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Dr. Doug's Final Thoughts on Lightglove, H20, Bug Labs & Mogo

By Dr. Doug Hirschhorn

Bruce and MG Howard (Lightglove)

I have to tell you, after meeting Bruce and MG in person on the show and hearing their story, I think Paul (the angel investor) missed the mark. Their product is a clear winner….it is just a matter of timing. It is easy to bet on a winner once it is a winner; but greatness is about going against the norm and taking a risk when others are not willing to do that.

Do they need a business coach? Yes, I believe they do; but I don’t think that is enough of a reason for an angel investor to pass on them, because it is easily correctable. In fact, I would challenge an angel investor to look at that as part of the investment. Lightglove is like a great athlete who has all the natural skills, but just needs the right tweaking and coaching to become an all-star.

All that being said, here is how I think Bruce and MG should be thinking about things moving forward:

They got turned down… So what? No big deal. Bring on the next pitch. Truth is, nothing has fundamentally changed in their vision, their product and their goal. They are rough around the edges and they know it and it can be solved. They should be thinking from the perspective of finding the right investor rather than just finding any investor. Once they get some traction, everyone is going to be their “friend” and want to be on board which is why I think it is critical for them to find the right investor now, rather than someone who is jumping on the band wagon. They should be looking for the unique person who sees their potential and is willing to take the risk with them. After all, Bruce and MG have put their careers, and their family’s financial future on the line for this. That is what I call “Daring to be Great.” They have survived for years doing this. They will be winners, I have no doubt, and it is just a matter of time.

When asked what he thought about when he struck-out, Babe Ruth replied, “I think about hitting homeruns.”

Bruce and MG, you may have struck-out at CES this year but keep thinking about homeruns because you have many more at bats coming to you.

Peter Semmelhack (Bug Labs)

Truth be told, I was not a big fan of this one when I met him on the show. I mean, sure the product is cool… but the name, Bug Labs, did not connect with me and it seemed too techie-specific to reach a broad market. But hey, what do I know, I am not the expert on branding.

Anyway, after seeing Peter’s pitch last night to the bloggers, I will give the guy credit for being one step ahead. I said it on the show and I will say it again now, Peter was very specific in telling the bloggers he was more interested in getting a buzz going and less concerned about if it was in favor or against Bug Labs concept. Very, very smart job, Peter… hedge his bets on both sides and removed his personal ego from it. What I mean is he was there to get his name out there and did not make the mistake more entrepreneurs make which is take other people’s opinions about their product personally.

Good work, Peter. Hey, I still may not get the Bug Labs name, but you certainly made your mark at CES. The teacher got a lesson on this one.


Click ahead for H2O Audio and MoGo



Matt Westover (MoGo)

I love this product. It’s sexy and smart. The timing for it is perfect as I read recently that laptop sales will outpace desktop sales for the first time ever. And best of all, the MoGo has an edge (competitive advantage) in the market place. It really is one-of-a-kind. I liked Matt’s MoGo when I met him on the show and I liked him even more after seeing his pitch on the show last night. It looks like the powers that be liked him as well. The only advice I would offer is to beware of the knockoffs. It is critical to establish yourself as THE leader in the industry early in the game. Matt and MoGo are strapped onto the rocket ship of success and already blasting off. Way to run the ball into the end zone and spike it, Matt.

Kristian Rauhala (H2O Audio)

What more can I say about this guy? He's a true American dream. It starts with him living in Finland with a love of water sports. He watches people on TV surfing and decides he needs to move to California to express his passion for water sports. But he does not stop there because he then finds a way to earn a living from it. Fast forward a few years and here he is at CES and about to be on the shelves of Radio Shack. Last time I checked, the key to having a successful and happy life is do what you love and then find a way to get paid for it. Kristian is going to get paid big time.

My criticisms for Kristian on the show were that he was almost too focused on his purpose. He wanted his product to be for water sport enthusiast like him. Well, it is… but it could and should also be for any activity that involves water, after all not everyone is able to surf or scuba dive; but I am pretty sure everyone likes to take a shower, sit in a hot tub or take a bath. My point is I wanted to see Kristian open his mind to the bigger picture of possibilities in the market place. After all, why work 20 hours a day to make 5 million when you can work the same hours and make 50 million?

The message I wanted him to grasp is that there are two types of songs. The first is the one the band loves to play and the second is the one the world loves to hear and will pay you to play. Most of the time, the two songs are not the same. In very rare situations they are, and that is when true magic can and will happen.

Kristian, your product is great, the market loves it so be sure you listen to what the market is telling you. This way, you can not only change the way people experience music but also amass tremendous wealth along the way. You got your shot with Radio Shack. You did not listen to what he was telling you but your product is so great, it sold itself. So you won this battle and are going to the next level and that is fantastic. But please, take this lesson with you and as you grow your business make sure you take the time to listen to what the market is telling you.

- Doug


Questions? Comments? BigIdeaCES@CNBC.com