|Tags:||Entrepreneur, Good Nite Lite, small business, The UPS Store franchise|
I recently spoke with Entrepreneur Magazine’s Emerging Entrepreneur of 2011, Adam Nelson, to talk about a product he created—the Good Nite Lite. The Good Nite Lite is a device that combines a traditional night light with a timer, so that children learn when it is time to sleep and when it is time to wake up. Adam thought up the Good Nite Lite concept when his four-year-old son continually woke him and his wife because he couldn’t seem to stay in his own bed until the sun came up.
Q: Adam, so many of us have ideas for great products which never come to fruition. What made you actually start the process of creating Good Nite Lite?
A: Simply put, I wanted to know if I could do it. Like others, I have had ideas that I’d put aside, thinking “wouldn’t it be nice?” The idea for Good Nite Lite was unique and personal. Also, this idea was particularly interesting for me. I have a background in software and this was the first time I’d be creating a consumer product. I figured if I didn’t try it, I’d never know.
Q: How did you fund the product?
A: We started at a difficult time in the economy, so it was challenging to get funding, which is why we self funded.
Q: Can you tell me about some of those challenges?
A: The US dollar was at an all-time low. Then we had another obstacle, the product is plastic, so it’s petroleum based. Well, guess what’s at an all-time high when we came up with the product? Not to mention banks weren’t giving out any money.
Q: A philosophy you lived by while creating Good Nite Lite was, “Fail cheap. Fail quick.” Why is that important?
A: It’s really easy to get wrapped up in figuring out the details. You can get lost in the process. With Good Nite Lite, I didn’t over think it. I pulled the trigger to see what would happen. Since the launch I’ve retooled it based on customer feedback
When testing a product you have to focus on what you can control. Otherwise you end up spending money unnecessarily.
Q: I understand that you thank the “little people” when it comes to your product.
A: Yes, the little people—by those I mean my children, because without them I probably wouldn’t have come up with this idea. And, now I thank all of the little people who are probably under the age of five. But, let’s face it, Good Nite Lite is a product for parents disguised as a product for children!
Q: How has The UPS Store helped with the logistics of running your business?
A: We have a mail box at our local The UPS Store. I think it’s essential to have a real address for your business, it gives you credibility and people take you and your business more seriously.
To hear more about Adam Nelson and his product, Good Nite Lite, check out a portion of his acceptance speech at the Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of 2011 Awards. And don’t forget to follow the Twitter hashtag #UPSmallbiz this week to get our Small Biz Daily Deals!