Our InvENtor Spotlight for September is on Monte Hess! Monte has been a member of the Edison Nation community since 2018 and is an active Insider!
Where is your hometown?
Where do you currently reside?
What is your professional background?
I have always been associated with real estate in some fashion or form. From college on, where I studied architecture and minored in business management, while framing homes to put myself through college.
I worked overseas for Morrison-Knudsen for four years. Once back in Seattle, Washington I worked as a mortgage banker and then started my custom home building business. I worked in that business for 28 plus years in Boise. I have always had inventing in my blood. Since childhood, I would tear things apart in my father’s garage to see how it worked.
How did you initially hear about Edison Nation?
I first heard of Edison Nation years ago in a magazine article, however, I met Robert Harker on Quirky where we were both long time members along with others that are now members of Edison Nation. Rob mentioned he had joined Edison Nation along with some other old members of Quirky so I looked into it and joined!
What inspired you to start inventing?
I have always created things and enjoyed making products easier, stemming from childhood. My father was a master heavy equipment mechanic so I had the tools to create anything. He and I built two go-karts, three tote gotes and a 16 foot Chris-Craft boat while I was in Jr. High and High school.
Do you find that invention ideas come to you or do you have to go after them?
Most come to me when I see a problem or someone struggling with something. Light bulb implosions!
When did you come up with your first great idea?
Years ago, when my father and his friend who owned a machine shop, we made a kite that you pull behind a boat. They asked me to test it out, there was no harness, just a bar to hang on to! Scared to bejesus out of me, it put me 100 feet in the air with my water skis on!
Have you ever collaborated with another inventor(s) on a project?
Yes, quite a few over the years.
What are some general industry trends you have noticed recently?
Mostly electronic items that make home living easier. Apps for smart phones and anything adapting to the medical field. New exciting toys and STEM products!
You have been an EN member since 2018, can you provide us with some details around your experiences and journey to date?
Most importantly, I enjoy the professionalism of EN in the way you respond and handle your members/inventors! Triple A rating in my humble opinion!
What advice would you tell others embarking on their own invention journeys?
Don’t expect Magic! Many inventors, (especially newbies), including myself in the beginning of my journey, feel their inventions are a one and only top notch idea!
Do your research thoroughly!
I have had dozens of light bulb moments only to discover it has already been done!
What would you consider as your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
It was my first great invention! I was beside myself not knowing what to do with it?
It was for my Suburban back then. A light bulb moment! I wanted to put a blinker in my side view mirrors. Yepper! This was years before they ever came out. I didn’t do anything for about a month until I couldn’t stand it anymore so I called General Motors and talked with some guy that verbally assured me it was safe with him and the company! Gave him my name and contact information, address/phone number, etc. You know the rest…..Never heard a word, imagine that?…..Young, busy and dumb!
Thanks to EN, I have not thought about that in years!
What are some other fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share with the EN community?
I had two choices right after I got married? I was about 27 years old at that time. Buy a dairy farm and move north up in the panhandle of Idaho or get involved in the Casino business my father-in-law was managing?
Well… I should have gone the casino route, as she hated it and left me two years later and went back home to Reno. I still wonder, what could have been? 🙂