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July 28, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Peel Away Inventor Maxwell Cohen Journey to Getting Investors & Hiring Experts

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00:00

Folks, this is it's an extreme honor to be able to have Maxwell Cohen here today. He's an unbelievably inspiring inventor. He's the founder and CEO of peel away labs. And it's an innovative startup company that developed a product known as what else peel away an invention that's been featured on Shark Tank and peel away is the betting industry's first multi layered, disposable waterproof fitted sheet. So Max was designed. Oh, that's, that's fine. He's back so we haven't lost him. It allows consumers to weigh a top layer and get to a clean sheet below, making the invention especially suitable for parents of toddlers. Maxwell is secured major retailers distributors worldwide. His products available at Walmart, it's filled with Amazon Bed Bath and Beyond. Byebye, baby Zulily and as well as a lot of hospital distributors, Cardinal Health and McKesson. Before without further ado, what I'd like to do is just start out very quickly and play a quick video to give our viewers a visual idea of the product. So just for a moment

01:21
before to inconvenience into your bedroom with the 100% Waterproof peel aways disposable fitted bedsheet and mattress protector. Peel aways has been constructed with multiple layers of soft fabric that you can easily peel off in less than one minute without stripping the bed. softer than traditional bedsheets with unmatched breathability. Our bed sheets keep the body cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Peel aways are infection neutral, they do not transmit infectious material between layers, save time and money. The Smarter alternative to traditional bedsheets, great for caregivers and amazing for you. No more laundry, no wrestling with corners, perfect for both personal and professional use. bring comfort and convenience with the one.

02:10
So Max hope that it almost sounds too good to be true. Like not having to wash bedsheets. What I'd like to start out with which I'm sure is on everyone's mind is like take us back to that aha moment that eureka moment when you first had this idea.

02:29
Absolutely. As you can imagine, when I was in college, I noticed that my friends didn't wash their sheets on a daily basis on a weekly basis, if not a monthly basis or even a semesters basis. So I come from a family of serial entrepreneurs where were pushed to start businesses before we turned 27. So we were always taught to look at things a little differently inquisitively and critically think of situations that we can make better and as simple as it sounds and is based off the video you just showed. It's a fitted bedsheet with the elastic at the bottom is 100% latex free, and we sell it with 357 peel away layers. As you showed in the video. Each layer is incredibly soft and 100% waterproof. So when I was in college, I noticed my friends didn't wash their sheets. But when I came home from college, I noticed that my elderly grandmother who was bedridden had trouble washing her sheets on a week on a daily basis on more than a daily basis based on incontinence and medications and such. And so that's was the impetus behind starting to peel away, peel away labs. It started off going after markets, I was familiar with summer camps and dorm college students. And then we expanded beyond those two sizes. And now we make every size from crib to King, essentially, every single size sheet in the healthcare facility from the NICU to transportation to the ICU. And we've now sell in 16 countries around the world. And we're super excited as we find more and more customers that really really enjoy the benefits of our simple, amazingly soft and practical product.

04:15
Yeah, I mean, it's Did you ever experience and a lot of inventors Do they feel like they're from outside the industry? And almost it's like who visa is to go to an industry that's been around forever and propose something new. I mean, all of us have, you know, the closest thing I can even think of is going to the doctor's office, and you have that crinkly roll of paper that they would put on. And that's been around forever. But why did it ever occur to you like Gosh, who am I to have taken this one step further. I'm not even from the bedding industry or hospitality or, you know, even hospitals or the medical field that Tell us about that. That's a huge hurdle for a lot of inventors is just coming to the realization that, yes, you can be from outside an industry and still think of something that industry just has not not addressed.

