Research Your Idea

Research Your Idea

Todd Belveal

Devin Miller

The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
11/8/2021

 

Research Your Idea

Do your research and do it to a level. If you are going to bootstrap anything, you can bootstrap this. Or, if you work in a place that has access to research databases like law firms or consulting firms, you can get this information for free. You need to develop your idea before you even bother stepping out and talking to people about it. Research it to a level where you believe in the idea more than you believe in yourself.

 


The Inventive Journey

Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.

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 do your research um and do it to a level um and if you're going to bootstrap anything you can bootstrap this or if you work at a place that has access to research databases like law firms or consulting firms where you can get this information for free you need to develop your idea before you even bother you know stepping out and talking to people about it research it to a level where you build where you believe in the idea more than you believe in yourself [Music] everyone this is devin miller with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur has grown several startups into seven and eight figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where he helps start up some small businesses with their patents and trademarks if you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com we're always here to help now today we have another great guest on the podcast todd uh belleville and uh todd grew up in tampa split his time i guess between atlanta and tampa went to berkeley then to vanderbilt um worked for tiffany the luxury uh retail luxury brand for a period of time did some things on the retail store met the ceo and an elevator um he was hired out of college as part of that and uh then went on to um do some her from her co extended offer to go back and get an mba went back and got an mba worked out or worked up to director of resources left to pursue a new adventure became an equity research analyst at a big firm left and went to atlanta do a do different job did strategy and uh consulting for retails did a startup got venture backed went back to austin stayed there as a founder handed over the reins to another ceo bought a laundromat decided to update the industry with technology and started the business that he's doing now so with that much as an introduction and hopefully i got most of it right welcome all the podcast todd yeah thanks devin i appreciate it you did absolutely sounds a little more chaotic and adventurous than i uh remember it but uh you know every time when i have someone else introduce me or you go through that's like ah that sounds a lot cooler than it really is yeah yeah you covered a lot of ground there i guess i have so well let's now that i can demonstrate i condense a much larger or longer journey into 30 or 40 seconds let's unpack that a bit and kind of tell us how your journey got started uh splitting your time between atlanta and tampa as you're growing up yeah well i really moved to uh atlanta in 90. it was right after i did the equity research job i i wasn't particularly good at mathematics growing up but i'm good at finance i'm not i think it's more logic based thinking applied mathematics predictive analytics simulation forecasting and planning that sort of thing so it helped me in business school and i had the operating background so my ability to you know assess companies from a financial productivity or performance standpoint and operating standpoint was sort of well suited for this this shop that hired me for this investment firm that hired me on the buy side coming out of school before we got to the investment firm because there was you know we touched out a bit before there was a bit of a back story to that because she went uh we're going to berkeley and vanderbilt and started out at the tiffany company and met the asia ceo and the elevator so maybe fills in a little bit on that backstory before you win got the nba oh yeah no uh yeah sure um you know i did summer jobs um at tiffany mainly because i responded to an ad in the new york times i paid them they paid well and there were lots of single college aged ladies working there during the summer uh and a good brand um and i was particularly good at i guess retail sales which was what the job was seasonal sales help they hire about a third of their workforce during this summer and the in the um christmas holiday so did that kind of gradually i guess impressed some people met the right person who called me himself in march before my graduation and offered me a job and i took it and um you know had a great seven eight year run there um you know getting a master's degree and then all you sort of opened my eyes to other possibilities uh career-wise besides retail reta i like retailing i would have been perfectly happily saying tiffany it's a fantastic brand and company but many of my peers did but the senior leadership was too young so i saw sort of a glass ceiling so to speak in terms of i had i knew they weren't going anywhere because it wasn't a particularly hard job as terms as being a senior executive would be and it was at a very early stage of its growth uh with a brand that has tremendous equity and tremendous potential growth so really i wouldn't consider it a hard business to run as an operating ceo and i saw kind of limited opportunities for someone post masters to to work there so i began to look outside and uh that dragged me into you know equity research where i spent most of my time looking at companies like tiffany and not just luxury goods retailers but other retail and consumer products companies um and uh yeah so that was a great journey there the journey with the buy side firm which everybody wants to be on the buy side when you're in equity research as opposed to writing reports for the street um i ended up hating that you know i did the cfa level one did the cfa level two uh which is shocking because i was a history major at vanderbilt but again i didn't realize i had a finance mind until i got to business school um and uh so i got into the hardest parts of