My thanks to Norm Yerke, inventor of the Aircut for taking the time to answer some questions about his invention. The Aircut is an easy to use home hair cutting system which collects hair clippings rather than scattering them via means of a vacuum.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background and how you got started inventing?
Norm: I am from Waukesha, Wisconsin, I grew up in a very small town Cobb, Wisconsin, went to college for 1 ½ years, spent 6 years in Army…3 active…3 inactive….was in Corporate world first 19 years of my business career…started running companies when I was 26 years old….in the 80’s grew a pre engineered manufacturing company from $8 million in sales to $100 million and sold the company in 1989…..since 1985 have purchased/sold/started about 20 different companies.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about the Aircut, what it does, and how you came up with the idea?
Norm: I used the Flowbee for many years, started on the AirCut in August of 2008, brought it to market in September of 2009…..have not been to a barber in 20 years…..
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Norm: I ran an ad on www.craigslist.com for a mechanical engineer who wanted to earn “sweat equity” received about 30 resumes’ selected an engineer, told him if he gave me a working model, I would give him 10% of the company….he did….I did
Tara: Did you try and patent your idea straight away or did you develop it first? How did you go about getting protection for your idea?
Norm: Started patent process after I was into the AirCut for about 1 year….I trusted the people I was working with including a manufacturer in China
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype for the Aircut?
Norme: I had a prototype made cost $25,000…..a second one made for $900
Tara: How did you go about promoting your idea, did you contact possible companies with the idea of licensing the Aircut or did you want to maintain control and manufacture and sell it yourself?
Norm: I maintain complete control throughout the process, I started the website in September of 2009, I only sell the AirCut on the internet
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Norm: About 1 year
Tara: Where can your product be purchased from?
Norm: Only on the internet
Tara: What are your future hopes and plans for Aircut?
Norm: Continue to grow company on the internet
Tara: If you had to do it all again is there anything you would do differently?
Norm: The first prototype was too expensive…. I should have “shopped” it around more
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Norm: Have a burning desire to bring it to market….this is very hard to do with any product….the AirCut is so unique, there is nothing like it in the marketplace, the reason it is so successful…
Tara: Do you have more ideas you hope to bring to market in the future?
Norm: I am currently working on a TV show that ties TV and internet together in a way that has never been done before….
Tara: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Norm: I always pray a lot for my companies/ideas….particularly to St. Joseph who is a great intercessor….that’s why he is called the “worker” here on earth
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