05:12
You're absolutely correct. I had no background in textiles. But I had the urge to start a business and had the perseverance and surrounded myself with the right people. But no, it's terrifying. I've gone through 32 iterations of this product, it's not the first version is never going to work. And if it does, then it's very rare. So I've gone through 32 iterations to get to the version I have today. And to get to those iterations, I'm no engineer, no, no textile genius. But as a CEO, you're trained to put the pieces of the puzzle together. So I've got an experts from all sides, retail, I got manufacturing experts, I've got textile experts, and they helped me iterate on the product to satisfy our customers wants and needs. But you have, you don't have to have any background in it. As long as you surround yourself by people who've potentially been there, done that. Now, I tried to start this business by myself as a young lad in college. But, you know, after a few years of doing r&d, and finding who my customers are improving the product, I recognized I was trying to reinvent the wheel. And I started building out a team of advisers building out a team of employees and building out a team of investors, where we've put all of the knowledge we've accumulated together and started to build our business. And then once you have the product and the manufacturing the infrastructure, and you have a few customers, you start also learning the boundaries of your business and how far the product can go. And that also creates a new learning curve, where we first started the product in retail, where my partner is an expert for 35 years in retail. But then we started recognizing that the healthcare market is the most beneficial market for a product like ours. And so we had to learn a lot of stuff about the healthcare industry, how to get through the gatekeepers, how to get their foot in the door, what is the right lingo, the verbiage, and you take a lot of your past experiences, weld them together, to learn this new experience faster, sooner rather than later. But I have recognized and the honest truth is, is this company has taken me four or five years to build. But you know, I do believe in wisdom and knowledge and experience, where I do believe the next business will take me 18 months to get as far as I've gotten in five years with my first business. So you don't have to be an expert. But you have to be able to learn fast, get smarter, every single day, otherwise, you simply will get left behind.

08:05
And I think, you know, obviously asking a lot of questions. And that's what you find, as the owner of a business. I mean, it's funny when, you know, before I started my firm, it was always cash, I want to work for myself. So nobody tells me what to do. And then when you have your firm, and I've you know, I've been practicing 20 years, I'm constantly asking others what to do, like consultants and business experts and other entrepreneurs and other lawyers. You know, as far as all kinds of questions, it's as if, you know, it's the complete opposite of what I thought it would be you think as a CEO, you're the person with all the answers. But you a lot of times you're out there just trying to put the team together and build the right team so that you can get the answers and you're asking multiple questions, the same question to multiple sources, and trying to decipher the best, the best answer from that. So you've had different different industries, where they planned or was some of them accidental, a lot of inventors wonder, you know, like, how did you go from retail, for example, to the medical industry was that someone approached you with it? Sometimes your product gets discovered, and it's of no, you can't really take credit for it because you're you stumble onto things.

