Keep your idea quiet — We often seek validation from those around us. The problem with this is that it can Segway you from your own intuition. Sometime our loved ones can influence us negatively or in a capacity that is not conducive to success. If you believe in what you’re doing, stay the course!
As a part of our series called “Meet the Inventors”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jesse de Leon.
Jesse deLeon started his career in the financial world. Upon a few years of hard work and countless hours, he pivoted to the startup world. Starting out with building the marketing and sales for a startup he realized he was poised for the startup and tech world. Jesse then went on to create his own consulting company helping new tech businesses develop marketing and strategies of scale. This led to creation of Genieously, along with his partners David and Roy, Genieously is a Tech agency focused on developing technology, businesses and software of all types. Genieously provides top tier design, development, and marketing services; providing a multi-faceted approach to retailers, founders and startups alike. Over the course of the last few years, Genieously has focused their efforts on the world of eCommerce. Upon doing a lot of work in the jewelry space, we met and partnered with Co-Founder Avi Aranbaiev, founder of Liori Diamonds. The Eternal Fit was founded as a solution for the eternity ring and a product we knew right away — would make a huge impact in the jewelry market, online as well as offline.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
I grew up in Forest Hills, Queens NY. I was a high school athlete very passionate about sports. Once I graduated high school, I was very eager to delve in the business world and make my mark. I am very grateful for the road I’ve traveled and the opportunities that continue to present themselves. I am very confident with the future of The Eternal Fit.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you only do what you can, you will never be more than you are”
This quote has had a significant impact on my life. The way I interpret this is: Sometimes in life you must venture into the unknown. Whatever obstacle you endure is irrelevant, as being confident in yourself and your abilities will always help you prevail forward. When I first ventured into tech, I didn’t know anything but I continued to hone my skills and learn. The same thing with the jewelry industry. In order to continue progressively growing, we must step out of our comfort zones to achieve the “impossible”. Which is why this quote is so close to my heart, if you want to be more than you are today — take massive action and your dreams will follow suit.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I have 2 answers. One, is “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. This book discusses the power of the laws of attraction and how to think and use your mind in a manner that can forever dictate your life. The second will sound a bit cliche but the book “Awaken the Giant within” by Tony Robbins. This book also had a profound influence on my life. The book reinforces that we create our own story good or bad. The more you take control and accountability for everything you do, the closer you are to living the life you crave.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. What was the catalyst that inspired you to invent your product? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?
Yes, my partner Avi has been in the jewelry business selling all types of luxury diamonds and rings for many years. We created this The Eternal Fit through identifying an issue that has been recurring since the inception of luxury jewelry. Women’s finger sizes fluctuate regularly, in fact there are a variety of reasons why. However, when they do a lot of expensive jewelry — most specifically eternity bands can get left behind. The eternal Fit was created for women who want luxury and can now justify its expense because our product is guaranteed to fit them for a lifetime.
There is no shortage of good ideas out there. Many people have good ideas all the time. But people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?
This is a challenge for every new business. Firstly, having the right team in place is key to success. We have built a team that involves all the aspects we need to make this product a success. Execution is the driving force behind making any product successful — but when you have the right team in place and everyone can play their role and do it well — the sky is the limit.
Often when people think of a new idea, they dismiss it saying someone else must have thought of it before. How would you recommend that someone go about researching whether or not their idea has already been created?
I am a firm believer in execution. Even if someone else has already created an idea similar to theirs — it should not deter them from proceeding. There is so much to learn from products that have already hit the market that can save ample amounts of time and money. I would recommend that new entrepreneurs explore the market and learn all they can — if their idea does not exist and they believe there is a need in the marketplace — than execute! If the product or something similar does exist, then research the hell out of it. See what they’ve done, how’ve they marketed it. Learn everything you can to help propel your idea or product. There is plenty of market share out there for everybody. Execution is key.
Did you have a role model or a person who inspired you to persevere despite the hardships involved in taking the risk of selling a new product?
Yes, I have many role models. The hardship or risk in creating something new shouldn’t be a deterrent. I may be an opportunist but the way I see it as a win win. Either the product succeeds bringing tremendous joy to our team and families. Or the product fails and we learn invaluable lessons on what’s necessary for the next venture. So long as you believe in yourself and those around you, success will find you.