that and then just decided i didn't want the word analyst on my business card anywhere um ever so i quit that job um and uh uh moved to atlanta uh in 1998 late 97 early 98 and uh spent was a year until 2012 when uh silver car started and uh the the backer the backer that company called austin ventures one of the requirements of any portfolio company is that you moved to austin now before you move before we get to your move to austin so you went to you said okay i don't want to be analysts on anything on my job resume or my or my business card so to speak and wasn't something you enjoyed you know and so you're saying okay i need to do a change so you went to atlanta now you did i think you did uh or strategy and consulting right and you touched on that just a bit but was that kind of hey i'll start out my own consulting firm or did you go and do it for someone else or kind of what did you do as you're getting back to atlanta saying okay left the analyst job what am i going to do uh well actually i went to valley where i was a snowboard instructor for six months then because i i definitely had no idea what i was going to do um i would say at the time blew through my savings because being a snowboard instructor doesn't pay much um and then um i went to atlanta once that's once the season was over well went to atlanta that summer and applied to a firm called curt salmon associates which is now a division of accenture called curt salmon they focus on retail and consumer products strategy work for the most part and so it was the only job i applied for i i i was lucky i got it right away uh there was no period of unemployment uh which was nice considering i was broke at the time um when i moved there with my dog and my green bmw aging green bmw so yeah no that was another very good firm where i spent almost eight years and brought help them build a you know really quantitative you know predictive practice to sort of things like assortment decisions and you know day-to-day retail different things than i had done at tiffany didn't do much store operations or those sorts of things there's not much money in consulting doing that i think there's there is money in consulting um helping people make less gut-based decisions and helping them really understand how consumers really behave and how their assortments really behave so that was the the focus of my work there it was really applied mathematics statistics you know aimed at reducing the amount of space retailers need so they could be more productive per square foot so my philosophy today is still the same very very square foot oriented not sales per square foot more margin per square foot but you know i learned a lot there again a very collegial firm i had a really positive experience was on the partnership track and uh but ultimately left because [Music] the startup opportunity came along now so that was going to be the the question i was going to ask is you know so you have this doing there enjoy the work wasn't you know wasn't like you know the is as opposed to the analysts you're saying this is just not where i want my career to be but nonetheless you left so how did that startup opportunity come along and what made you decide okay this is just an opportunity that i have to jump on there that i can't pass up so to speak well you know it came out of uh the idea was inspired by a complaint letter i was hurt chairman's circle or president circle whatever they called it then i think they call it chairman circle now um [Music] it's like all loyalty programs they just simply add a level to devalue all the other levels i think that's what sherman circle at hertz is now although i think they've reset a lot but no it started as a letter a complaint to the to the ceo and what i learned to tiffany he he responded to every letter of complaining he got there weren't that many but he did get you know thousands a year um because you know obviously tiffany's a big company and they have lots of customers um um in our rental car company you know i know now i would never have the time to respond to the complaint letters they must get from customers given they have a net promoter of 11 as an industry um most of them don't even measure it but they spend billions on marketing you know every year um but but i did realize from my time in consulting that there is a chance this person could respond could respond um with you know what would you do to solve it you know in an advisory role it's kind of i don't know i don't know what the right word is it lacks credibility to complain with no offer of you know you might change here's how you might consider changing this you know i'm not trying i'm trying to offer constructive criticism i'm obviously frustrated by parts of your business model um you know in rental car it was the type of vehicle i was getting it was their emphasis you know like a purple pt cruiser uh it's kind of embarrassing to show up at a client site and a purple pg cruiser i don't know that that might be something that sticks in everybody's mind that just might set you apart you never know you gotta you gotta use that as a marketing gimmick now i'm still looking for that person that like that car uh i would have been that person baby baby all right so now you're doing that a lot yeah so so yeah it started as a complaint letter the answers that i began to write turned into sort of a 100 page you know research you know diet you know saturday morning exercise where i was just thinking about this and what the solutions were and realizing that there may be an opportunity for a new type of a rental car company no i think that that makes sense so now you you've gone down to austin you've done that for a while and then at some point you know you decided okay i need to i i want to step back or a different ceo will take over kind of come in and take over take the reins and run that and then he wanted to you know go out and pursue buying a laundromat so how did that transpire towards you know one you know i'm gonna hype hire someone else to be ceo and two now i'm gonna go buy a laundromat kind of how did that or how did that take place well it's interesting i would say it's 50 you know mindfulness on my part 50 uh history on vc behavior um you know typically founders