09:27
Yeah. So just to go to your earlier point as the CEO, as I mentioned, before I put pieces together. I always like to say if the CEO is the smartest person in the room, it's not going to work out. You know, the 8020 rule. You delegate people, they're really good at doing things in those categories. And you want to make sure you double check and go over and play devil's advocate on every decision. But you learn really quickly that starting You're not by yourself, and you're not, you're not, you're not just reluctant to make yourself happy. You're, you're your slave to your customers, people don't recognize that. As much as I'm a CEO, I have free time. And you know, I can make my own hours, I'm not going to tell you I work 24/7 365 24 hours a day. But you know, we're a slave to the business, this is this, this thing has a beating heart, and you have to keep it alive, you have to keep it thriving, and you have to keep it going forward. So if you become a slave to your customers, and then you know, you do become a slave to your business. And if you're fortunate enough to get to the business where it starts to run itself and have its own heartbeat, and knows what to do tomorrow, the next week, and the month after that, that's where it gets a little bit easier. But that takes six, seven years to get to that for Wishon, where you have employees that walk in in the mornings and know exactly what they need to do. And I'm so proud of my team that, you know, we made the process very seamless to keep the business running, we keep our customers incredibly happy while building the business and trying to find new customers. And that was what you were just referring to, where, as I mentioned, I started off going after college students. And then I recognized my elderly grandmother, this was a terrific product for her. So that allowed us to start thinking beyond the little bubble that we were in, this is a perfect product for retail. And to be honest, there's a few factors that get you into other categories, retail was incredibly hard to sell to, you know, we make one product and it's white. And you know, so that's more of a medical field. And if we wanted to go full throttle retail, we would have to have patterns and colors, and more attractive for people to mix and match their rooms. So we actually looked at a lot of the reviews we got from our customers on Amazon on our page. And we started seeing where people using the product the most. So if you read the reviews, you see it's for homecare, people think it's a life, you know, God sent and it was an inventor, that makes me very happy. And that's what we that's what we do, we try and make people's lives easier. And if we make money doing it, that's a fantastic thing, too. So it's a win win win for everyone. But it's incredibly difficult. You know, I like to say spread yourself as thin as possible. I'm 29 years old, I've got more energy than you could possibly imagine. And you spread yourself thin on purpose, if you do it on purpose that allows you to see what bites and then allows you to focus on the best contenders and the markets that are most practical for your products. The way I like to look at it is it's a bedsheet it's very simple. everyone you've ever met could use our product, then there's people that you believe should use the product. But when you're starting a business or inventing something, you want to attract the people that you believe need your product. And then once you get past the knee, you could go to the shoulds. And then you could go to the could the could people but we started recognizing these people need a product like hours. So we've gone full throttle in that direction. And a way to validate if this is a positive direction to go towards beyond just the comments of the people that use your product is go to a trade show in a in a in a market that you believe a product your product has a fit. So we went to our first healthcare trade show. And it was a wild success. And we signed up vendors with McKesson, Cardinal within six weeks of meeting them which is unheard of. And so that gives you the validation that a product like yours is attracting customers in this world. If the if the distributors want to sign you up, if the comments are more leaning towards health care. And so I don't like to leave any stone unturned. So that's where I spread myself thin and we recognize this is a market that needs our products. And on top of that we do believe there's other products that need slash want our product. So we have a product called Camp appeal. We sell it to the RV industry and the camping industry. We have a product called spa appeal. We sell it to the SPAS like massage envy of the world. And many cases you could just retool your product to make it work for another industry as well. I noticed

14:39
Yeah, not to cut you off. I noticed some video for specifically for cribs. Yeah, we

14:44
have a product called curb appeal. It's for potty training and babies. I've never personally had a baby so I never knew this would be a perfect market until my sister had one and the baby threw up the baby would poop or leak out of its diaper and this was A tremendous benefit in the middle of the night for my sister to go right back to sleep.

15:03
And that's a great segue to something you said, when you said that you're you. You feel like even as the CEO, you're still a slave to the customers. A lot of the features of your products, are they, for example, the fact that it's disposable that was may have been an original feature, but what about it being waterproof? Was this triggered by your sister's toddler and accidents in the crib? Or was it triggered by medical purposes or home health care?

