Category Archives: Edison Nation Team

protoTYPING: Teaching my daughter to prototype, solder, build and create

My original plan for this column was the foundation for dad of the year dreams. I was going to prove that it was possible to build a custom-designed RC car with my 4 year old daughter, Harper. And I was going to do it in about 10 days. Before talking it over with my daughter, I went to a Goodwill store and purchased a cast-off Radio Shack RC buggy for $2 that seemed to be in pretty good shape. I was going to disassemble it with her to see what parts we could harvest. Then I was going to have her draw a new car shape and use a water jet cutter to make a new chassis out of wood from her drawings. Then we were going to paint it and likely get some glitter on it, too. I was going to have her solder up a circuit board with blinking LED headlights, then install the controls from a nicer RC car and have her drive it.

It is not hard to see that the plan derailed quickly.

Harper

My future RC car builder, Harper

Building an RC car with her was a red herring to the real goal of teaching Harper the basic prototyping skills that get used in the Enventys prototyping shop every day. The end goal is not to prepare her for a career in product development, necessarily, but to give her the pleasure of building something, while introducing her to some unique tools along the way. It occurred to me that we have done some interesting building projects along the way and have almost by accident been working on all of the skills I was going to teach her with the RC car project. These are some of the projects that I have worked on with Harper that I am hoping form the building blocks for lifelong curiosity and the pleasure of making.

Cooking

Often times prototyping is taking a set of parts and rearranging them to create something different. I see cooking as roughly the same. With core ingredients of flour, water, sugar, salt, and of course sprinkles you can bake cookies, bread, rhubarb crisp or muffins. One of my favorite activities to do with Harper on a weekend morning is to bake chocolate chip cookies. I let her dump the ingredients in and stir them up. After a few times of doing this she has set at least half of the ingredients to memory. Just a few days ago, she told me she wanted to do an experiment. She had me get out a bowl and started calling out for me to get ingredients from the pantry while she got some water from the sink. She mixed up flour, lots of sugar, water, sprinkles, and vinegar (yes, vinegar) and told me the cookies were ready. While she was napping I could have chucked it because it seemed like it was going to be terrible, but I baked it in a small cake tin instead. She got mad at me for not baking it as cookies, but we still tasted it as an after dinner treat. Surprisingly it was not too bad.

Painting

It seems like every kid likes to paint, and Harper is no exception. She will do water colors, but she has no time for the subtle hues of a Georgia O’Keefe. She likes bright and bold colors. Peter Max is more her style. She paints rainbows, sunny days and an occasional tribute to our dead cat on paper at her easel. However, I wanted her to paint something more tangible. I like to build racecar models and it was one of my favorite activities as a kid. My dad used to call me the “glueifyer” as all of my builds had as much weight in Testors model glue as they did in car parts. I had an old Tony Stewart model car in my office, and I was never going to have the time to build it. So one day I got it out and I let her paint the parts with some some of my Tamiya paint and a nicer paintbrush than the junky dollar store ones from her art set. I explained to her the different parts of the car and let her pick out the palette. She had fun painting a 3D object and noted that the paint was “soft” which seemed like an observation of a mature artist as opposed to a 3 year old. Like every other model I have ever built, this one will take years, or never get done at all, but it is certainly the most fun, and the only one with a rainbow colored engine.

Harper painting a car model

Harper painting a car model

Electronics

Electricity is abstract for many adults, let alone a pre-schooler, so I wanted to build a really simple circuit with Harper. One day we read a book from the library about the lantern festival during Chinese New Year. At the back of the book was a page describing how to make your own lantern out of paper. It hit me that the lanterns would be even better with a little LED in them. So we built the paper lantern together. Then I got a yellow LED from my electronics kit, a resister and 2AA batteries. I showed her the pieces and we taped the LED leads to the battery and made the lantern light up. We turned off all the lights in the house and spent the next half hour walking around the house looking for treasure. Since then I have also had her solder up an LED circuit board kit that I got from Radio Shack. I made sure to get the lead-free solder and she had lots of fun using the soldering wand.