and maybe justifiably so in some cases if you look at certain founders you know you know literally highly visible ones today um you know coming to like we works founders an example someone that holds on too long uh simply to you know in over their head in terms of managing a company of that scale with the kinds of valuations you know vcs tend to get rid of the founder right so you know my my uh self-selecting out is always better than getting rid of um even though it's still i would say it still hurt a bit i mean because it was a hard decision you know to ultimately come to uh but it wasn't one they disagreed with because i think they would have eventually you know both me and my co-founder at the time where a guy i brought in later to co-found an ex-airline ceo he left after me but just six months and they had to push him out the door you know so i i think uh venture capital firms you know they bring in ceos that are that are not they're not founders they've never founded anything their job is not to found their job is to take things at a certain point and scale right we all talk about hard it is to bridge the gap from founding to scale i think a lot of that has to do strictly with energy you know the the founding part is extremely hard as you know and many of your listeners know scaling is also hard um but not as hard it it it requires a different skill set right yeah that's what i was gonna say i think it can be depending on the industry sometimes it's hard you'll hit the peak and you can make it so that it's you know good company but to take the next level can be hard but you know i would also say it kind of has that different level of skill set and sometimes level of enjoyment sometimes i you know and i'm probably to some degree this way is while it's hard to get the business up and going there's also a level of excitement of figuring it out figuring out you know how to get it up and going who's the mark or who's the client how do you market to them how do you reach them and then you get to a bit of you know steady state of okay we've got the business going it's up and running we've got revenue but you know do i do i really have the desire to kind of now switch gears where it's not figuring it out but it's now it's scaling it and sometimes you know people are geared to do both some times in geared work but don't like both and sometimes it's you know it's a different skill set and so i think that you know there's definitely a um you know an area where it's it's something that a lot of times people head into and it was always interesting this is kind of a side note but you know along the same lines is one of the books i love is um it's by mark randolph which is the original founder of netflix and it's called that will never work now whole long story as to why it's named that and won't get into that but one of the things he found was um you know you had they got to a point where it's investors and the business and everything where he was kind of not pushed out but he was had to take a step back because he was saying i'm not the person that can go kind of get the bigger seat or raising the bigger rounds and taking it to the next level and that's where he had hastings come in which is kind of where everybody knows and about netflix and everything else and so he had to step back and really have the person that was positioned and had that skill set to take it to the next level so i think that big or small that happens with a lot of companies so you're saying okay you reach that level you know different skill set different desire want to do something different kind of all of those put together now how did you decide to go buy a laundromat is the next step of your journey yeah well that was so i was simply looking for something to do you know i'd stepped aside i was back in tampa my house in atlanta was still leased i had no intentions of really staying in tampa it is my hometown but i haven't lived there since i graduated from from high school um just a little too tropical for me most of the year um so i uh and the falcons affiliation but but but uh nevertheless i my mother was there um in her late 70s my sister as a is in the senior vice president rooney james my niece and nephew were there so they were so they put the hard sell on me to stay and so i began to look for things to which i was considering but in the meantime i just didn't want to sit around i was doing sort of one-off advisory work and you know a variety of different things for people that were independents that i knew from the past but um i decided to buy the laundromat just it was an industry where i saw value you know i drove around they're really rental businesses if you think of it and i was coming out of car rental um so i like rental businesses they cash flow um well above average the typical businesses like companies like united rentals which have been massive successes um sun belt rentals you know i'm talking about non-automotive rental categories automotive has had marginal success but they're long-standing companies you know with very complex business models um that would lead to low profitability these other companies don't suffer from that because there was no rental option available you know when they before they they came he had to buy the heavy equipment or it was just inefficiently distributed laundromats mainly i saw it as a social impact you know i said you know these things are um they're really in bad shape everywhere you see them they're not branded so there's no it says coin laundry or laundromat or in a dingy sign with a digi window and you walk in them and they're dirty and dingy and i'm like this this this is a industry that we just want to improve itself i mean you know and so begin to dive into that but so i bought one i bought it for sixty eight thousand dollars i think i overpaid by about thirty thousand dollars um because i think it only grossed about 68 um thousand dollars so yeah i bought one and said we'll buy one um i did it with my sister so at the very least we'll remodel this we'll do some good for this particular community in tampa or maybe we buy eight to ten there's some way to roll them up under our brand and there's a brand consolidation kind of like a local dry cleaner where people