15:34
So there's two things one, you have a product and then you create its features, you created something but then you make the feet were 32% softer than traditional cotton, so it's better on the patient's skin. But I didn't know that when I first started. It was something that we discovered about the product after the fact. But we learned that it had to be waterproof, and everybody's first comment. Actually, everybody's second comment, I should say is, if I pee on the first layer, does it ruin the other layers? The first comment is it's soft, since it's a bedsheet, we've proven it to be softer than 400 pound cotton. And soft really just means abrasion and friction is essentially the meaning of soft. And we use that towards our advantage saying it's better on patient's skin, there's less patients skin breakdown when it comes to health care. And then we had to test the product when we went to that healthcare Summit. They said this E coli transfer from layer to layer and I'm like, Oh, I have no idea that answer. And you know, I know that we use a micropores laminate on our sheets that's 100% waterproof, that is breathable, so you don't get hot while sleeping on our sheets. And like what you mentioned with the doctor beds. The first consultation of a disposable bedsheet is paper. And once you say it's waterproof, it sounds like it's hot. But we've overcome all those obstacles. And you know, our customers tell us what they want. And we iterate our product. Now one of our specialties is that we could customize any size, any layering any fabric that you want. And for example, just a prime example of something you learn when you start learning the new industries. We first started off with elastic, I didn't know much about elastic, I just wanted really tight elastic. But when we started joining the healthcare industry, we recognize that elastic has to be latex free. So now we use a nitrile. Latex is a big allergy in the healthcare world. And so learning quickly asking a million questions. You can never be scared to ask questions. I always tell my employees if you're not asking my team members, I like to say, if you're not asking me a million questions a day, we're having, you're having a slow day. I don't mind you know, the thing about mentors and team and being coachable, and team and ship. That's really what business is about is being coachable. And team and ship essentially, is to be able to ask a dumb question, what is two plus two without being embarrassed? You need to be able to ask, as you were mentioning just a million questions and you try and find the rightest people to ask those questions to so as a young lad, I can learn as much as possible from the wisdom and experience of everybody else in around me. And so you learn from your customers. That's essentially where we learned everything. And then we know the gatekeepers in the health care world, it took us a few months to learn this, or the clinicians in the event in infectious prevention, and if you could get their blessing you could get past the first step.

18:49
Well, and how I'd like to talk a little bit about your experience pitching on Shark Tank. So tell us about that and how it's impacted your product, how it's helped with, I guess publicity and getting the word out I guess more for retail I don't know how much of an impact the healthcare field the Shark Tank page would have given you. But yeah, tell us a lot of senators are our our are definitely lucky. It was a

19:16
wonderful experience. Yeah, it was a wonderful experience. Everything on TV is a little more planned than it seems when you watch it, but um, you know, it was I was young the company was even younger, I just graduated college, no real business yet more of a proof of concept and you know, having some validation in the markets I was selling to I sold the summer camps. The first year I sold out of the 2000 units I manufactured so that gave me the momentum to go towards that mark and have confidence that there is need for a product like ours. So when I went on the show, I believe is almost six years ago at this point season seven episode eight, and you film about a year before it actually airs. Whoa, that was about six years ago, I was young, the company was even younger. And it was a tremendous experience because you get to learn from some really smart people. But you know, you take it as it is, it's like a game show. You use it as an experience, you use it for PR, and you use it for building character. It made me wiser, and made me smarter. It made me more confident, ironically, after getting rejected, and not rejected, there was just simply nothing to invest in at that time, you know, in real life. Three years after that aired, we've raised VC and angel investor capital. But it was a great experience, I had a lot of fun doing it, I took all the advice that the sharks gave me. And I took it to heart and started going after the markets they were telling me about, but

20:52
some of the feedback you got was that, and I don't know if you agree with it, or maybe your products change was that the sheets are not soft enough? Or were not soft enough. At that time, or maybe it was more of the perception because you know, that's the that's a tough battle you're having to overcome with your product is people's use are shaped by what they've seen. I mean, in we've seen other products change, I mean diapers for babies, you know, they were at one point, like rough plastic. They weren't soft, you can they actually made sounds in now look at them today. It's almost fabric like your product evolve as a result of the feedback. Oh, that's not one at a time. Did you agree with the feedback at that time that it was not soft enough? Because soft is its relative? Yeah, it's