Harper and I soldering.

Harper and I soldering.

Woodcraft

Wood is great material for prototyping, because it is inexpensive and easy to manipulate. At home, I do not have a lot of woodworking tools. Fortunately Lowes and Home Depot have weekend workshops for kids to build little toys using a hammer and nails. Lowe’s version is called “Build and Grow”, and I first found out about these when Harper was about two and a half. This was a little bit too young to start, but I was too excited to let that that stop me. I realize that it is mostly an elaborate rouse to get a bunch of people into the store to buy stuff, but the kits are really fun. They take about 20 minutes or so to complete, and they get to learn how to use a hammer and get a feeling of accomplishment from building the kit.

Haper and her friend McKenzie at a Lowe's Build and Grow Session

Haper and her friend McKenzie at a Lowe’s Build and Grow Session

For now, my $2 RC car project has been put on the shelf, but my quest to find great hands-on activities to do with Harper has not stopped. I bought her a bouncy ball molding kit for her birthday and cannot wait until she is old enough to do some more complex electronic stuff like building robots.


 

 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.

Introducing Edison Nation’s first iOS app, Sparks

Sparks by Edison Nation – the fastest and easiest way for innovators to record new product ideas – now available for free on the Apple App Store

A new iOS app to get people’s great invention ideas out of their heads and onto store shelves now available for download today on iOS devices

Sparks-BlogPost

John Hetrick, a retired industrial engineer, was driving with his wife and daughter through the Pennsylvania countryside. Suddenly, a boulder appeared in the road ahead causing Hetrick to swerve into a ditch. Hetrick and his wife immediately reached for their daughter, stopping her from hitting the dashboard and possibly saving her life. It was shortly after this accident that Hetrick was struck with the idea for the airbag.

It only takes a split second for the metaphorical light bulb to blink above an imaginative mind. If you happen to be without a pen and paper when struck with an idea, it can take that same split second for your revelation to be lost forever in the web of the mind. The idea for the next iPad or telephone may hit you while shopping, getting dinner with friends or even in the car like John Hetrick.

Never fear forgetful innovators, Edison Nation has created the remedy for the fleeting idea: the Sparks iOS app.

In this modern invention age, what’s likely always with you? Your iPhone or iPad. When inspiration strikes simply use text to type up your idea. Can’t text? Use the voice memo function to record your idea. Even if you’re having trouble putting your idea into words, you can draw a quick design or sketch and use the Sparks app to take a picture.

The average human has more than 60,000 thoughts per day. Why not try to make some money off of a few of them? Users can turn their best “Sparks” into full-fledged product ideas with a single click, syncing their Sparks across all devices and into their own private account on EdisonNation.com. Edison Nation’s online platform is private and secure, and each invention idea submitted is professionally evaluated. The top product ideas are pitched for licensing opportunities, and if a licensing deal is reached, the inventor receives 50% of all royalties.

Edison Nation has been the go-to resource for independent innovators with great invention ideas. The community platform has generated more than $200 million at retail and has licensed dozens of products. Now, Edison Nation is making it easier for independent innovators to record their ideas and get the best ones onto store shelves.

Best of all the Sparks app is free and available for download now!

Visit www.edisonnation.com/ios-idea-app to learn more and download the app.


 Have you ever thought, “wouldn’t it be cool if…”?

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We exist to get product ideas out of your head and onto retail shelves, all at no risk to you.

How Edison Nation works to bring new product ideas to market

Hello Edison Nation community!

My name is Todd Stancombe and I am the president of Edison Nation. I wanted to reach out and share a behind the scenes look as to how Edison Nation brings new products to market.

First, and most importantly, no one cares more about your success than we do. You’ve often heard us share that inventing is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ve also shared that your success is our success. We mean this wholeheartedly. In fact, our brand promise is to provide anyone’s idea the most opportunities to reach its greatest potential. This is what guides our work day in and day out at Edison Nation HQ. We aren’t committed to a single channel of commercialization. Based on the product and the IP, we attempt to align it with the best commercialization strategy. We can license the IP to a category leader, manufacture and sell products, or produce two minute spots and test them in the ASOTV platform.

