“Nearly every man who develops an idea works it up to the point where it looks impossible, and then he gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.” – Thomas Edison
Edison Nation’s namesake knew well that the path to success is rarely a straight line. Behind every successful invention is a history of fits and starts that could make most people want to give up. But not the folks at EN or our innovator community!
Last week, we celebrated a “second chance,” a previously licensed product that in its first life didn’t quite take off but found success when relicensed. Edison Nation doesn’t give up on products we believe in, and we’re happy to announce another second chance this week: Daniel Moskal’s Simple Slide.
Daniel has been a member of our EN community since 2010. A midwesterner through and through, he is originally from Michigan and currently lives in Chicago, IL, where he has recently become engaged. Congratulations, Daniel!
Daniel has spent most of his career as a successful sales professional, but he has always had a creative side as well. His creative outlets include acting, writing, and–lucky for us–inventing. He began learning about EN’s Live Product Searches (LPS), which he found to be a great way to challenge himself and get inventing in a market he might not otherwise have entered.
Responding to an LPS from Ellery Home Styles, Daniel sketched out his idea for the Simple Slide, a Teflon-based technology that makes rod-and-pocket curtains easier to open and close. He listed the reasons his product was better than anything on the market and submitted his sketch. It was accepted by Ellery Home Styles, but this was just the beginning of the product’s journey.
You may be familiar with our advice about how having realistic expectations about licensing deals. While we believe that every innovator should celebrate the day they get their deal, we also have to manage expectations. There will still be sales meetings ahead where the licensing partner or retailer has to pitch the product and get buy-in from retail partners or store personnel, and this doesn’t always go as hoped. In other cases, such as Daniel’s, the licensing company undergoes a transition that bodes poorly for the product.
Unfortunately, Ellery Home Styles was later purchased by another company, and the Simple Slide did not get the optimal level of distribution due to market forces as well as internal forces at the licensing partner company heading into transition.
Happily, today we can announce that the product is being given another opportunity to soar. It has been relicensed by home textile Keeco as the “Easy Glide Rod Pocket Curtain.” Well done, Daniel!
Daniel advises other inventors to “identify the problem and find a simpler solution than what is out there.” And although he acknowledges that failure is an inevitable part of the journey to ultimate success, he says inventors must “learn to fail affordably.” With previous products, he lost money hiring engineers to develop his products for him. In this case, he worked with EN’s very own multitalented team members Scott Dromms and Carlos Perez, who took to needle and thread to create a working prototype for Daniel’s idea.
Way to go, EN Team, and way to go, Daniel!
A special thank you to Emily Dings for this beautifully written post!