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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Um, well, the next question, I guess, that we would pose is, what are some of the challenges that you think face inventors and entrepreneurs? So, sort of two different categories, you are both, you know, you’re an inventor and entrepreneur. What are some of the major challenges you see?

Well, you know, there’s, there are a lot of challenges out there being an entrepreneur. Um, you know, obviously, I’ve talked about building a good team. I think that’s critical in any business, really going out and finding people, even if you’re a solopreneur, you’re still going to have to build a team. And being that vendors and suppliers, and, you know, media folks that you’re working with, things like that. And that’s one of the biggest challenges today because we are flooded with that via the Internet, you know. So really finding those, um, the best way that I’ve found to team up with people so far, um, got blessed by just finding gold on the internet, but really by getting referrals, you know. Finding people. My web guy is a referral to a client of my wife’s, and he is phenomenal, um, you know. So the social media marketing people that I’m working with are also referrals, you know, the designers that I’m working with, you know. So these people have been referred to me by people that have already vetted them, so, you know, building a good team is critical, whether that’s, you know, building a company with, you know, with your own staff or going out and finding vendors that are very capable, down to the manufacturing, and the manufacturing company that builds our system here in Phoenix is somebody that works for my brother-in-law and worked for him for years. So, you know, that’s part of the importance and part of the challenges is really, um, is finding that team that will help you be successful. Perfect. Yeah, I agree 100. And do you think it’s important for you, do you benefit, I think you touched upon this earlier, but is it important as an inventor, as an entrepreneur, as a businessman to learn about the patent and treatment process? And did you feel like you learned a lot so far?

Yeah, it is interesting, you know. Um, I spoke with this with JD before, you know, you hear a lot of things out there when people are talking about bringing products to market that are saying, you know, don’t wait, start making money, start putting your product out there, get worried about your patent later. Um, but, you know, depending on the uniqueness of your product and what you want to do with your company, um, I think a patent and protection is really important. You know, I want to take home strong decades into the future. It’s very unique, and it is something that could be knocked off very easily. So, I wanted that personal protection of bringing my idea to fruition, knowing that I wasn’t going to be knocked off within, you know, three to six months by a competitor. So, I think it’s, uh, I think it is important, more important than a lot of people might say for sure.

Well, we’ve sort of touched upon this, but if you wanted to add to it, you can. Have you always been inventive and creative? Or do you feel like the problem you were trying to solve here, you know, you mentioned about being at home during COVID and wanting to go to the gym and you can’t go to the gym and wanting a better option for home fitness equipment, was that problem so important to you that, you know, all the creative juices came together, and you were driven to come to the solution?

Yeah, so, you know, as I said, with my, with my father growing up, we were always tinkering on things, you know. He was a hot rod guy on gas stations and built airplanes. So, I’ve always been mechanically inclined through osmosis, I suppose, just because of who I grew up with. So, I was always tinkering with things. Yeah, the expense, and you make him sound maybe he is like Tom Cruise, you know, and Top Gun, and it sounds like, you know, it was pretty inherent into me to, you know, always be creative. And I always was thinking of things. And, you know, we’ve heard it a million times on The Bold podcasts and things, you know, you think of things, and you dwell on it, and the next thing you know, you know, six months later, there’s an invention out there that was your idea if you could have jumped on that on the ball earlier. So, you know, I got frustrated many times seeing things come to fruition that I had already thought of, um, but it, you know, I was really never at a point in my life where I felt I was capable of actually, you know, making that leap. I think today, with technology and everything that is available to people, I think people can get access to business and funding and things like that a lot earlier than maybe when I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s. So, I’d just say if you have a great idea, research it and go for it. I love it. That’s very true and have that drive and commitment to it. Um, so now the opportunity, you would like to sort of tout, and, um, you know, find out more about your how your product is available. Um, so are you currently making and selling the product? Is it available for purchase? Or do you license it and or do you license your patents to another part? Yeah, so it has been a long road to getting to where we’re at. We have launched, um, it’s been a rather soft, slow launch up to this point. Um, but we are manufacturing the product here in Tempe, Arizona. Um, we’re very proud of this as an American-made product. It’s very important to me that we continue to do so, you know. Um, just like with all of my contracting companies, I feel that providing, um, a good job for Americans is very important. So, that’s why we’re doing that. So, we are manufacturing that here, we’re selling it direct to consumer right now on our website homestrongfitness.com. Um, we also have a couple of partners that are teaming up and selling them as somewhat influencer-type marketers that are getting affiliates. Um, they’re doing that on Facebook and Instagram right now. Um, but we’re literally weeks into this. So, um, these are, the stone is slowly rolling right now at this point. Uh, and then we’re also diversifying that a little bit because we have been contacted by some physical therapists that they want the products. So, we’re also developing a business-to-business model to sell those.