21:42
hard to nobody, it's the so the real sharp, thank you. There's it films for 55 minutes in real life in the air about for four and a half minutes. You know, when I went on the show, first, I didn't know much about anything. You know, my manufacturers, I got very lucky meeting them. And you know, they started building my product for me and helping me iterate to make it better. Which is, which was fantastic. I mean, just for laughs and jokes. The product she Laurie said wasn't solved in real life is incredibly saw. We've gone past that iteration, we're about three or four iterations beyond that one. But that one is the product we had on the show was incredibly soft. Everybody has their own perception of what soft is. But it's all about the perception is also about what you're aligning the product to be for. You know, I after Laurie mentioned that, I don't believe they aired it, but I'm not here to compete against your 1000 Count codon. I'm not here to compete against your Egyptian sheets. I'm here for practicality and convenience. And, you know, you take their feedback, you use it, you use some of it with a grain of salt as it's for no TV purposes. But there are many instances where as a CEO, you you, you take your customers, you take their word, but you know, in many cases that maybe they not not perfectly correct or moral that stories, the customer is not always right, is what I'm getting at. If you take the feedback,

23:23
just from their own narrow perspective, and they may not be the typical customer.

23:30
Exactly. They're not changing their elderly, parents sheets, they're not changing their child sheets, they all have babysitters and house cleaners.

23:37
Right? So the ultimate end user is the one that you know, you know, and babies and camp, you know, in sleepaway camps, they're not getting 1000 Point cotton's Egyptian sheets, right? These guys need something practical. And from a safety standpoint, if you ask the parents, when they would much rather have the peace of mind knowing that the sheets are being changed regularly, then that their kids are off, you know, the softest sheets ever. But if they're not changed, you know who cares?

24:09
But I guarantee you would be pleasantly surprised if you went there. I'll send you a few samples. When you feel then our first customers reaction when we go to trade shows and even customers that buy our products online is how solve these disposable sheets are they're incredibly soft. I've traveled the world in seven seas selling these products. And we've recognized the proprietary blend that we've created seems to be a rockstar blend. And when you're selling to 16 countries around the world, you can imagine the sharks have their opinions, Americans, but you have 16 Different countries that have different aspirations, needs and desires for your products. And they all agree it's incredibly soft and less friction better for the patient. feces and continence blood is guaranteed not to penetrate from layer to layer. So people think it's magic, how soft it is. And then when you spill coffee on your trade show on it just to show the color and such, and you peel it away, it's almost like it's magic. And so it's a tremendous product. It's been helping out a lot of people. And the customer isn't always right. But you always take their word for it, you always now understand what their meaning of their comments were and where they came from. And you just keep going persistent. As I'm going to tell you right now 1000 trillion people have said no to me that 1000 People said the product sucks.

25:35
What were there periods when they raised you? Were there. periods where, you know, our last guest last week had actually put her idea aside, and stop working on it for six months, she just got so discouraged and said, You know what, I'm going to just go back to my day job and forget about this, until she went back and tried it one more time. And then that final tweak is what what made the difference? You've been through 32? You said 3132 different iterations

26:05
on the product I have today. Yeah.

26:08
So tell me was there? Or were you never at a point where you just knew in your heart that this was there was a need? There's demand that you just had to get it right? Or were you shaken by some of the people that said, No,

26:23
it's all the above. Literally all the above, you know, you get shaken all the time. This is a business that you're creating, you put your life on the line, you know, no other employment besides this. And so you know, it does become emotional. But you have to, you have to take the emotion out of it. This is simply just business. I'm here to kick ass, take numbers and make people's lives better, with a product that I invented. And if you get discouraged, you have to get rid of the low self esteem the people that discourage you quickly, fast. I believe in just riding the momentum of success and being proud of yourself. I run my world of being proud of my execution every day of being proud of my, my team members. And being proud allows you to continue to strive when everybody's saying no, because I have work, you have to build the yeses nose come a lot quicker than yeses. But you know, when everybody tells you how wonderful the idea is how great the product is, but simply it's not this million dollar idea yet, it does get a little discouraging in a good and bad way. One is how come I can't get it to be this big business already. And two is all right, maybe I came up with something really good. You have a lot of people, when you tell the product, they say, Oh, it's wonderful for this use, it's great for that use. And that's what keeps your confidence going in the early days. To keep going on the product to keep iterating on it. You know, I have the next iteration of the product, they feel almost like Apple where I have the next version, hitting for the next launch, where the product was 100% compostable. So every single layer or every fiber, all the elastic will go back into the earth within two to two weeks to four months, while

28:23
the other properties you talk about it would still be impermeable to blood and fluids. Well, well, we just

28:30
got to 95% We're about to produce and then COVID hit. Yeah, and that was to attract new customers, the customers that didn't want to use a disposable alternative, but love the benefits of it. And now they don't have to they wouldn't have to feel bad as this one would just break down simply in your backyard complex.

