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.