Wow, fantastic. That’s really great to see it come through from fruition. And I admire you and I commend you for starting with the patent process first and following through through the manufacturing. And now you have a product that you’ve produced that corresponds to what you’ve patented and are continuing to patent. I believe you have a child application pending, correct?

I’m sorry, say that again.

I believe you have a continuation patent application that’s pending that’s yeah. So, you’re developing a patent portfolio.

Yes, we’re, you know, we, we have, uh, this product and there are a few future designs that I feel that will enhance the product as we go. So, you know, we plan on continuing with the home strong brand. That’s wonderful, yeah. And I, and I can see the part behind you, and I took a look at the website, and I love how it looks durable but not bulky and lightweight and doesn’t take up a bunch of room. Um, I think that’s really very unique and something that, um, I, I do think there will be a lot of demand for that. Um, so I commend you on that and the fact that it is also, like you said, made in the USA. Yeah, those are really our key selling points is, you know, you don’t need a room to be full of equipment to have a great workout. It literally replaces dumbbells, barbells, cable machines, and, you know, and different types of gym machines, um, but you can do it all, you know, 18 inches off the wall, and you have the full usability of your room when you’re done working out. Amazing. That’s wonderful. Um, well, do you have any interesting short stories you would want to share with us about your invention or about the patent process or you’d like to share with a viewer of this interview? You know, I think that the, you know, one of the things that I would share is, um, that it’s not easy, but if you love what you’re doing and if you have a passion for what you have designed or what you’ve created, um, stick with it because, you know, this has been a two-year process for me, maybe a little bit more, two and a half year process for me, and we’re just getting to market, you know. So, there’s a lot of opportunity to give up along that road because, you know, it might be expensive, it might be challenging, you know, it might be hard to juggle this another job and family and everything else. But if you, you know, you know if you really believe in your creation, keep, keep persevering because it will happen, you know. And even though we’re starting the launch right now, and it’s not easy yet, um, I see a roadmap to success. And so, you know, just be diligent, you know, put your business plan together, sit down, you know, talk to your significant other about what you’re going through, what you’re doing and make sure that they know so that you’re all on the same page. So, the true team and that you know that it’s hard, difficult, and expensive today, but it’s going to be great for yourself and your family down the road. That driving commitment has to be there.

Um, would you like to, the last question is, you do like to share a picture of yourself or your team for the inventor highlight? Well, this is the team.

