ASA 46 | Billion Dollar Idea


The old adage that goes, “necessity is the mother of invention” is true, in a way. You may already be on the verge of discovering a billion-dollar idea without even realizing it. The key is to never give up, as Winston Churchill would say. In this episode, you’ll discover why it’s better to become a problem finder than a solution finder. You’ll also realize how gratifying it is for a brand name to be known and acknowledged as the trade name. In all of these, you’ll see how you’ll need the assistance of other people in any business you do. Alex Mandossian does say that there’s no such thing as a self-made entrepreneur.

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Earl’s Billion Dollar Brand Idea!

In this episode, you’ll learn three key insights which are critical to making you a highly-skilled ethical influencer. You’re about to discover number one, why preparing to win is to fight over 80% of any business battle in the marketplace. Number two, you’ll find out why it’s better to be a problem finder than a solution finder. Finally, number three, you’ll find out why a brand name can be acknowledged as the trade name such as Post-it Notes, Kleenex or Band-Aid.

The Invention Of The Band-Aid

This episode could have a significant impact in how you can quickly and easily win the hearts of others. The old adage that necessity is the mother of invention is true. At least it was true in the case of an invention of something that we have come to use routinely called the Band-Aid. That’s a brand name. It’s not a generic name, although it’s used as such. The story of the Band-Aid started in the early 1900s and a gentleman by the name of Earle Dickson.

This episode is all about Earle’s billion-dollar brand idea. He worked for Johnson & Johnson Company, makers of most of the surgical tape in the United States at that time. He was newly married to an inexperienced cook. Dickson soon found himself getting plenty of experience bandaging his new wife’s hands whenever she cut herself or burned herself cooking. This is a true story, I can’t make this up.

From this experience he realized, that if he could prepare bandages in advance, in other words preparing to win and heal his wife faster. His wife could apply them herself without him interrupting his work.

Earle soon began experimenting with several ways his wife could remedy her problem when no one was around to help such as him. He reasoned that if a gauze pad and tape could be combined, his wife would be able to apply that bandage on her wound with only the use of one hand.

Tape existed and gauze existed. It’s like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Peanut butter existed and chocolate existed. Once you put them together, you’ve got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. There’s also from the Mars Company, M&M’s, with the hard-candy-coating “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” Rosser Reeves who invented the Unique Selling Proposition or the USP came up with that tag line.

Attaching a gauze pad to a sticky surgical tape on the side was the easy part of the solution for Dickson. Once the gauze was in place, the prepared bandage couldn’t be left lying around. The surface of the tape would dry up and the gauze would not stay clean. This was a problem. However, Earle Dickson never gave up like Winston Churchill who gave a commencement speech at Harvard. He said, “Never give up, never ever give up.”

[bctt tweet=”One product can have a company ascend and have a meteoric rise.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

The problem was keeping the gauze clean and not giving up. Adhesive and gauze together, that’s the Band-Aid. After experimenting with dozens of different types of cloth. Earle, discovered that crinoline protected the bandage. It was easy to remove from most adhesive services. He said, “This is it. This is what I’ve been looking for.” Originally, it was necessity as the mother of invention for his wife. His wife, as a new cook kept cutting herself and burning herself.

He wanted something that was prepared already for her. He didn’t have to create it. It didn’t have to be do it yourself. It was done for you. You may take the Band-Aid and adhesive bandages for granted. They’re self-protected in its own tamper-proof box. You put them on when you cut yourself or burn yourself or whatever it is that you do. What I do know, even though they come in different shapes and sizes. This combination did not exist in the early 1900s.

Dickson finally found the do-it-yourself bandage solution. It was not only a huge success with his wife. It also marked the beginning of the meteoric rise of Johnson & Johnson. One product can have a company ascend and have a meteoric rise.

What comes to mind is Steve Jobs and the iPod, 1,000 songs in your pocket. What was the innovation from Sony that the iPod replaced? Do you remember? You can look it up on Google. I’m not going to give you the answer. You should know this already. Rather than playing a CD and having a pack of twelve CDs in your fanny, what you have instead was 1,000 songs in your pocket with the iPod.

That launched Apple to a new level. This was the second greatest act in CEO history with Steve Jobs coming back to Apple. It was no different with Johnson & Johnson. It was the Band-Aid that created the meteoric rise of Johnson & Johnson. His idea was marketed as a new breakthrough to add to the already successful J&J product line. They were successful but they weren’t at the level where they wanted to be.

In 1921, Dickson’s invention was given the trade name Band-Aid. It’s a great name, a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s very declarative, Band-Aid or Post-it Notes or Kleenex. You don’t talk about nose tissue or facial tissue. You say, “Give me a Kleenex. Give me a Post-it Notes. Give me a Band-Aid.” It’s when the brand name becomes the trade name or the trade name becomes the brand name. That’s when you’ve gone to heaven without the inconvenience of time.

Replacement Versus Improvement

In preparing to win with his wife who kept cutting herself and burning herself as a new cook. That was 80% of the business battle for our good friend Earle. Being a problem finder is better than being a solution finder. A solution finder is reactive to the problem. If you are proactively finding problems and not just finding solutions to problems, what you’re doing is you are replacing something versus improving something.

