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!