If you’ve ever submitted an idea, you are likely well aware of your dashboard and our eight-stage evaluation process. This process is in place so that we can securely and fairly review each idea that’s submitted into our system. As the idea works through the review, our team is thinking about how to connect that idea to a manufacturer and/or retailer who can help commercialize that idea. The Licensing team that reviews these ideas are playing matchmaker, constantly thinking about what contact and what company may have an interest about a great piece of innovation.

Companies partner with Edison Nation to find the next great innovation they can add to their product line. Our jobs would be much easier if all ideas presented to our partners were a perfect fit for them or considered to be home runs by the folks reviewing and selecting them. We both know that’s not realistic. In reality, while an idea may be in fact a great idea, it may not always be an ideal fit for that partner for a number of reasons.

For those ideas that are presented and ultimately not selected by the sponsor, we understand what a letdown that is. It is for us, too. In that moment, it may be easy to forget that your idea was privately shown to industry leaders and given the chance to succeed. We want you to know that for many of these products or ideas, we don’t stop there.

If your product idea is not chosen, you have the opportunity to submit your idea into either the Open Search for all product categories or the Insider Licensing Program for patented or patent-pending ideas in all product categories. In these searches, we do a whole lot more for your idea. Once we’ve selected an idea, a tremendous amount of work is done at our expense, above and beyond the submission fee. Remember, no additional fees will ever be requested of you at any time.

Utilizing the information from your submission, we:

  • Identify the top potential licensing partners in the category
  • Do a deep dive into the category to ensure the Licensing team is armed with research to show how your idea is a great fit for the space
  • Create a pitch to present to category leaders that focus on the features and benefits of your idea
  • These pitches include industrial design work and a demonstrative video that, once presented, will give a potential partner a clear understanding of your idea in 60 seconds or less.
  • Connect with each partner early and often to keep lines of communication open
  • Work with the partner to determine fair and competitive terms and deal structures
  • Ensure confidentiality of all ideas evaluated and presented
  • Handle all patent work required once a deal has been signed at no additional cost to you
  • Manage the complete road to commercialization so that the end result is your idea on the store shelf

We work to find the right commercialization path, the right partner and the right deal structure for your idea. We will continue to run with a great innovation until we find a home for it, no matter how long it takes. If, down the road, it has been determined that a licensed idea is not able to be commercialized, all completed design work and intellectual property are immediately returned to you, the innovator.

Inventing and bringing products to market is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m a marathon runner and am fully aware of what this journey entails. A great example is our partnership with HSN’s Joy Mangano. We met with her team in the spring of 2013 to discuss ways in which we could collaborate on new product innovations. From that point forward, we have been working on three new products that will launch later this year. We are going to be expanding the relationship as Joy’s brand continues to grow. Recently, she shared a link with us for a movie that is opening on Christmas day telling the story of her rise from single mom to successful product marketer.

I want you to know that every member of my team cares. Certainly, we’d like to get more deals done and get all deals done quicker. We work every opportunity as hard as it can be worked, but many of the go-forward decisions lie in the hands of our partners. Their businesses constantly change and we have to be prepared for and live with that reality. My team wouldn’t trade the ups, the downs, the pain and the joy of seeing a sketch on a napkin or a fully-developed prototype come to life for anything. It’s not easy, but nothing that is worth it in life rarely is. That’s been my experience so far.

In closing, I want to say thank you for everything you do. Don’t quit inventing and don’t stop caring. In my opinion, one of Thomas Edison’s best quotes was, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time,” followed closely by, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Edison Nation won’t give up on your great ideas. We’ll continue to press on and we’ll continue to find successes in the marketplace. We’ll get there together.

Thank you,

Todd Stancombe


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Meet the EN Team: Mike Irwin

 

Mike Irwin

As an online community and innovation marketplace, you can imagine there is a lot of necessary web upkeep. Lucky for us, we have our newest Web Developer, Mike Irwin, to understand what MVC frameworks, jQuery and AngularJS are so the rest of us don’t have to.

