talk about their shows, and that happens in six minutes from now. So definitely join us, come on stage and, uh, and have some fun with us at the time. Yeah, let’s not forget our sponsor today is can G ventures of the startup studio. We’re so excited.
They’re just an amazing group of folks who really want to help and nurture someone who has the next big idea. So they are partnering. [00:55:00] They’re looking for applications right now. Um, they’re looking for entrepreneurs, inventors, startups. They’re trying to. People discovered the Nate next great consumer product brand, and what’s even cooler about it is that they’re looking for these kinds of products that really improve people’s lives in a very, you know, eco-friendly way.
So check out the, you know, the link here at the top it’s www ventures, challenge.com and, um, you know, if you’re not in that category or, you know, something. Well, you should share it with them because whoever makes it to the finals, even if you don’t win the grand prize, if you make it to the finals, the amount of exposure, the amount of coaching that you you will get, I think really is just invaluable.
So thank you, um, to P and G for sponsoring. And not only that, Michelle, but I believe the top three submissions or the three finalists will actually get a [00:56:00] fully. Fully paid trip for two to CES in Las Vegas to pitch their idea. And if you’ve never been to CES, that’s the consumer electronics show it’s worth submitting just to get a chance to go to that conference.
It’s one of the largest conferences in the world, and you’ll see all the new gadgets and great inventions that are coming up in the coming years. And the winner of the challenge will get $10,000 and have a chance to partner with P and G ventures startup studio. So this is pretty exciting opportunity and they’ve extended the deadline for submissions to November 29th.
So you have time, as everyone has said earlier, click that link above to find out more. So thanks for sharing that, Michelle. Yeah. And I’d love to see you at CS. So Michelle and I will be attending CES and we’ll, we’ve talked about doing this particular show. On the Friday at two o’clock Eastern live from CES.
And that, that sounds like it would be an exciting show. Let me talk to you about next week, because next week is black Friday. And when we thought of a topic we’re thinking of topics for next week, [00:57:00] what came to mind was guess what? E-commerce the rise of micro brands. And so I’ve asked Norm Farrar and Marsha.
I don’t know if you’re still in the audience or not, but you know, we’re going to ask you to come as well. We are going to talk about. Starting your own e-com business, and it’s never been easier in history to start and launch an e-commerce business. So that’s what next week’s topic is about next Friday.