So, yeah, this is all of us. Um, I, you know, it’s funny. I was actually looking through my emails, and I realized that I didn’t send you guys a photo of me with my, uh, with my plaque, and I just, uh, I just took a couple of shots, so I’ll send those over to you. But, yeah, as far as a team photo, I don’t really have much right. That’s it. Commend you and congratulate you for achieving this. My goodness, like you said, there were a lot of opportunities along the way to get up, give up, or to let it go, and I’m so glad you did not. And we’ll be cheering for you. And I hope this will be a highlight reel that, you know, A, can drive more interest to your company and your business and B, is encouragement for other people who are starting out at the beginning where you were two years ago and are motivated to be going and to learn something good. Well, I hope it is, you know. I mean, Bold has been a really a gift. I mean, I’ve worked with a lot of companies and, um, you know, I mean, right out of the gate from, you know, the attorneys, the consultants, um, you know, the members of your administrative staff that I worked with, you know, that’s awesome. And, and keep that, um, I mean, you really don’t see it, guys. You really don’t when you’re out on the, on the internet trying to find people to deal with. You never know really who’s on the other end of the email. You might get a face-to-face and a Zoom call, and that’s the only person you’re talking to, you know. And that goes back to some of the web developers I work for and other people like that, um, knowing that there’s a team behind it really adds legitimacy to your business, and it helps you know really secure that, um, you know, things are going to continue, um, versus just going into oblivion like they have a couple of times with other companies. Thank you so much. I wanted to know, have you, um, since you’ve hit the market, um, have you, have you sold any?

You know, we had a prototype initially that we were giving people, and then people still wanted to buy, so we probably sold about a dozen of the original prototypes. Um, and, yeah, so we’ve been doing A/B testing and a lot of Facebook and Instagram marketing. Um, we’re working on our Google SEO and things like that right now and trying to get more content onto the website because we really see that, you know, it’s just the SEO search is just non-existent at this point. So, we’re just posting content, pushing that SEO optimization, and trying to, you know, catch more search phrases and things like that so hopefully some more of that organic market will come back into us. But yeah, you know, slowly but surely.

So, if we do a follow-up interview and it’s May 2024, what do you hope to be telling me about your business?

I hope to be telling you that we’re selling three units a day, at least three minutes, okay. No, I heard really cool. I like to hear B2C and a B2B. How many of those three would go where, right? So, yeah, and that’s a great question because I, I’ve really just begun exploring this B2B. Um, I think, you know, that’s an interesting market. You’re probably gonna, um, crack into certain customers that might have offices across the country. There’s one of them here in Arizona, uh, that has 25 offices, and they think that it’s perfect because they could almost put it in an exam room and still have the utility of an exam room but yet go into a training option if they needed to use that space for it. So, um, I think that will ebb and flow with the, with the, you know, typical business-type contracts that you get. Um, but yeah, I would love to be selling 100 plus a year to businesses and then really, you know, that goal of three a day is, is good for direct, you know, direct-to-consumer type marketing, so awesome.

Well, we will, we’ll attentively plan that, uh, review, have some updates, obviously, you’re still on your way to, if you’re growing your patent portfolio, yo, um, and, uh, whether you nude or not who does actually help your attorney, uh, I’m forgetting who it is offhand.

She’s overseeing Chris’s work, and you do have a team. Uh, I don’t know, even a patent reviewer, uh, Maki helps to make sure all this stuff gets out properly, and you probably already met Christine on the docketing side, I believe so, yeah. Um, I was inspired by your comments about our team and, um, really, uh, appreciate you saying that, you know, it’s, it’s, you said it’s hard out there. It’s hard. Well, you know, being with us and to keep it up, and, uh, those words mean a lot. Cool. Well, I’m happy to help you guys out, and I appreciate the reciprocation and, and you know, giving me some highlights here too, absolutely. Well, yeah, for sure, it’ll give us a month or two. We’re gonna, we’re hiring a new web developer, and we’re gonna have this up in a couple of months. Okay, let’s take a sneak peek before it gets published. Um, if we can, we’ll have and thank you for sending the, the write-up, so it’ll be nice to have your words as well as the video, um, however people like to, you know, consume, uh, video but it’ll be on our site, and then we’ll probably share it on social, cool. Well, so that’ll be great, yeah. Like, will you guys put it on, uh, you, you have a YouTube channel, right?

We do, yeah, for sure. Well, yeah, well, let’s, let’s do some links there, and I’ll link back from my site as well. I’ll do a snippet highlight on that and get, you know, hopefully we can drive traffic both ways. Yes, perfect, all right. Take care, thank you so much, Dean. Have a wonderful day, thank you, thanks JD, yeah, bye-bye, talk soon.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at https://boldip.com/contact/