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. Web Developer. I’m helping to make edisonnation.com and edisonnationmedical.com more awesome.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. The people. This place is teeming with good folks. I like that.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Playing music.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I’m a classically trained percussionist, an ex-amateur boxer and I make a mean pot of coffee.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. Astronaut, cowboy, Wolverine.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. A blind person. I’m curious to know what it would be like to experience the world by having to rely on my other senses since vision is such an overwhelmingly powerful sense. I’d like to “see” what it’s like to not be able to depend on my eyes so much. Closing my eyes doesn’t count since it’s too easy to cheat.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. Glen Hansard, that devilishly handsome lad from the Emerald Isle.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Sushi. Any kind as long as it’s fresh.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. Getting to travel to many places around the world, whether on tour or just for fun.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. Easy. The web. It puts most of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, helps level the playing field for anyone that wants to play, gives a microphone to anyone that wants to be heard and generally makes our big world much smaller.

 

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!


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Meet the EN Team: Katie Foss

Katie Foss

Meet one of our newest team members who is part of our licensing team and is responsible for all legal affairs, including conducting those pesky Stage 6 IP reviews :).

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. My position is General Counsel, which basically means I am Edison Nation’s attorney. I do everything from drafting and reviewing legal documents, completing IP reviews of submissions, coordinating all of our patents and trademarks, handling potential infringement, etc. etc. I’m a one woman show, and I stay very busy!

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. The people here are amazing, but they are slightly edged out by the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine since it supplies me with Dr. Pepper. I require large amounts of caffeine to do my job.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Hanging out with my 3 year old son Logan, though this would likely mean watching the same Disney/Pixar movie for the 658th time.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I actually have a pretty decent singing voice. I sang with the Virginia Children’s Chorus when I was young, which also allowed me the opportunity to sing with the Virginia Symphony once. These days most of my singing is done either in the car or as part of my son’s bedtime routine.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. For a brief period of time in the 80’s I wanted to be a marine biologist, but from the time I was about 6 years old I wanted only to be a lawyer. I do still have a fascination with great white sharks, and one of my dreams is to see one up close and personal…from the safety of a cage of course!

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. I don’t know a particular person I would like to be for a day, but I would love to spend a day experiencing my yorkie Chloe’s life. Her days are filled with naps, treats, and cuddling on the couch. I long for a day that relaxing and carefree.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. I am not often told I look like anyone in particular, though when I was little I was the spitting image of the little girl from Poltergeist. People often asked if I was that actress, to which I would reply, ‘They’re heeeeeeerrrrrrree…”

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Easy. Homemade fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. Eating this one food for the rest of my life would likely greatly reduce my lifespan, but what a way to go.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. I had the bright idea of having a baby while attending law school. That was pretty tough at times. Thankfully, my husband Joey is a saint, and together we made it work. I’d say that was a pretty major accomplishment.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. The internet. Hands down. I remember when we used to have to go to the library to find answers to questions. Who has time for that?! Microwaves are pretty awesome too.

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!


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Meet the EN Team: Laura Lynch

product designer

Meet one of our team members who plays an active role in developing your As Seen on TV (ASOTV) ideas to bring them to life on the screen. Fun fact: she is also a new mom!

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. I’m a product designer for Edison Nation As Seen on TV, which means I help bring each of our items to life through sketching, 3D modeling, prototyping, and providing specification drawings to our manufacturers so that they can be mass produced. I’m also Edison Nation’s brand manager which means I’m responsible for organizing and enforcing the way that our brand is presented throughout all of our communications.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. Walking through the building – the office feels very alive, with so many exciting projects going on around every corner. It reminds me of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, pretty cool.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Spa day. I tried to come up with a more exciting answer here, but I just really, really want a spa day.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I can assemble Ikea furniture without the instructions. But, please don’t ask me to do it. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. A commercial airline pilot. I even had a huge poster of a plane cockpit above my bed. Now, I really hate flying. Go figure.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. My 18 month old son. It must be incredible to experience such overwhelming excitement and fascination while exploring the world for the first time.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. No one well known, but I’m pretty sure I came face to face with my twin while on a bus in Copenhagen about 6 years ago. We stared at eachother for a while, so I’m sure she thought the same thing. Other than that – Mary thinks I look like Amy Adams from the Wedding Date.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Chocolate topped with chocolate

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. Becoming a mom, and surviving parenthood (so far). I learn something new every single day.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. The illustrious World Wide Web. It’s completely revolutionized the way we exchange knowledge and ideas. It literally brings the entire world to your fingertips.

