Last week on Shark Tank’s season premiere, 12-year-old Tripp Phillips pitched his business, LeGlue. I love seeing young entrepreneurs. I love it because it makes me happy to see young people doing great things. So I want to share this with you all today in case you haven’t heard Tripp’s story. I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. If you have or know any kids Tripp’s age, share his story with them so they know how amazing kids their age are and how limitless the possibilities are.
Everyone Loves Lego’s
I think every childhood should include playing with building blocks. Legos are one of the most popular brands but there are others. It’s common to refer to building blocks as bricks regardless which is your favorite brand. Kits can be purchased as specific kits where you get the exact number of pieces and instructions on how to build a specific thing or kits can be purchased with a certain number of bricks that come with idea books suggesting possibilities of things to build. Regardless, you get hours and hours of creative play.
Do you remember spending hours and hours building things? But the building is only half the fun, right? Playing with what you built is the other half. If you’ve ever played with building block creations, you know the frustration of pieces breaking off whenever you play. It slows you down because you have to stop playing to rebuild. It makes you so mad because it happens over and over again.
At that point your only solutions are to just deal with rebuilding over and over until your patience got the best of you, choosing not to play with your creation so it doesn’t break, or choosing to glue your creation dealing with messy glue and committing your precious pieces to the creation forever.
LeGlue to the Rescue
When I first heard about Tripp and Leglue, I thought about the Lego Movie and the infamous evil Kragle. Do you remember this scene?
Kragle symbolized the death of creativity when pieces are permanently fused together, never to be played with again.
That’s pretty dramatic, you can use Krazy Glue and still play with your Lego creation, but there are a few downsides to it’s use.
- You will not be able to reuse any of those pieces. Krazy Glue is permanent, some have forcibly removed pieces but they are likely to damage them.
- Krazy Glue is toxic. It is made from carcinogenic ingredients and is not safe to ingest.
- Krazy Glue is not easy for kids to use. If you are like me, the idea of letting your kids loose with Krazy Glue causes you to hyperventilate a little.
LeGlue is designed to solve this very real-world problem for kid master builders. You can temporarily bond the pieces together and then when you are done, LeGlue is water soluble. Soaking in water releases the bond and you can create with those bricks again and again. It’s non-toxic so no worries about accidental ingestion. It’s easy to use allowing kids to work on their projects with more independence.
Let’s go back to Tripp, our Young Entrepreneur and highlight some of the key things that stand out about his story:
The Best Inventions Solve A Problem
Every success story starts with solving a problem. When Tripp was 10, he was given an assignment at school to either write a paper or create an invention. Tripp asked his dad, Lee, about inventions, his dad’s response was “The best inventions solve a problem.” Tripp thought about his frustration with his Legos breaking as he played with them, so instead of accepting the status quo, he teamed up with is dad and they worked on a solution to prevent his toys from breaking apart as he played and allow his bricks to be reusable.
Tripp Uses His Strengths
Tripp’s discoveries started with a school assignment. Tripp didn’t want to write a paper, he doesn’t enjoy writing but creating an invention was intriguing to him because his dad happens to be a scientist, who “solves problems with science every day”. In fact, Lee specializes in adhesives. It’s amazing that Lee models teaching his children to think like a scientist and was able to use the situation as a learning opportunity for his children. Not only did Lee help with the science, but he also helped with the business of inventing. We learn from the Shark Tank episode that Tripp is one of the youngest utility patent holders in history. With Tripp’s interest and Lee’s help, a business was built.
Tripp Wins the SuperBowl
When reflecting on their Shark Tank experience, Lee comments that Tripp wins the Superbowl at 12 to highlight Tripp’s incredible success at such a young age. Tripp received two offers for his pitch. Both Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary made offers. Tripp came for $80,000 and he got what he came to Shark Tank for. He went with O’Leary’s offer because O’Leary offered the $80,000 in exchange for a 50% stake until the $80,000 is recouped. At that point, O’Leary’s stake reduces to 20%. If all goes well, one day soon LeGlue will be sold right along with your favorite bricks.
Tween Founder High Five
I love Tripp’s story and wanted to send this tween company founder a virtual “high-five”. I’m going to grab some Le-Glue for the Tweenable kid’s next Lego building session. Next time they break out their Lego’s, I’m going to be sure to share Tripps amazing story. I’m going to tell them, kids just like you are doing amazing things and solving problems every day.
I think it would be interesting to take a step further by asking them what problem they have that they wish they could solve and challenge them to brainstorm some ideas to solve their problems. I’m willing to bet that they come up with some pretty interesting ideas. I’m willing to bet the kids in your life come up with some phenomenal ideas too.
If you missed Tripp on Shark Tank, you can read about it.
Tell me about your thoughts on LeGlue, Tripp’s story, and your Lego experiences in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.