I’m not a lawyer kind of guy. Never have been really. Running Highly Educated has taught me a lot about business but even more about people and who I can trust. So when I reached out to my E-nail coil manufacturer to take over the actual production of our E-nails, retaining a lawyer was the last thing on my mind. The day to day operations of my business are laborious enough that I could no longer facilitate E-nail production in house. We needed help and he offered to lend it. We had already done business with him in the past, and we felt like we were small potatoes compared to the other businesses which he was working with. I trusted him.
I sent him a unit, (up until now he was just making coils and didn’t know for what), sent him the titanium. I told him how it was used. I told him how it was failing, where it needed to be improved upon. I showed them the market, the emerging competition, everything. We progressed together, came up with a coil that would last. I would check up with him periodically and ask how the progress was being made and what he needed from me. He would share with me his progress and updates and send pictures. He proposed we used a ceramic heating element rather than the stainless for a longer life span. I was on-board. He sent me the ceramic element for me to run tests on, which I did.
He showed me pictures of the nail during stress testing.
He sent me a photo of the unit when they were almost finished.
I explained to him that we wanted a higher end looking housing unit and didn’t want the coil exiting the back of the unit. It needed to be sexier. As well as several other key features I felt needed to be included that were currently missing.
It was at this time that he informed me that he had taken steps to file for patents on the ceramic coil and heat shield. I became worried because he was patenting components on our job, but he assured me that this was just so that I would be purchasing my components through him. Which I was fine with, he put in work on our project and deserves to protect his work. As time progressed my contact started becoming more difficult to get a hold of and I began to assume the worst.
My manufacturer took our design to market; with out us. Now I am very used to being copied, being knocked off, having counterfeits made, having my customers lied to, and having every other slimy business tactic under the sun get played on me. It normally comes from Chinese import competition and less than reputable retailers. But this is the first time someone that I actually trusted, that I thought was on my team, went behind my back and violated that trust for personal gain.
I was so excited to make a post announcing our new E-nail when it was finally ready. It was so close I could taste it. Now that excitement has been replaced with a sense of defeat and I can no longer taste anything. Except for maybe disappointment and despair. I have heard from countless internet users that I am a terrible businessman. Well the truth is, they are right. I should have majored in business instead of dropping out of communications. I should have made my manufacturer sign a non-compete agreement. I should have done many things that I didn’t, and now because I didn’t, the H.E. E-nail is just a faint dream of the past.
As a consumer, it’s nothing to be sad about, you can still obtain many different electronic nails on the market today. The D-Nail, The C-Nail, G-nail, Q-Nail and any of the other 22 letters of the alphabet-nails that are all still available and many are even better than the original E-nail (I don’t know that, they just tell me). You can even try the “Dab Joy” to see what the next HE E-nail almost might have been like. I know I’m kind of curious.
To the people I have let down, I apologize. All I have to say is lesson learned.
All Dr. Dre has to say is: “I started this gangster shit, and this is the mother fucking thanks I get?”