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!


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Now Hiring! Edison Nation is seeking a Front-End Web Developer

Know of any great front-end Web developers out there? We’re always growing and we need to add one to our team. Please let them know about this opportunity!

Front-End Developer with Rails Experience

Do your apps change people’s lives? Ours do. 

Our users’ ideas have generated more than $200 million in retail sales and our work touches millions of people from more than 200 countries and territories.

Do you get excited about learning and using the latest technologies in a production environment? That’s how we roll and we want you to roll with us.

Edison Nation is seeking a passionate, talented and self-motivated Front-End Web Developer with excellent communications skills and the ability to excel in a fast-moving, creative environment. The desires to teach and learn in an ego-free environment and a good sense of humor are critical. You must have experience working on Rails.

A little about us

We own innovation. Our members submit product ideas to us and we design, engineer and commercialize the best, sharing an industry-leading royalty with the inventor.

Did you catch Everyday Edisons on PBS or Hulu last night? That’s our Emmy award-winning television show. It’s about us and members of our site. It airs in over 60 countries around the world.

Are you sick of the late-night ads for Bacon Bowl, Gyro Bowl, Mr. Steamy, Emery Cat or Hot Huez yet? Those are all ours, too… and so are a bunch of much more serious products in the consumer and medical spaces.

We’re taking over the world as the online engine that brings consumer-driven innovation to market. And we want you to help lead us into the future.

Charlotte or anywhere

We’re located in beautiful Charlotte, NC. If you are here – or would like to relocate here – that’s fantastic. If you’re more the telecommuting type and already love the city you’re in, we’ll consider a telecommuting position for the right candidate – many of our team members work remotely. We use Google Hangouts and 37 Signals’ suite of products to keep the team connected, regardless of location. In addition to having the team connected via Campfire at all times, we have a daily 15-minute standup at 2pm EST to keep everybody up to date and from going stir crazy at home.

A look around the office

Note: click the photos above to view an around-the-office gallery from a previous post.

More about you

You should be comfortable working on large web applications. You should understand the ins and outs of working with dev, staging and production servers with multiple developers. You must have an extremely high attention to detail and the ability to deliver consistently while working independently and without constant supervision – although the rest of our tech team is always willing and ready to jump in and help when you need it.

Day-to-day, you will use your excellent command of the latest Web standards such as HTML5, CSS3 and SASS to convert static designs or concepts into an exciting user experience. You don’t just “cut things up” but you translate concepts into a brilliant user experience and you’re not satisfied until it’s perfect – even on IE. You’re a self-motivator and you’re always on the lookout for opportunities to refactor code or our UI/UX to make it more elegant… and you don’t wait around for permission to make it happen. You’ll be the driving force behind the magic that makes people really enjoy using our site.

You will have professional experience working in Ruby on Rails environments.

You can work on our full technology stack and will have the ability to shift your focus – depending on your evolving interests – from front-end to back-end and vice-versa.

You will hold your own on a small team that is expected to always deliver. You’ll work with a front-end designer and several Rails developers. Your boss is awesome (he’s also writing this) and knows his most important job is to filter out the noise so you can stay focused.

You will be given the opportunity to drive the development direction by choosing the tools you feel best solve the everyday challenges of a quickly-growing site. We’re looking for someone we can trust to make important decisions and own them.