just know this name they know this laundry mat they know it's going to be clean and safe but still coin operated when i originally bought it i had no technology aspirations whatsoever nor any desire to be a serial entrepreneur i mean like i told you before there are very few terms that follow the words cereal that are anything good maybe philanthropist maybe a very entrepreneur but maybe just cereal the breakfast or that entrepreneur is probably good it generally it generally lends itself to the fact that you do multiple things but the technology inspiration came later after my experience owning the the laundromat and operating it myself when it ran on quarters after i remodeled it no and i think you know it's interesting because i i would agree i would say to some degree the legal industry is probably different industry completely different but it is oftentimes very devoid of technology or is right for an update which is a lot of what we do but kind of the same bill as hey you look at the laundromats and probably the laundromats that were there 50 years ago other than maybe a little bit newer washing machine are basically the exact same model they really haven't had any sort of an update an adjustment and yet there are plenty of areas where they could be improved they just haven't been because it's a model that people just been following whatever and that's kind of what i feel like the legal models along the same way is hey we've been doing it as lawyers for hundreds of years now and we've been you know this is the model that works and this is how we're going to do it and then it leaves it open to if somebody if you don't figure out how to continue to improve and innovate make it better somebody else will and so i think that definitely makes sense of this an area of you know those ones that oftentimes are ripe for disruption are the ones that are the ones that have been stagnant for a very long period of time so sounds like it's been a fun journey to kind of figure out how to modernize and update and otherwise make the laundromat something more than just kind of the dingy thing where you go because you have to get your clothes washed and you don't want to be there any longer than you have to because it's kind of that not as fun environment so it sounds like an in a very fun area to be yeah it has been it's i would call it more of an intervention than a disruption but uh and at least in the laundromats segment part of it i would say the legal professional advice the same thing it's a good analogy my dad was a lawyer i hated it uh most lawyers do so why hasn't the legal industry changed in a way that makes some lawyers don't hate what they're doing i think you seem to have found a unique way so you get more inspired by what you're what you're doing um well that's that's when i started my lawyers will tell you if they're into their career they wish they'd never done it and i'm like it's it's just really kind of amazing to me realized so i think i think you think you're probably probably right in terms of uh traditional behaviors amongst those that participate in the industry just don't change that much um yeah but i think it is a much better opportunity so i think that you know finding those industries to do it because you're right i said i yeah i started the firm i'm like you know there are some things that i just don't like about the legal industry or i don't know why we do them this way other than what he has to be well that's the way i'd already put down and that's the way i'm comfortable with and i said why don't we step back and see does it make sense are we doing it for a good reason or are we just doing it because that's what's comfortable if it's a good reason we'll continue to do it for that reason if it's just because it's comfortable or it's easy not to get enough motivation let's see what we can do so i think that i like that i think there's you know that the uh laundromat industry has a lot of parallels even though they're completely different services in different industries so i think that's awesome one of the biggest parallels is a lot of just independent owners you know there are a lot of independent lawyers and there are a lot of independent you know most of the professional end up in the lawyers wouldn't it wouldn't have been one that most people would have put tagged together but i could see a lot of things like my dad was you know but uh uh the uh never part of a firm um but uh well he was for like a year and was fired the community he just didn't have the right personality for it but yeah laundromats they mainly own one or two max i mean so yeah it's it's similar it's oddly similar exactly so well now as we've kind of taken a bit you know started at the beginning of your journey come up to the present day great time to transition to the two questions i always ask at the end of each episode so we'll jump to those now so the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what'd you learn from it worst decision i ever made was to uh listen to my uh well that'll never work for a good example but uh it was was probably take the direction uh or agree to uh they may see this but i guess they probably already know the truth but i guess the the uh the uh i would say the worst business decision i made um besides hiring a few people that didn't belong with us wasn't but we talked about a strategic one was to emphasize the college business before the laundromat you know consolidation which we're we're working on now it seems obvious uh and my investors are excited about it and we've obviously won a lot and we our customers are great and we have a great service offering and it's nothing to do with the customers or the users um it has everything to do with getting the business you know it's rfps and procurements and sometimes governments and you know it's a very bureaucratic process at most institutions some not so not at all like vanderbilt and monmouth things like that they can make their own decisions uh you know they don't need permission from anybody but you know mit georgia tech syracuse they do um and it takes 18 to 24 months probably to get one of these contracts and the speed of that you know i said and it's extremely competitive i mean we compete with people who