The CubeShield Story<br />Gary Hoke<br />Inventor & Cofounder<br />CubeShield, Inc.<br />
In the beginning…<br />In 2001, the cofounder’s employer moved their software development team to a new office building to...
The search for a solution…<br />Initially, employees adapted by turning the lights off, but that resulted in lights being ...
From concept to product…<br />We explored numerous embodiments and prototypes to see how we could block out the light.<br ...
From concept to product… (cont.)<br />Our first prototypes from our prospective manufacturer were way off base.<br />We ha...
The patent…<br />Given the nature of our invention, a patent was critical to our business strategy.<br />While our initial...
The business…<br />As software engineers, the cofounders naturally want to sell the product online and did so by developin...
Our customer organizations…<br />
Key lessons learned for other entrepreneurs…<br />Keep It Simple – Don’t overcomplexify processes.  Research how others ha...
For more information visit us online…<br />www.cubeshield.com<br />
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The CubeShield Story

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Provides details on the successes, challenges and lessons learned during the development and commercialization of the CubeShield product.

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The CubeShield Story

  1. 1. The CubeShield Story<br />Gary Hoke<br />Inventor & Cofounder<br />CubeShield, Inc.<br />
  2. 2. In the beginning…<br />In 2001, the cofounder’s employer moved their software development team to a new office building to support corporate growth.<br />The bright overhead fluorescent lights in the new office cubicle farm caused employee discomfort and in some cases headaches and vision issues.<br />After numerous complaints and some cases of employee dissatisfaction it became apparent that the issue would need to be addressed.<br />
  3. 3. The search for a solution…<br />Initially, employees adapted by turning the lights off, but that resulted in lights being turn on and off by various employees throughout the workday.<br />Next, we tried unscrewing light bulbs to match the light preferences of the nearby employees. That worked for awhile until we hired some new employees with varying lighting preferences.<br />Finally, we explored the idea of somehow blocking the light from the employee’s field of vision. Great idea, but we quickly realized that a product didn’t exist that could solve our problem.<br />
  4. 4. From concept to product…<br />We explored numerous embodiments and prototypes to see how we could block out the light.<br />Ultimately, we wanted a simple, lightweight and self-supporting product that could be easy installed onto the office cubicle.<br />The first prototypes were created by reconfiguring two collapsible sunshades into an embodiment similar to the current product.<br />The patent licensing information on the sunshades actually led us to a manufacturer who could build the CubeShield product.<br />
  5. 5. From concept to product… (cont.)<br />Our first prototypes from our prospective manufacturer were way off base.<br />We had to figure out how to depict the exact shape of the product in a simplistic manner and ended up doing so be creating a stencil of the product shape.<br />After several attempts we had the final design for the product and began manufacturing production units.<br />We made our first sale in early 2004.<br />
  6. 6. The patent…<br />Given the nature of our invention, a patent was critical to our business strategy.<br />While our initial patent application focused on multiple embodiments, the issued patent focused on our final product design.<br />The patent process took about 4 years and we were granted U.S. Patent #7117802 in Oct. 2006.<br />We began selling the product as “Patent Pending” in early 2004.<br />
  7. 7. The business…<br />As software engineers, the cofounders naturally want to sell the product online and did so by developing their own website.<br />PayPal made it simple to conduct online transactions.<br />Product awareness became critical to generating sales and the popularity of the product spread primarily through word-of-mouth advertising.<br />Likewise, today social networking plays a large role in marketing and advertising the product.<br />Tools like Google Analytics help track how potential customers find us.<br />Since 2004, the company has experienced double-digit year over year revenue growth.<br />
  8. 8. Our customer organizations…<br />
  9. 9. Key lessons learned for other entrepreneurs…<br />Keep It Simple – Don’t overcomplexify processes. Research how others have accomplished something similar. Steer towards the path of least resistance.<br />Don’t file your patent application until you have a solid prototype. This will reduce the legal costs and the amount of time until your patent is granted.<br />Don’t just hire a patent attorney. Find one that will work in concert with you. Performing a prior art search is not that difficult with today’s online tools.<br />Find a business partner that complements your skills and competencies. Determine the competencies that are critical to the company’s success and be sure you have team members to cover them.<br />So your idea may not be the next Google, but it could provide cash flow to reinvest in future ideas or investment opportunities.<br />Leverage customer feedback to make continuous improvement to your products and processes.<br />Learn about PR/advertising and try it yourself. With today’s social media marketing tools you don’t have to hire an expensive PR firm to raise product awareness and generate sales.<br />Hope for the best and plan for the worst. Planning is critical especially when it comes to raising capital and funding your idea. Plan ahead for upside opportunities and downside risks.<br />
  10. 10. For more information visit us online…<br />www.cubeshield.com<br />

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