Required skills

  • Proven experience with Ruby on Rails development
  • Demonstrable understanding of MVC frameworks
  • Mastery of HTML, CSS and pre-processors like SASS
  • Experience with AngularJS, Backbone or similar framework
  • Familiarity with Git for version control
  • Experience with rapid application development
  • Expert at JavaScript (with and without frameworks like jQuery)
  • Familiar with responsive design strategies and tactics
  • Über-high attention to detail
  • At least 2 years of commercial development experience
  • Be comfortable on the command line
  • Excellent communication and writing skills
  • Bonus points for the ability to demonstrate those skills with emoji, gifs and memes

Education

If you have the communication skills and maturity of a university graduate, we could care less where – or if – you went to school. On the other hand, if you went to a really nice school, we’ll make a point to sound impressed when you tell us about it. With the cost of higher education these days, it should at least get you something.

A little more about us

We’re profitable. We’re a startup of around 7 years but our sister company has been around for over a decade. We have already launched a secondary site based on the Medical vertical (Edison Nation Medical) and have others on the way.

Benefits & perks

  • Salary based on experience
  • Excellent healthcare/dental insurance
  • Work with a diverse A-level team
  • Enjoy training + conference budget
  • Free Coca-Cola Freestyle, Froyo, Espresso, coffee, popcorn & beer

To apply

Please send a very solid cover letter, a resume/cv if you have one, and URLs for your best sites/apps and GitHub account to webjobs at edisonnation dot com. Seriously, if you’ve got the skills, you’ll win or lose the job based on your cover letter so please take the time to tell us why you think you’re a great fit.

  • No Recruiters
  • No Contractors
  • No Outsourcing Shops

If you are a recruiter, contractor or body shop, we’re just going to mark your email as spam if you send it to us. Your witty email isn’t going to change that, either. We’ll just figure out a way to click the spam button twice.

Meet the EN Team: Doug Doolen

Doug Doolen
 

This month, meet one of our team members who plays an active role in licensing your ideas, and could likely go toe-to-toe with anyone on Thomas Edison trivia! Get to know Doug Doolen.

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. I am a Licensing Manager for Edison Nation which means my job is two-fold: 1) I try to find a home at retail for each and every submission that comes in on our search platform, and 2) I secure partner searches for companies looking for new and exciting innovation.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. The challenge and gamesmanship involved in finding the right connection for the right product. I might be dealing with a product idea for a Walmart supplier, an innovation for a heavy industrial company, and maybe even a solution for the automotive accessory market all in the same day. I don’t know what will come across my desk or who I might be calling. This is exciting. We’re not pitching the same thing over and over again — each deal is new.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Water skiing for sure, but I really like hanging out with my family (my wife Heather and three daughters — yes, men — I backed off the poker table as I was getting outnumbered). My oldest graduated from Appalachian State and is working for Boeing Aircraft – Military; my middle is headed to Chapel Hill next year; and my youngest hasn’t focused yet. My wife and I laugh at their excitement and enjoyment of life.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. Not the guitar. My family gave one to me for Christmas and won’t even let me practice. I’ve been a girls’ competitive softball coach for years. My talent would be bringing out the best in a player and working in a patent consistent manner. Love coaching swing mechanics… it’s way different than baseball.  A 60 mph pitch in softball is like 90 in baseball because of the closer location of the pitcher.  If you ever see a softball pitcher face a baseball player, then bet on the softball player every time.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. A truck driver! My dad had a bunch of truck drivers working for him in the dry ice business. I thought it was really cool that they started somewhere else in the wee hours of the morning to deliver the ice.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. The President of the United States! I’d like to know what tools they have at their disposal and why there is so much “spinning” of the truth. Some of the deals past presidents have made or situations that they find themselves in are so peculiar. You could be the leader of the most powerful country in the world looking at all the situations from the top down.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. When John Elway was in his prime, people thought I looked like him. I played myself off as “Steve Elway” his younger brother quite a few times.  For some reason, now people think I have a resemblance to Peyton Manning. Maybe my receding hairline or that I’m native to Colorado or something. I’ve also heard from several ladies that I sound a lot like Tom Hanks.  I guess if I could act or play football, I wouldn’t be here.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. Pizza — hands down. Love it!