ASA 46 | Billion Dollar Idea

Billion Dollar Idea: When the brand name becomes the trade name or the trade name becomes the brand name, that’s when you’ve gone to heaven without the inconvenience of time.


My good friend Perry Belcher says that, “Replacement always beats improvement.” It’s one thing if Sony Walkman had a fanny pack of twelve CDs, that’s an improvement. You can play one CD at a time. That was a huge innovation at the time, but what if you replace that with the iPod? What if you replace a phone with a computer called the iPhone? What if you replaced a watch with a computer where you can take phone calls like my dad does?

He’s over 80 years old and he’s taking my phone calls on his watch. That’s called the iWatch. Think about that. Replacement always beats improvement. In 1921, Dickson’s invention was given trade name Band-Aid. That trade name became a brand name and the brand name became the trade name. It was synonymous and that’s where you want to be if you’re in a company. Earle Dickson’s innovation was such a great success in the marketplace.

Band-Aid has since become the generic name of family products for which the brand name is synonymous, which is what I’m talking about. People don’t think about, “That’s the brand name of the product.” Although in the trade they call it that as well. They describe it as the thing that the company named it. Other generic products that have come to be recognized by the original trade name include Kleenex tissue brand. Post-it Notes developed by the 3M Company 50 years later.

Great innovations and great replacements are known by their brand names universally. This story is true and Earle Dickson’s ascension as an innovator and as an inventor was wildly successful because necessity was the mother of invention. If you’re outside the United States or Canada or the United Kingdom, that’s an English phrase meaning if something is necessary, it will breed an invention. It will give birth to an invention. That’s what it means by the mother of invention.

Never Give Up In Finding True Purpose

Let’s talk about purpose versus true purpose. In earlier episodes of All Selling Aside, I talked about my root mentor, my Root Lama as the Tibetans would call it, who is Buckminster Fuller. He talks about the principle of precession. What is the honeybee’s purpose? It’s to go to flowers and buzz around, extract nectar and bring it back to the hive where the queen bee is. With all the worker bees in the honeycomb of life they make honey. No honeybee, no civilization.

Although the honeybee’s purpose is to get honey from flowers, the true purpose of the honeybee’s activity is at 90 degrees of what they’re doing. They go directly into the flower. They put their butts in and they extract honey. Pollen falls to the ground at about 90 degrees. This is a universal and cosmic angle. 90 degrees is a right angle. It’s a direct angle that goes down not only to the grass or the ground with the dirt.

The wind blows that pollen and other flowers end up growing in different places. That’s how flowers have sex without even touching each other. It’s because of the honeybee. The honeybee doesn’t know it’s doing that.

[bctt tweet=”If you are proactively finding problems, you are replacing something versus improving something.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

Its true purpose is to create more flowers. The flowers purpose is to give the potential raw material for honey for the honeybee. Its true purpose is to deliver the pollen at 90 degrees that falls to the ground and blows away and new flowers come up and they go, “What just happened?”

With Earle Dickson, his purpose was to prepare bandages for his loving wife, an amateur cook. She would burn herself and cut herself. However, the true purpose was to create a new invention that combined gauze and adhesive. It’s now self-contained and known as the Band-Aid. I go back to Winston Churchill and the commencement speech he gave at Harvard. If you don’t know the story you can probably find it on Google.

Winston Churchill was known to have an amazing vocabulary. Most people have about 2,000 to 3,000-word vocabulary. That’s when you’re fluent in a language. Winston Churchill had more than 18,000-word vocabulary. He’s very well-read. He was in two world wars. He was the head of England and then soon to become the United Kingdom during World War II. He gave a great speech called The Blood Sweat and Tears.

I like Winston Churchill for the commencement speech which is the graduation speech at Harvard University. Harvard is the oldest university college in the United States. Everyone thought he’d give this long speech with great language and expressing his incredible vocabulary. All he did is he went up to the podium, he put his mouth close to the microphone and he said, “Never give up.” They all looked at him and he was silent for three to four minutes, which is a long time.

He looked around again and he said, “Never give up.” He looked around again. All the graduating seniors at Harvard are wondering, “What is going on?” Finally, he ended with, “Never ever give up,” and then he left. He had a great vocabulary. Sometimes you don’t need to say much. Winston and Earle Dickson had one thing in common, they never gave up. Thomas Edison and Earle Dickson had the same thing in common, they never gave up.

Steve Jobs and Earle Dickson had the same thing in common, never giving up. Oprah never gave up. J.K. Rowling who is writing the first Harry Potter book while her daughter was sleeping on her lap at coffee shops in parts of England, never gave up. Sir Richard Branson never ever gave up. That’s one thing if you’re going to invent something to replace something else, never ever give up. I know you’ve heard that before.