For the benefit of our readers, can you share the story, and outline the steps that you went through, from when you thought of the idea, until it finally landed on the store shelves? In particular we’d love to hear about how to file a patent, how to source a good manufacturer, and how to find a retailer to distribute it.
My partner Avi is the one who founded this idea. He approached me with the concept and I fell in love and boosted his confidence in proceeding with the next steps. Within a few months we had the product ready for the market. Avi has a long-standing relationship with many jewelry manufacturers around the globe and the Eternal Fit is a testament to his success and hard work over the last 20 years. This goes back to finding the right partners that can contribute in different ways. We have different strengths and that has been key to our success thus far.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When Avi first thought of the product he decided he wanted to add it to his collection of rings sold in his shop and online store. Upon approaching me, I knew right away this was a business and brand on its own. The lesson here is that sometimes the next big thing is right and if you don’t take the risk you can miss out on massive potential.
The early stages must have been challenging. Are you able to identify a “tipping point” after making your invention, when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
Yes, the initial product had 3 springs in the interior of the ring. This is the adjustable and patented part of the ring. While we were excited of the product, we received feedback that the ring was too bulky. We immediately changed course and added a fourth spring slimming out the product and creating the design it is today. The lesson here is don’t assume you know the market regardless of how educated you are. Get out there and ask, the people will always provide the answers you need.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Invented My Product” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
1. Don’t Hesitate
In today’s world there are too many reasons not to do something or embark on a certain venture. Execution is the key behind all success not the idea itself. Don’t wait or question yourself, the world is your oyster and is waiting for you.
2. Don’t seek perfection
When creating something new its probable that you will turn into a perfectionist. While creating a sound product is very important often times creating the quintessential product can become an obstacle. Take what you have and run.
3. Get out to the market as soon as possible
This is to further the last point. Once you get to the market you will learn far more than you can imagine. All the presumptions you made can become irrelevant. This is why it is so crucial to hit the market and begin learning as much as you possibly can.
4. Keep your idea quiet
We often seek validation from those around us. The problem with this is that it can Segway you from your own intuition. Sometime our loved ones can influence us negatively or in a capacity that is not conducive to success. If you believe in what you’re doing, stay the course!
5. Stay Focused
Getting distracted is inevitable, especially in today’s world. Keep goal oriented and continue to strive forward. Your goals are all achievable so long as you believe in them and continue to put in the work to pursue them
Let’s imagine that a reader reading this interview has an idea for a product that they would like to invent. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
First, I’d learn as much as possible. We often make a lot of assumptions when we have a good idea. Knowledge is power and the more you understand about the product and its market the more poised you are to succeed.
There are many invention development consultants. Would you recommend that a person with a new idea hire such a consultant, or should they try to strike out on their own?
That’s tough to say. I think getting advice is essential to starting any business. It really depends on the person, their personality and experiences. I think there is much to gain going in either direction.
What are your thoughts about bootstrapping vs looking for venture capital? What is the best way to decide if you should do either one?
Again, that is completely contingent on the idea. I believe in the bootstrapping mentality because that opens more doors and gives more leverage in the market should you decide to raise venture capital. However, it’s tough to give a generic answer given there are so many variables involved.
Ok. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
That’s an excellent question. Firstly, I have not yet reached what I would deem successful. Success is relative to each individual and everyone knows their capacity for greatness. I am still on my journey to finding success. With that being said, I try to help as many people as I can. Whether it be financially or with advice or sometimes just being there for someone in need. I’m a big believer in karma and that we all need to put ourselves out there to make the world a better place. The best way I can make the world a better place is by being a better person today than I was yesterday.
You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I would suggest the 21-day challenge. The challenge works as follows:
For the next 21 days start out EVERY morning writing down 10 things you are grateful for. The caveat is you can never write the same thing twice. This challenge forces you to think outside the box and also brings rise the great power within all of us that being grateful can evoke.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Tony Robbins — no question about it. He’s a huge inspiration to me and somebody that has been successful in seemingly every facet of life. He’s built his success through helping others succeed at a high level.
As a businessman, philanthropist and overall force in today’s world, there is no one else I’d love the opportunity to meet.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.