28:48
They don't have to choose. So the last thing I want to cover is you mentioned proprietary design. Tell us about your intellectual property. And have you gotten protection outside of the United States as well.

29:03
Yeah, so when you start a business all the patents were in my name, actually, my mother helped me start start executing on the product. I remember when I said the idea out loud. We said alright, if we can't find a patent, if we recruit can't find a product that's like this, we're going full throttle and starting a business around it. And the first thing I did was to see if there were any patents in around something like this or if there was a product out there like this, why didn't succeed or why did succeed? How come I've never heard of it. It seems like such an easy, simple, practical idea. No, but once I learned we were actually one of the biggest changes of the normal bed sheets since the last patent on the fitted bed sheet. So that gave us confidence. I believe the fitted bed sheet was patented in like 1947 And besides, you know, sheets, changing colors, fabrics, elastic breathability, there was no major change in sheets. Our innovation until the appeal always came out, which was a sheet, but it had had some features and factors to it. So when I first started the business and realize nobody's done it, I started my patent process. And I have learned, there's different types of patent lawyers, I've learned that there's only a few people, two people examiner's in the world that at least in the United States that allow you to get your patent. And then I learned that these patents are incredibly expensive, and you take three, four or five years, they even come to fruition, or get published, I should say, as well. So we started with the idea of how we're going to start and build this product. So I actually created a patent before I had a tangible product. And the tangible product didn't come out to be identical to the patent that I patented. But it's called prior artwork. I'm sure you're incredibly young. Yes, but it doesn't hurt.

31:08
And the nice thing is a good patent attorney can protect much more than the actual product that you're selling. So the patent can be written in a broad way. So that all kinds of other variations are covered. So even though you've gone through 32 variations, you don't need 32 separate patents to cover them all.

31:29
You do need things to cover the iterations. That's why I was mentioning prior artwork. So I filed for another patent, something that was exactly what my real tangible product was. And that gave us a massive amount of trouble. My lawyer was getting yelled at by the examiner and I picking up the phone saying why is there any emotion? Getting the patent? Why are people yelling at each other? So I had to find a new lawyer. I got pretty funny started off with a freelance freelance was small, legal firm. And then I said, You know what? I'm going with the biggest and baddest in New York. And, you know, they got us in front of the right people. They rewrote our patents to be more broad and vague. So they could defend things that maybe weren't exactly our interpretation.

32:24
Yeah, the competitors make small changes and try to go Yeah, that's what that's what a good patent is going to prevent. Yeah.

32:33
But in then I just filed for patents over two more patents. One was for the new biodegradable compostable sheet, as now I added ultrasonic welding to it to get rid of the stitching. So that is something that we had to create a new patent for. And we now have it patented in three countries, we patent in China, in the United States, and now we're working on the United the European Union. These are all utility patents.