Generic Versus Brand Name

Maybe if you hear it this time it’ll probably, hopefully and most likely predictably touch your heart. You take it to heart and you live into it. Let’s talk about generic versus brand name. When an invention is successful like the Post-it Notes which was the byproduct of a failed experiment at 3M Company in Minnesota, an adhesive that would never stop sticking. It was successful but not in the way that the scientist wanted it to be.

ASA 46 | Billion Dollar Idea

Billion Dollar Idea: If you’re looking for problems and you find them, you will be ahead of the pack versus reacting to problems and finding the solution.


It was never supposed to pull away but, in this case, it would never stop sticking but it would pull away. It reads, “Pull away read here.” That’s called the Post-it Notes. The Kleenex is another consumer brand which is synonymous with the trade name. Its generic like, “Give me a Kleenex or Band-Aid.” That is power. When the brand name becomes the generic name or the trade name. It’s like going to heaven without the inconvenience of dying. That is an Alexism.

Alexism: There Is No Self-Made Entrepreneur

The Alexism for this episode is not that. It’s “There’s no such thing as a self-made entrepreneur.” You need the assistance of other people. Let’s fast-forward to 1982. If you were alive or you were still a flicker in your parents’ eye, it doesn’t matter. In 1982, the leading pain killer in the world and definitely in America was Tylenol. Yet in Chicago, seven people were reported to die as a result of ingesting Tylenol because of a poison that someone or maybe a few people had tampered with.

What did Tylenol do? What did J&J do? Johnson & Johnson has a credo. If you go to Google, Johnson & Johnson credo. They live by that credo. It’s like a core value. Their job was to protect the population. They removed 31 million bottles of all their painkillers, not just Tylenol. It cost them over $108 million in losses, which in 1982 was probably worth five times more. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. What they invented was the tamper-proof bottle.

The tamper-proof bottle that parents can’t open these days and kids can’t get into is a result of the poisoning of seven people with tragic deaths in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. The tamper-proof bottle was invented. Necessity is the mother of invention.

A quick review of the insights that you and I discovered in this 46th episode of All Selling Aside is important. The first is if you are prepared to win like Earle Dickson did, you will win over 80% of any business battle you fight. Business is warfare. It’s in the mind of the consumer or the prospect that you are aiming for.

Number two, it’s far better to be a problem finder than a solution finder. That means if you’re looking for problems and you find them you will be ahead of the pack versus reacting to problems and finding the solution. Finally, if your brand name becomes a trade name, you have won any marketing battle. When you want to buy a book back in the year 2000 or 2001, maybe you go to Amazon. In 2003, 2004 you go to Amazon for sure.

Now, if you want to buy anything, you go to Amazon because nearly $0.25 out of every dollar spent on the internet goes to Amazon and Jeff Bezos. That’s why he’s the richest person in the world. These insights, whether brand name turns into trade name, problem finder being better than solution finder or preparing to win is 80% of your business battle. These can only work for you if you work them. Please make sure that you execute what you’ve learned in this episode.

[bctt tweet=”There’s no such thing as a self-made entrepreneur. You need the assistance of other people.” username=”AlexMandossian”]

I’m doing this for you. I already know this and I want to raise the tide on your consciousness in business. If you do, your future will be bigger. It’ll be brighter and you’ll get to create it on your own terms to leave a legacy. I want you to go to Type in your biggest takeaway or a-ha moment you experienced in this episode. If you haven’t done so with any of the other episodes, it’ll mean much to me if you type it in the review section.

It doesn’t say takeaway or a-ha in iTunes, it says “Reviews.” You can do this in the review section. When you do it, iTunes will ask you to rate this episode. I hope I’ve earned five stars from you. Will you do that for me? Go ahead and declare your one big takeaway in the iTunes review section. It sounds like I’m trying to persuade you, but I’m not trying. I’m doing everything I can to persuade you. It’ll take three minutes out of your day.

What you declare, not affirm because an affirmation is silent, it’s to yourself but a declaration is public. This could provide you a lifetime of learning from what you learned in this episode. If you already done this, then please write your a-ha or takeaway on your big pack my bag moment on an index card and hold on to it. You can review it because as a public service, you’re getting 25 years of sales and marketing know-how delivered in 25-minute chunks.

My final gift to you my friend in honor of this 46th episode of All Selling Aside is a complimentary access to my video eCourse. There are four different lessons. It teaches you how to identify your target market and how to create your irresistible message or offer. It teaches you how to capitalize on the most lucrative media sources available to you. You can sidestep $197 tuition as a result of making it this far. All you got to do is go to

I hope our paths cross again. This is a show dedicated to making ethical influence within your reach so that you can achieve and even exceed your sales potential. Remember, selling can be fun as long as you know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. Do whatever it takes to join me next episode because the topic is the Seventeen Tested Closing Techniques. I love this one. Our seventeen different closing techniques I’ve utilized over the past 25 years.

I encourage you to invite a friend or bring a study buddy, your sales trainer, your mentor, your kids, your spouse, your ex-spouse. I can’t wait to connect with you, then it’ll be super fun. I want you to join me with a study buddy so that you can grow and make a big difference in your niche. I can’t wait to speak to you then.

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