are bigger than us uh they don't have the technology we have right nor the value proposition we have because of it uh but they can make themselves look as if they do right and some of them like before we got the mit deal the current incumbent had the contract for 60 years so uh i think the worst position was maybe not pushing back on that harder and simply saying why don't we go where the competition's not yeah no and i think that but there was a brick and mortar consideration there and it's you know college contracts are incredibly capital efficient they move a lot of lg electronics machines so if i went and got lg as an equity partner um so it's worked out really well and i mean and the customer has all been great again it's just more for us as a company i think we would have grown more quickly over the period while i was leading it by either doing it in a more balanced fashion or um um you know starting with the with the laundromats getting the crypt critical mass then pushing into the to the college aspect of things as opposed to being reliant on sort of fast growth in colleges no and i think that makes sense you know and it's one that you can some of those it's so easy to look back and say oh you know if we could have done this it would have made more sense and you know hindsight's always 20 20 and it doesn't you know sometimes it's those scenes that you should have done or you if you would have had better foresight you would have done and yet you know you have to make some of those or mistakes or those decisions to learn from as you then know how to better navigate in the future so i think that that's a great mistake to learn from yep and then before we get to the second question just as a reminder to the audience we are going to do the um talk or do the bonus question where we talk a little bit about intellectual property so just make sure to stay tuned for that if you want to hear let's talk a little bit about uh intellectual property but before we get to the bonus question we gotta ask our normally or our last question which is if you're talking to somebody that's just getting into a startup or a small business would be the one piece of i should give them uh one piece of advice i would say um you know in order to be successful with startups i think um and and part of this is uh quality you know making the thing investable as opposed to just and building your own you know getting your your mindset ready to do it uh is to do your research um and do it to a level um and if you're gonna bootstrap anything you can bootstrap this or if you work at a place that has access to research databases like law firms or consulting firms where you can get this information for free you need to develop your idea before you even bother you know stepping out and talking to people about it um research it to a level where you build where you believe in the idea more than you believe in yourself um and i know that's an interesting way of saying things and it's sort of um your concept your plan or whatever stage it's at you must not be losing sleep overnight that you've missed something that it's not thoroughly researched you understand the competitive dynamics you understand all the things you're getting into and all things you'd be bringing anyone else into because as human beings we wake up in the morning uh sometimes we feel like crap sometimes we uh come we would wake up inspired and looking forward to the day some days we don't um you know 100 sometimes for some people it's half and half for some people but that's just the way we are ideas and fundamentally sound business plans and um don't suffer from those same weaknesses you know if you've done if you've done that work and you checked the box and you built a foundation for your idea that stands up on principle uh even this is so fundamental fundamentally strong that even if you have a bad pitching day or you're in a bad mood um or you're simply not at your best that it the idea of strength um and the work you put into it will carry uh will carry you through it i um give to people and if you can't do it get help doing it i like that because i think that you know a lot of times it's what i would say is you're convincing yourself that it's a worthwhile or business opportunity because oftentimes i think is you're an entrepreneur you like startups you like small businesses or at least you think you do you get excited about an idea and you want to get going before you ever actually figure out you know is it a worthwhile idea what is the marketplace can i how am i what am i going to make money what kind of investment do i need you know do i need an investment how do i bootstrap this and you kind of have to go through that checklist of ex of convincing yourself that it's a worthwhile thing to pursue and until you go through that exercise it greatly diminishes the likelihood of success so i think that's a great piece of advice well before we get to the bonus question if people do want to reach out to you they want to be a customer they want to be a client they want to be an employee they want to be an investor they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you contact you find out more uh well i've set up a website's toddbelleville.com you can go there and just reach out to me directly there or you can email me at toddwatchlava.com one of the websites probably the easiest way and i'm easy to get hold of cool well i definitely encourage people to reach out to you contact you find out more and appreciate you coming on the podcast now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast we'd love to have you we'd love to share your journey just go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show a couple more things make sure to listen make sure to subscribe make sure to share and uh because we want to make sure everybody finds out about all these awesome journeys and last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else in the business feel free to go to strategymeeting.com well now as we've wrapped up the what uh quote unquote the normal part of the episode we're going to jump to the bonus question which is always kind of a fun shifting of gears where we're going to talk about a topic that's uh near and dear to my heart which