We met about 10 years ago, when the both of us started working together at a consumer products organization (Jarden) making corded electrical appliances. Eric was in the Product Development field and Jeff was in the Marketing organization. Over the course of our friendship we discussed many times how we had so many great ideas that we didn't pursue, that were now on the market. We both owned several patents and have had so many of our ideas "go to market", but always for "the company" and never for ourselves. We decided that the with our combined experience and knowledge, we thought we were both ready to take the leap for ourselves ... now we only needed the "idea". This is our story…
Several years passed and no idea we had felt big enough for us to take the plunge. Then one day, as it is for all good inventions, necessity pointed Eric to an evolutionary idea. He did the same thing he did every day, make his morning coffee. But, on this particular day, the coffee pot had been unplugged as someone else needed the receptacle. In his frustration (cranky without his coffee) he thought WHY are there only 2 plugs here ... there is more than enough space for 4. With that, he started to tinker with some samples and the idea for theOUTlet was born. A few days later Eric approached Jeff with "the big idea" ... asking, so, what do you think about this idea? is this "the one" we are looking for? The rest, is now how they say ... history.
We began by hiring a US engineering firm to verify our proof of concept ... and it worked. Then, we started looking at the Patent landscape to see if someone had the idea before ... they hadn't. Then started working with manufactures to see if it could even be made ... it could. We started talking to consumers to see if it had consumer acceptance ... it did. We then started to survey professional contractors, home builders and electricians to verify the industries acceptance of our concept ... they LOVED it. Lastly, we evaluated the marketplace, we had to make sure there was an unmet consumer need at a price point we could deliver theOUTlet for ... and there WAS!!! Everything fell into place, every box checked, every need met, every complication (we thought) had a solution. Only with time and hard work would we know for sure.
With that we felt like this very well may be the big idea we had both been waiting for. Together we formed an LLC (Secret Sockets), filed provisional patents to protect our idea and dug into the product development process with both hands. Now, here we sit, over 2 years later, on Kickstarter, bringing our dream to the consumer, asking for their help to make it a reality. Just two guys with years of experience making things for other people, now trying to make something for themselves and their families future.
Eric is married, has a beautiful little three year old girl, and recently adopted a golden retriever puppy. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Northeastern University, and an MBA in International Business from Florida Atlantic University. He has over 10 years of experience as a Program Manager in the Consumer Products industry. He is well versed in activities such as project scoping, budgeting, resource allocation, risk management, supplier oversight, and quality assurance. He has been granted 2 patents as an inventor and has multiple pending applications. This is his first Kickstarter project as a creator but has backed 17 projects on Kickstarter and 3 projects on Indiegogo. He loves the idea behind crowdfunding and is thrilled to be launching his own project!
I was born into a middle America family in Virginia, the son of the quintessential blue-collar family. One of 5 children, we lived and worked hard every day trying to make ends meet and improve our quality of life. Never short on love, we were always taught we could be anything we wanted to be through hard work and perseverance. The work ethic my parents instilled in me not only has driven my professional career and success for the past 15 years, but has also lead me to many amazing things throughout my life. I always tell people that I am a Chemist by education and a Marketer by career, but the truth is that I am a driven person determined to make a better life for my family. Happily married now for 8 years with two young boy's (4 and 6) I now have the experience and expertise needed to launch a product for myself ... on Kickstarter.