[deleted]

Comments: 263 • Responses: 60  • Date: 

comradequiche206 karma

Did you develop an IP protection plan before rolling out Sillybandz, or was the hope to flood the market first, and hope that it would take a long time for knock-offs to catch up & develop distribution?

rcroak23258 karma

We definitely did and it was a huge blessing to spend the time and money doing a design patent on each shape. When the market of knockoffs came about we had great protection which helped as we sued people for infringement.

comradequiche55 karma

That’s great to hear! And thanks for the response!

rcroak2384 karma

All good. Hope it helps. With the proliferation of knockoffs and everyone thinking they are an expert because they know about Alibaba - protecting your product IP is more important than ever.

Rand0mhero80119 karma

How do you come up with a simple concept and know it will catch on? Was there trial and error or was it just luck like the pet rock guy?

rcroak23113 karma

You don't! Some of the biggest products and content to go viral were not planned for. It's all about consistently trying and creating and going through the processes.

SuaveInferno67 karma

How has your development of silly bands impacted your career? and how did you feel about them being banned from schools?

rcroak2365 karma

Great question! With the worldwide success of Sillybandz it definitely opened more doors for me as other products were being developed. As far as the high school bans- it's hard to quantify if it helped or hurt the craze so I can't really comment if it was a good or bad thing

NotVerySmarts54 karma

How come the Marvel Silly Bandz are officially licensed, but the "Princess" set that is obviously Cinderella and the Disney castle not licensed?

Seems a bit weird.

rcroak2373 karma

The Princess pack is and never was licensed or infringing on any license. And Marvel was designed specifically to Marvels request.

DkJakee52 karma

What’s your favorite sillybandz??

rcroak2364 karma

I usually favor the RockBandz pack and I wear the drum set.

weed_cat6948 karma

What was your reaction to people now in 2019 seeing your product as nostalgic from their childhoods, and how did you react to your success?

rcroak2347 karma

It's happening as we speak! There is a lot of nostalgia and people wearing and trading them again. So it's fun to see it building.

thelostbeing37 karma

How did the product become viral? What was your method of marketing if any?

rcroak2346 karma

Honestly there were 3 cities across the US and Facebook and AdWords were the vehicles that helped it go viral. Ito was very organic though overall.

TrailRunnerYYC21 karma

Forget Sillybandz! I want to hear about your experience on High Stakes Poker!

What was the best part / worst part of appearing? Who was the nicest player? Who was the not-so-nicest?

rcroak2322 karma

The best part was that I had played a lot with many of these players but to play on that stage and setting was amazing. Obviously I wish I got better cards and ran better but it is always fun regardless. Oddly I played 3 days for filming and never made any hands really and when it was over and I went back into the card room I ran super hot for 2 straight days! Always love Antonio!

AnonymousWander14 karma

Do you think that whenever 2010 nostalgia becomes popular, everybody will star to wear SillyBandz again?

rcroak2317 karma

It's happening as we speak! There is a lot of nostalgia and people wearing and trading them again. So it's fun to see it building.

lukemelby13 karma

Did Epstein kill himself?

rcroak232 karma

Lol. Do tell!

monkey_trumpets10 karma

Doesn't it bother you that, especially with today's knowledge of plastic pollution, that your product is most likely only contributing to more plastic in the landfills and has pretty much no practical uses?

rcroak23-3 karma

Considering they are not plastic, not single use and don't degrade- No. And uses???? There are dozens and at a minimum they make great rubber bands, hair ties, etc etc....So unlike single use plastic in its million forms people have no reason to throw Sillybandz away. And hoenestly when I created them 10 years ago the knowledge and concerns surrounding plastic and the lack of recycling were not at the forefront of environmental concerns like they are today.

rcroak237 karma

Great question- we actually have a small library of shapes that got made and never distributed or that were custom orders for random companies workdwide. I am wearing by a Jellyfish as we speak that never went to market.