is intellectual property so with that i turn it over to you to ask what is your top intellectual property question uh i guess um are they worth it you know i think um you know we spent uh what's a lot of those six patents in two well the eu and and the u.s one in a year to five in the us i wonder how much they discourage and i did my strategy was to discourage other startups i knew the laundry manufacturers were trying to knock me off um and they have unsuccessfully um uh and it is interesting because now google ventures is suing the the biggest sort of white label provider of um you know app based laundry um yeah no i think i think it's a fair question i think uh you know if i were to summarize it you may discourage other startups i guess is my question and i would say i like how you phrase it even before that is are they worth it because i would say you know for different businesses there may be different motivations as to why you do it so i would say the first step is to see whether it's worth it or not is why are you going after it because to your point one of the reasons why you do it is to discourage other businesses another reason you may do it is you wanting to get an asset that you can go and raise venture capital or angel investors off of and they're saying hey a lot of what your business right now is is an idea and it's a concept and maybe a prototype you know what's your proprietary how are you going to protect it so maybe an asset that you're investing in it may also be an asset that you're looking to say hey if we do a merger we do an acquisition i mean you know something that we need to we want to show as proprietaries and ask for the business that increases the valuation that's another one so i think you know that first question is this too and sometimes it doesn't make sense as a business you're saying hey this is one where it's going to have so many knock offs so much of the time and we just don't want to get into having to chase down everybody you know you're the next snuggie and everybody's just going to rip you off then you're much better to put that money into a marketing campaign build a brand and blitz a market as opposed to doing an intellectual property so i think that the first step is to say whether what you know is it worth it is what are you going to do with it and how you might leverage it you know as far as if you're saying can you enforce it well yeah you can always enforce them um and you know you can successfully enforce them and you can stop others from coming into marketplace the question is is it worth enforcing in other words hey if what they're if the knockoffs are eroding such a small portion of the marketplace that they are not going to have any real impact on your business and you're saying we're going to spend more on legal fees and attorneys than we are and what is going to erode in the marketplace probably doesn't make sense and you you know pursue it a different way but on the other hand you have a business that's coming in and because they're copying your intellectual property and your model and your business they take 40 of the market and it's a big you know that's a big chunk of the your revenue then it's worth it to have that in place and to be able to enforce and have that option you can still decide hey we don't want to enforce it it's not an option but it gives you an ability to protect or control what you've been innovating and i know that that's it is situational specific and it's always different but that would probably be a couple guidelines i'd give is one figure out why you'd want it if you'd want it and what how you would use it if you're going to use it and then based on that look to see okay now if that's if that's where how we're going to use it what is our best options forward so yeah i think that would work i will tell you i mean one example where i called the we're a customer of theirs and they they put on their marketing material they had a reserve feature on our app you can reserve a machine before you go to a shared laundry space uh they didn't have it it was you know vaporware i knew it was vaporware but it was all over their their marketing booth at their this big convention i called the ceo and i said you don't have this technology i know you don't have it and i want you to take you know you're not gonna going to have it um you know it's the only part of our ux that i will protect i'm not in i can't protect digital payments you know i can't protect you know those sorts of things but that's that's the one part of my software ux i will protect yeah and so sometimes and his answer was what do you mean where where he of course he had no idea it was the biggest manufacturer in the space and and all of a sudden it just disappeared i'm sure you read some of the riot act um yeah and i think that that's the the point you know sometimes you're also going into you're not sure where is your value what is a valuable aspect of your business or what are you going to protect you know one of the ones that became valuable um for motorola was a very simple almost a glue compound that they use with some of the microprocessors that everybody in the industry found out that they needed to use nor to do it so it was one that was kind of an afterthought they just filed a patent on it because they wanted to air because it was still innovative and they were going to use it and it wasn't one that they anticipated just being a huge asset to the business and yet it turned to be a huge revenue maker and it was a valuable asset so i think that it's one where it's also a bit difficult to always project which ones are going to be valuable so yeah yeah maybe no it made no sense in automotive because i'm like automotive forget it they'll just take your stuff in in laundry it made sense yeah and with that we're we'll we'll go ahead and wrap up the podcast we can chat i'm sure for a long period of time go through war stories and have a great conversation but for the sake of the audience we'll go ahead and wrap up and definitely appreciate coming on the podcast it's been a fun it's been a pleasure and definitely wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last hey thanks debbie [Music] you

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