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. I was with a company that competed with the biggest motorsports safety company in the country. We began to enter the fire-suit market where all the top names were sponsored by “Simpson.” I researched and learned flame-retardant fabric characteristics; studied pattern-making and cut & sew techniques,;self-taught a grading scale for the patterns; built prototype suits and burned them on Thermo-Man™ at DuPont (burned 17 suits at $2,000 each); and basically understood every aspect of the product. That year we landed accounts with all of Hendrick Motorsports (Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, and Ricky Craven); as well as Ricky Rudd at Tide Racing; Kodak Racing with Morgan McClure; Ernie Irvan with Texaco Havoline; and Ward Burton. Jeff Gordon told me that no one ever educated him the way I did on the performance of his suits. I learned perseverance in the face of adversity during this time.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. I always say “electricity” to this question but know this is more of a discovery. The innovation was how to handle it and harness its power in so many facets of today’s technology. I would like some day to go off-the-grid and live computer free. It probably won’t happen, but sometimes I feel like technology invades us. I visited the Edison Ford Estates in Ft. Meyers, FL earlier this year and learned two interesting facts. Edison used carbonized bamboo as the filament in his lighting elements and found that it was the best and most consistent method of carrying the load. He is also the only person to be awarded at least one patent each year for 65 years. It was rumored that he carried ball bearings that woke him when they fell to the ground, should he ever nap during his crazy work schedule. My avatar for work is me pictured next to a little bigger than life size statue of Thomas Edison at his estate. The artist modeled him with a large ball bearing in his left hand to symbolize his focus (it only rotates in a single plane). He has a cane in the right with a “silver tip” to show he was grounded in integrity and the principles of science.

Want to meet other members of our staff? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Meet the EN Team: Tony Pierce

Tony Pierce
 

This month, meet the newest addition to our Accounting team, Tony Pierce.

Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

A. I am an Accountant. I track costs and revenues by product, among other things.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

A. I really enjoy the creative atmosphere here. It’s fun to hear about all the new products in the works.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

A. Snowboarding

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

A. I used to breakdance, but it has been several years.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A. I wanted to be a marine biologist until the first time I saw a whale close up. They are mind-bogglingly huge!

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

A. Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

A. People used to confuse my younger brother and me for twins.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

A. I’m going to cheat and say pizza; that’s like 4 or 5 foods if you’re doing it right.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

A. I once bench pressed my wife. She got a pretty good kick out of that.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

A. Besides the internet? I really like what Tesla motors has done with electric cars. If they can find a way to make them more affordable, that would do wonders for energy consumption.

A little behind on getting to know us? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!

Meet the EN Team: Michael Evans

Mike Evans
This month, get to know one of our newest licensing team members, Michael Evans.

 Q1. What is your position and what does it entail?

    A. Licensing Manager; I work with retailers and manufactures to commercialize IP via world-wide license agreements.

Q2. What do you enjoy most about working at Edison Nation?

    A. It’s a great atmosphere with new and exciting IP each day… from cat scratchers to SUP Fitness.

Q3. If you could be doing anything else right this moment, what would it be?

    A. On the beach.

Q4. What’s your hidden talent?

    A. Cooking chicken and dumplings; drop or flat.

Q5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    A. Crane operator; My grandparents owned a heavy construction company.

Q6. If you could experience someone else’s life for just one day, who would it be?

    A. My dog, “Jersey.”

Q7. Who are you often told is your doppelganger?

    A. James Gandolfini from The Sopranos.

Q8. You’re only allowed to eat one food for the rest of your life. What would you choose?

    A. Saltimbocca from Federal Hill, RI.

Q9. What’s a goal you’re most proud of accomplishing?

    A. Professionally, Trifecta Team of the Year at Henkel of America (Old Dial Corp). Personally, adopting three dogs.

Q10. What do you think is the greatest invention in your lifetime and why?

    A. The Yo-yo… it’s fun no matter your age.

A little behind on getting to know us? Catch up on past Meet the EN Team posts!