Want to know how to become rich? Innovate!
To innovate is to effect a change or do something in a new way. Innovation is often synonymous with invention and invention often leads to wealth creation. If you are looking for ways to make extra money, then innovation and invention is one way to get there. In fact some would say that it is the best way to make money.
Todd Greene and his invention of the HeadBlade razor is a great example of how someone on the outside of an industry, can out-innovate the big companies in that particular industry. Even though those established leaders are often pouring millions of dollars into product development, design and marketing.
The term “thinking outside the box” is an often over-used term in my opinion but Todd Greene and the HeadBlade is very much a text book example of thinking outside the box- “innovation.” What Todd did was take one demographic that used razors- men who shaved their heads- and invented a razor just for them. Todd’s new razor design, inspired by his love and appreciation of the automobile, was so unique and different that it actually began to win many design awards.
Todd proved yet again, that it is possible for someone on the outside of a multi-million dollar industry, to out think and out maneuver the industry experts who may be incapable of thinking outside the very box they have created. In doing so Todd Greene has carved out his own Millionaire dynasty complete with a yellow and black customized $110,000 Lotus known as the HeadBlade Lotus. How is that for a way to get more money in your bank account!
Can the Todd Greene story teach you how to create wealth?
What do you say we back up for a moment and let Todd Greene teach us how to become a millionaire.
While today Santa Monica California is called home, Todd Greene was originally born and raised in Augusta Maine, earning a fine arts degree from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1989. Todd entered the corporate world where he worked in business development, product design and conception, web development and even fundraising.
One of Todd’s jobs prior to becoming a millionaire inventor was helping to develop the original ESPN.com website.
Todd first put a razor to his head around 1992 after slowly watching his hairline recede year after year. Shaving his head seemed to fit well into his active lifestyle, plus the popularity of the shaved head was steadily growing and becoming more acceptable. After about 5 years of shaving his head with store bought razors, Todd began looking for a better way.
Todd was about to prove another old axiom - that need is the mother of invention. Todd had a need to find a better way to shave his head. He set about to create a handle with an ergonomic design that would accept store bought blade cartridges.
Todd initially scratched out three goals that he wanted to achieve with his design.
He knew the razor had to sit close to the head so the person using the product could touch the head with fingers.
He also knew it had to have two contact points to create a suspension thus allowing the blade to automatically pivot, and finally it would have to be compatible with current razors sold in most retailers.
Todd knew that he would have a much better chance at success if the customer could stay with the cartridge he was already using, and just upgrade to the HeadBlade ergonomic handle.
The HeadBlade has a three-finger control pod with a hook that wraps around the middle finger. The unique design allows users to simply sweep their scalp as if running a hand through their hair.
After two years of constant development and testing he ended up with what he believed was a completely functional and well-designed razor.
Taking your product to market- How to make Millions
Todd was more convinced than ever that he could build an entire brand around his newly designed razor. He theorized that up until now the demographic of men who shaved their heads had been completely underserved by the market. Todd Greene was about to change that and become a self-made millionaire in the process.
Like many entrepreneurs just starting out, Todd did not have a lot of money to put toward marketing. He knew that getting his new product inside the large box stores would be a challenge, so he opted to market his new razor via the web, and sell direct to customers. His first production run was 1,000 units but he was now in business and on his way to building a multi-million dollar income.
The HeadBlade was launched in 1999 and by its ten year anniversary had sold just under one million units. Not bad considering that unit prices go from $12.95 to as much as $99.00 for the Limited Edition S4 Shark HeadBlade.
Todd’s shaving invention has been named by TIME magazine as one of the best designs of 2000 and the HeadBlade razor is now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Todd no longer has a problem getting his razors in the big box stores. You can now buy the HeadBlade in over 15,000 stores.
Ways to make money- talking points
It would have been easy for Todd to assume it was not possible to build a better razor. Otherwise wouldn’t the big razor companies with their millions of dollars in R&D have already developed it?
It would have been just as easy for Todd to concede defeat before he even started, concluding that it was just not possible or that it was just too tough to compete with the big boys.
Despite the fact that he was just one small guy, one mind, going up against the big boys, today Todd Greene is the one driving that $110,000 HeadBlade Lotus.
The best way to make extra money and become a millionaire is to do what works! And that is to create your own product or service that has value to enough people. One word for this is innovation.
Read about Katherine Krug and BetterBack for more ideas on How To Start Up A Business.