PinkEyeTheGlitch7 karma

What role has failure played in your life's journey? Have you had any business ideas or products that were complete flops before Sillybandz came out? If so, what did you learn from them?

rcroak231 karma

It has definitely taught me endless lessons about all facets of business and humanity. Some lessons are tougher than others especially when it involves friends and family. Success has a way of blurring people's judgement and place in certain situations. I have lost many great friends through business which is never fun.

gif57 karma

Is it true that some sillybandz were more rare than others, or was I flexing the sparkly Phoenix for no reason?

rcroak232 karma

Definitely and the Phoenix is very cool!

one-hour-photo6 karma

What was your reaction when the rumors started flying that kids would wear them as some sort of signaling for sexual availability etc?

rcroak235 karma

That has been going on for decades with various types of bracelets so hard to control.

GeMiniXCape6 karma

What was the largest hurdle you had to get over in between the original concept and sales of your product?

rcroak2315 karma

Like any product - it's finding a small base of trend setters that love the product and adopt it early. With that it's easier to organically grow whereas bombarding people with marketing telling them your product is cool rarely works.

rcroak233 karma

Like any product - it's finding a small base of trend setters that love the product and adopt it early. With that it's easier to organically grow whereas bombarding people with marketing telling them your product is cool rarely works.

JCsuperska4 karma

Hey Robert! Who is your favorite Ninja Turtle? Thanks!

rcroak230 karma

Raphael

Golf144 karma

What was your favorite memory being on High Stakes Poker? Remember seeing you on there at least one season haha

rcroak231 karma

Just the overall process and playing in that environment. I love playing higher stakes and with the top players as it creates an entirely new level of challenges in poker.

rcroak233 karma

It was amazing to be involved and definitely a blast I just wish I had run better and had to hands throughout the process!

brai_nless3 karma

Hello! Nice to meet you Robert! What was the hardest part of the initial design of Sillybandz?

rcroak232 karma

Like any product - it's finding a small base of trend setters that love the product and adopt it early. With that it's easier to organically grow whereas bombarding people with marketing telling them your product is cool rarely works.

rcroak233 karma

I don't know what you mean? I am here to answer as many meaningful questions as I can.

rcroak233 karma

Which bands do you feel is out of place?

NotVerySmarts3 karma

Have you gotten any strange responses to any of The Justin Bieber Silly Bandz?

One of the bandz seems a bit out of place.

rcroak234 karma

Which Bandz do you feel is out of place?

DinoDragonKaiju_John2 karma

You/your company looking for other ideas/workers? If so, where/who should I contact?

rcroak232 karma

You can email the [email protected] and I'll take a look.

DinoDragonKaiju_John2 karma

Thanks, for both the information and being so prompt with it.

rcroak232 karma

Welcome!

rcroak232 karma

Question - I am new to Reddit - is there always so much negativity and trolling? Thanks

Super_Weenie_Hut_Jr5 karma

Yes. Theres also a ton of positivity, creative expression, genuine compassion, collaboration, and intelligent discussion in these forums.

I think your lack of a sufficient response to questions regarding environmental impact is obviously upsetting to some people. Surely you'd considered that topic before this evening?

rcroak23-1 karma

Of course I did and I answered that topic immediately only to have the same guy from multiple accounts keep posting the same question in various forms over and over. It's late and I don't have time for trolls and bully's. Thank you.

jncc2 karma

Don't you feel bad knowing that you have wasted your life making disposable fancies what will soon add up to a mountain in various landfills?

rcroak231 karma

Do you feel bad wasting your Saturday night making negative comments in a thread where I am trying to shed light to others trying to build businesses.

Ohmahtree2 karma

Ahhhh, nothing like seeing a Toledo native make it.

How's the Porsche Rob, still have that?

Frankies today isn't like Frankies in it's prime. We need to reincarnate that area don'tcha think?

rcroak233 karma

Hey thanks. It's still going but yes the scene is not like the old days!

JJHinge2 karma

This took me back; I can see myself again in the store asking my mom to buy me those bands. I would find loose ones all over my town, and add them to my collection.

