In November 2009 I featured the success story of Sherry Campa (firstname.lastname@example.org), a 62 year old, disabled grandmother, whose economic situation required she ride the bus as her main means of transportation. Her regular trips on the bus allowed her to observe passengers who were confined to wheelchairs. She noticed their heads rested on uncomfortable and ill fitting pads. That gave her an idea. From that idea, with no money, no talent for sewing or design, she created the Dreamy Comfort Pillow which is now featured on Nissan’s website, used by law enforcement agencies and in medical supply houses. A dream was allowed to grow because a dreamer took action regardless of the apparent lack of resources.
Everyone has heard of or experienced the economic devastation of the last 18 months. Living in Las Vegas I know that devastation is wider and deeper than many other parts of the country. Yet, in the mist of such a situation, I serendipitously encounter a young man who managed to dream of a product and get it to market. The young man’s name is Brian Agster. His company is Vegas Doorstops and the product is Door-Pro(tm).
The encounter was serendipitous because I met Brian while dining with my husband at one of our favorite after shopping haunts. Unfortunately, we were informed upon our arrival that the restaurant would be closing and reopening in several months as a new and different restaurant. Not exactly good news, since that means many people would be losing their jobs in a market that already sits at the top of the unemployment scale nationally.
During dinner we started asking Brian general questions about the restaurant concept switch, how long we had respectively lived in Las Vegas, the sorry state of the education system, etc. We asked what he would do for work during the restaurant closure. He said he was fortunate because he had a business based on a product he had created. The business was Vegas Doorstops, and they made – yes, you guessed it – doorstops. Now doorstops are not original, not exciting, and older than almost any product sold that I can imagine. Yet Brian found a way to improve upon them while addressing a market need that is huge – and growing. How Brian told us about his product is a sign of great salesmanship. He did not start telling us about the product. What he did was ASK us a question. He asked, “how do you hold the door open to your house when you enter from the garage?” (For those of you on the East coast who may not have garages attached to your home, the doors usually are spring loaded.) I responded that I use one of the bags to prop the door open. He then went on to explain how his product worked.
Instead of needing to be put at the bottom of the door – requiring bending – his product slips easily on the hinge of the door, thus allow it to prop open. Now bending down may not seem like a big deal to you, yet I am here to tell you people hate to bend down. And housekeepers in hotels really hate to bend down because they have to do a minimum of 15 rooms per day. That’s a lot of added bending to a given day. Also, as the population ages, bending is not something people can do easily whether they like to do it or not.
A simple product, a new design, and a new global market is born.
Brian highlights several outstanding qualities of a successful entrepreneur. He kept his day job while creating, patenting, copyrighting, manufacturing, selling and distributing his dream product. His dream product was simple and needed. His sales pitch focused me on how I live and why his product would make my life better!
Down economy? Who cares! Have to work to feed my family? Who cares! Already been invented? Who cares!
Brian and Door-Pro(tm) is a true example of: You can make excuses or you can get your dream product to market, but you can’t do both.
With appreciation for the greatness our country allows, Andrea
Dr. Success ™
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