33:06
Well, it's actually something like a sheet. It's not a look, people are not buying this, because it's the function so a utility patents the right type of patent. Now, there's some areas if you're if your product is you know, a sculpture, yeah, people are buying it for the look, then get a design patent. But if it's not for its looks, it's sort

33:25
of my books are trademark infringement copyright infringement. If you copy my packaging, that's, that's what I've

33:33
got it. Yeah, you don't want consumers confused. Everything Is

33:37
Everything we do is utility patent, we've been told that's essentially the best way to go. We have patents all over the world in three countries around the world, one we manufacture in, as well as our second biggest market, which we sell in China as well. So we don't just manufacture we also sell and have a team in China. You know, what is the value of a patent in China? That was one of the questions that just popped up. I want to talk about what is the value of a patent in general,

34:06
the investment that you put into the patent, because if you don't go for that broad coverage, then it's not going to cover what you you need. It's going to be it's going to give you a very narrow protection. Maybe okay, maybe persuasive to investors that are not sophisticated, but any sophisticated investors will bring that patent to a patent attorney like myself and have us evaluated. We're almost out of time. I know I promise it these days everyone is

34:37
I got one last thing for you. Yeah. Because I'm sure you might have experienced this before. Even with my new patent attorneys, we got to the next step, but then we got rejected one more time that we appeal them we changed something and got rejected again. So I said, Who is this person that keeps rejecting my patents? Can I meet them? We scheduled up wasn't meant down in Washington DC to meet with the two examiner's. And it was an awesome experience. And it's these two gentlemen that determine whether McKesson and Cardinal are infringing on my patent. And they're gonna help, you know, and tell us how to former Pat and the way that it makes more sense to get to be a patent. It's very long process. And so I actually took a train down there and spoke to the to the examiner's myself. And it was actually incredibly beneficial to expedite the process.

35:31
Okay, no, that's good to know. I mean, sometimes that's that you have to you have no choice, you have to escalate it to that level. So that so I can't thank you enough for joining us today. I'm going to make a quick announcement. And then I'm going to ask you for your your parting piece of advice for new inventors. But the announcement is, next next week, next Friday, we're going to have Dana nodes, and she's going to be joining us. She's the inventor of the hanging shower caddy. And Jenny, if you want to put up a sign up link for that, in the chatbox. And also, my private Facebook group, the inventors mastermind will have that there will have a replay of Maxwell's interview for anyone that wants to see that. And then October 28 38, I'm really excited. I'm hosting a three day virtual summit for inventors, with Kevin Harrington, the original shark of the hit TV show Shark Tank. So that's October 28, to 30th. I'll have more information in the private Facebook channel, Jenny, post that. And now back. So let's, for our inventors that we have so many viewers out there that have a new idea. They're at this stage of wondering, do they continue? Some of them have gotten that negative feedback that you talked about? Your parting piece of advice you can anything you want, what would you tell them, boom.

36:59
If you believe in what you're doing, and you can get other people to believe in what you believe, you know, continue to go forward. You know, life is all about timing as well, as you mentioned, your colleague took six months off, and maybe was simply just better timing in general for everyone for her, the product, the business and the customers. And persistence. If you want to be an entrepreneur, it's not fun. You know, that dream of working for yourself. The first thing I said was, I don't work for I work for my customers. It's, it's a dog eat dog world. It's, it's fascinating. And you know, there are patents out there that are incredibly profitable. I know the gentleman that owns the patent for the clothes hanger with the plastic around, he gets paid every single time they use that. So there are incredible and patents out there. But it has become incredibly difficult. Starting a business is easier than ever. But continuing to build a scalable, successful business requires time, money and skill. And the skill is simply just learning as fast as you can, and making hard quick decisions and just keep hustling. And you know, you're not getting good feedback or anything. You go to a trade show to see in that industry. If there is a product fit for yours. It's painful. It's fun. It's awful. It's great.

38:27
Thank you. Well, Max. So and one thing that you're like a great example of is that the invention is never really completely done. Like if you're an innovative company, you keep improving upon it, just as your biodegradable version is the next, the next step you're taking. So

38:46
I like to say the business plan is a living document. It's not just whatever you pitched in the beginning. It's a living document, you continue to iterate on your business plan as well.

38:56
Perfect. Thank you for joining us and thank you guys for in the audience to come and learn a lot. We've learned a lot from Expo today. So thank you, everyone. I appreciate it.

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