An Inventor's Quest for the NHL Pt. 18
Looking Ahead to the End
This series follows my attempt to develop a product that I dream of getting into the NHL. Previously on the Quest: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17
If I had stuck with my pre-pandemic plans, I would be graduating with an MBA from UCLA in mid-June. So that’s my planned end date for this project as well.
In a fairytale world, by that time, my cage would make its NHL debut and all would be sunshine and rainbows. But the NHL season will be in the middle of the Stanley Cup Final in June, so not exactly the best time to get a goalie to try a new piece of equipment.
What can I realistically achieve before my end date then? I’m hoping I can get one goalie from the NHL and one from the PWHPA to show interest in trying my cage for next season. If I can achieve that, I would feel justified in continuing to work on this full time. If not, I’ll need to get a real job again and decide if I want to continue this on the side or move on to something else. But that’s a decision for later.
For now, I’ve been thinking about how to get that interest from a pro goalie. I don’t think direct communication would be a great idea; I imagine they’re inundated with requests for podcast appearances, autographs, etc, etc.
Maybe I could reach out to the player’s agent instead. Agents get a percentage of a player’s salary, so they should be directly invested in his or her performance. But my gut feeling is that this would be a pretty unusual request for an agent and so would be an uphill battle from the beginning.
The dream would be a viral launch on social media. If everything went perfectly, I could get on the radar of goalies at all levels. The other options don’t even give me that chance. The trouble is that, most of the time, I feel like an old man when it comes to social media. I barely have a presence in general (no offense to my whopping 51 followers on Twitter) and definitely none within the hockey subset of Twitter.
How the heck do I make sure my “launch” doesn’t just get three likes and peter out? If my idea were to die, I’d at least like it to be a worthwhile death, out of the shadows. I have absolutely no idea how to achieve that though.
When I’m stuck, I use these updates to get my thoughts in order and my creative juices flowing. On occasion, I’ll be lucky enough to get an insight from a reader that breaks down the roadblock. Personally, I’m having difficulty coming up with a plan of attack. The best I can come up with is to reach out to a few media personalities before the launch and hope that they’d be open to helping me get some traction. At this point, though, I feel like I have nothing to offer them besides, what I hope, is a heartwarming story.
I think I’m realizing this is a low percentage play at best. The more realistic approach would probably be to continue what I’d started early on — reaching out individually to goalies in lower levels of competition and slowly build a reputation for good equipment. But I want to take this shot and see if I can get lucky.
Thanks for reading and letting me clear my thoughts,