My school banned them and everyone said it was because kids were wearing dozens at a time, cutting off their circulation in their wrists. Do you as the inventor think that was justified?

rcroak232 karma

I mean if you tie your shoes to right it will cut off the circulation right? So like any product - if not worn correctly or used in a proper use scenario there could be issues.

rcroak232 karma

I don't think that is appropriate for this thread.

rcroak232 karma

It's happening as we speak! There is a lot of nostalgia and people wearing and trading them again. So it's fun to see it building.

rcroak232 karma

The best part was that I had played a lot with many of these players but to play on that stage and setting was amazing. Obviously I wish I got better cards and ran better but it is always fun regardless. Oddly I played 3 days for filming and never made any hands really and when it was over and I went back into the card room I ran super hot for 2 straight days! Always love Antonio!

rcroak232 karma

We definitely did and it was a huge blessing to spend the time and money doing a design patent on each shape. When the market of knockoffs came about we had great protection which helped as we sued people for infringement.

rcroak232 karma

My favorite is Raphael!

rcroak232 karma

The Princess pack is and never was licensed or infringing on any license. And Marvel was designed specifically to Marvels request.

rcroak232 karma

It's a lot of fun watching the comeback happen. The nostalgic aspect is really cool and we have new styles and licenses in the works!

Salvatorymonk1 karma

How do you go from an idea to a product/prototype you can touch? Specifically, did you create a mold yourself or?

rcroak232 karma

Generally we start with some basic drawings and go through the research of the product and potential competitors in the category. then move to CAD/3D and forward on to prototype stage. With 3D printing now development is much quicker and less expensive.

rcroak231 karma

Great question! With the worldwide success of Sillybandz it definitely opened more doors for me as other products were being developed. As far as the high school bans- it's hard to quantify if it helped or hurt the craze so I can't really comment if it was a good or bad thing.

rcroak231 karma

Like any product - it's finding a small base of trend setters that love the product and adopt it early. With that it's easier to organically grow whereas bombarding people with marketing telling them your product is cool rarely works.

rcroak231 karma

I usually favor the RockBandz pack and I wear the drum set.

rcroak231 karma

I am trying. It is very important to me and we have several products in the works to help rid people of using si by or use plastic. And I realize Sillybandz are silicone but since they do not get thrown away I am ok with it from that perspective

SmileyFace7571 karma

What did your parents or grandparents expose you to as a child that you believe contributed to your success as an entrepreneur?

rcroak234 karma

Coming from a single Mom and being dirt poor. It creates a drive and sense of urgency that you have to succeed so your family never has to live like you did.

rcroak231 karma

Ok. I am new to this part of Reddit. Thanks for the heads up.

type_011 karma

When Sillybandz were first introduced did you expect them to blow up like they did? What was the plan for when they died down?

rcroak233 karma

I don't think anyone can forecast what happened with Sillybandz. So it was definitely a learning curve. And I think all companies in product development think every product will be a winner yet most fail.

rcroak231 karma

Creating the various styles-groups of shapes! And along that question creating a ton of detail in each shape to make sure everyone knew the difference between us and the knockoffs.

rcroak231 karma

Honestly there were 3 cities across the US and Facebook and AdWords were the vehicles that helped it go viral. Ito was very organic though overall.

whiskey5471 karma

Do you still produce and sell new silly bandz? If so, have you thought of doing a shape submission contest? Something like FanzBandz?

rcroak231 karma

Yes on both and maybe. Could be fun! Let's revisit in a couple months

ColdEngineBadBrakes1 karma

Yes. I have something I hope I can put into question form...I've been involved with a number of startups lately, and the last two have really tried to sell me on their enthusiasm, and the more they tried to sell--let me point out I'm not the first other person on the project, there are usually a handful of people before I get there--the more I am repelled.

I can be enthusiastic about things, but beyond enthusiasm, what else should I feel when considering working for a startup? If that makes sense.

rcroak232 karma

Really vet the Founders and have good paperwork. Also make sure there is adaquate funding to ensure you and other staffers will get paid timely.

ColdEngineBadBrakes1 karma

I'm afraid I've run out of enthusiasm. Because no idea seems like it's worth a damn anymore. Thanks for responding.

rcroak232 karma

I disagree. There is so much better technology now to help you through the process and keep people honest and in track.

alekhineX-17 karma

did your wife cheat on u ? thats why u divorce?

rcroak2310 karma

I don't think that appropriate in this thread.