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The Future Of Virus Control With Copper With Larry Cole & Victor Nicolov (MFGMonkey Episode 13)

MFG Monkey | Virus Control


Today, we have Victor Nicolov and Larry Cole, the creator and president of CuGrip, with us. You can find them at They will be talking about their up-and-coming sanitation product that kills viruses on surfaces without The hassle of wiping them down constantly. We discussed the research that brought CuGrip to where it is today and its ability to kill COVID-19 and many other viruses. We discuss the practical applications, such as where it can be used, like door handles, light switches, and shopping carts. We address the marketability of the product and its impact globally, including its positive impact on businesses.


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The Future Of Virus Control With Copper With Larry Cole & Victor Nicolov


I have the Founder and President of CuGrip with us, which I am unbelievably excited about. I think I say that about every episode that I get to do, but this has been a fun project with us. Larry, you and I talk each other’s ears off anyway, so I figured, why not record it? You introduced me to Victor and I think that we’ve been plugging away since then. Victor, why don’t you go first? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself here on the show and give the people the lay of the land of Victor? 

Thanks for having us on, Dustin. I got myself locked down at Envy Technologies, a tech company that owns CuGrip. I guess the copper product is what we’re going to talk about here. I found it out while I was still in university. I was studying to become a mechanical engineer. Finally, I graduated. I definitely took some detours along the way. It took a while, but I’m finally out and doing what I love now, which is creating some cool tech, and have been doing that since. 

Tell us a little bit about Envy Tech. I know that you want to focus on CuGrip, but I think Envy Tech is a pretty cool company as well. 

This all started with our first product called Sepura, which is the first eco-friendly garbage disposal. It’s one of those food waste disposals you see in kitchen sinks that grind things up. We started building one that was eco-friendly, didn’t grind things up and separated itself from liquids under the sink. Let people compost, but it was still super easy to dispose of your food waste at home. That’s what we started with and that was an Envy Technologies building that and now, heading into times like this with the pandemic, CuGrip is a good thing to start right now. It’s a good thing to push out on the market for sure. 

How did the idea of CuGrip even come about? 

I think it was my wife and I talking about copper. I think we saw something online and then someone posted different materials with the COVID virus on there and said that copper actually destroys the virus. I was like, “Cool,” and I started looking at some products and I thought, “There’s got to be so many applications for this.” Sure enough, I found some great projects out there.

Hospitals are trying it. They were putting on bed frames, door handles, and things like that, but there were still a lot of problems and I think that’s why you don’t see it in every hospital. It costs a lot to outfit your entire hospital out of permanent copper material. It corrodes over time. The thought was we have to create something that’s easier than this. Why not slap a thin sheet of copper on whatever surface you want to? These shapes could adapt to pens, door handles, and bed frames. Slap some copper on there and it does the job. You can take it off easily and replace it when it corrodes. 

Give the readers your website so they can go check it out while they’re listening here. 

Yeah, sure. You can find us at The Cu, we took from the elements symbol for copper there. 

I am overly excited about how cool of a project it is, the product, the uses, and everything. I’m flattered that Larry brought me into the mix here and brought McMillan Co. into the mix and unbelievably grateful. Thank you guys. Let’s make a bet, Victor. Can Larry tell us about himself in less than ten minutes?

It’s impossible.

Now, the challenge is out. Thanks, Dustin. I appreciate you having us on. I do. It’s so cool and we do talk all the time. My background, originally, when I was in college, was Electrical. I’m in my 60s now. The fast forward on that was I went from electrical energy to alternative energy and renewable energies into high-tech and high-tech into cybersecurity and some hardware. 

Over the course of several years, I have always been involved in the business side of the business, not the development side, as much as the business side. That’s how I met Victor. I cannot remember exactly how I met him, but I know that we met somehow, either through Linkedin or something. We ended up getting together and he was talking about Sepura and I was making my suggestions along the way. 

This is fast-forwarding right to now. How I got involved with CuGrip was literally, Victor, you correct me if I’m wrong on this, but I think he called me and he says, “I have something and I want to talk about it.” We talked about it and I went away. The truth of the matter is we talked about it, but I went away and I did my own research. I came back to Victor, and the long short of it was I said, “I’d like to come on this full time.” That’s when I literally dragged you in. 

It didn’t so take too much fighting on my end. I saw what it was. It’s been crazy fun. It’s always interesting to me the types of projects that get brought to me. Being in the space that we’re in, the marketing machine that we have and the fulfillment channels that we have, we get brought some pretty unique opportunities and I don’t say no to a whole lot. 

Some people will criticize us because we’re so diverse, and then some people will get what’s going on in my head. It helps us through these times, especially when dealing with a pandemic when one sector is up, the others down, and whatever. This one had me on my heels, though, because I had no idea anything about manufacturing copper or processing it or converting it or how it was even done and all those things. We work through that together. 

The volumes that you guys were talking about, I’m like, “How the hell are we going to do this?” I think well under two months and however many days, we’ve identified some amazing manufacturers that are going to support us. Once the machines get turned on, we will be able to pump the product out. Thousands of feet per second and it’s going to be badass. I cannot wait to get the first truckload of your guys’s product into our new facility that where I’m going to sign the lease on. 

With this going on, let’s talk about the product, specifically, Victor and the research that you’ve done behind it to understand how it works? The product is thin which is very unique because you can apply it to so many different services. You have an adhesive that’s removable but the product is 0.002 or 2 millimeter thick and then a protective coating. Talk about some of the projects that you guys are working on right now as far as customers and distribution and how this is actually going to roll out to market. 

I’ll definitely touch more on the science beyond the products. I feel like, Larry, you definitely will be great at explaining how we’re going to roll this out into the market. We had to go within at first we were experimenting. We tried a whole bunch of different types of coppers. All of this was science-backed. If you type in copper disinfectant on Google, you’ll see the first things that pop out are all the research articles or the articles done on people who try it in hospitals and different settings and stuff. That was something that was known. We’ve known that for a long time. I even read somewhere that Egyptians used to use copper to clean wounds. 

Egyptians used to use copper to clean wounds. Share on X

It’s been known for super long and now we got some signs backing it up, actually showing photos of viruses on and bacteria on the surface being deactivated because of copper ions. That’s how it works. When I found out about this, I started digging deep into research and reading some experimental research, testing different strands of bacteria and viruses on different types of alloys. 

Finally, we set on something we believe in and some that’s proven, and we had to go with a thin copper because we wanted to make it super easy. You can apply it on whatever surface that you want to keep clean. It had to be thin and malleable so it can fit on any surface, and it has been pushing that out since. The cool thing we have and the adhesive on the back is super easy to rip off. You’re not leaving any residue behind. It’s easy.

You’re not going to damage the surface. We also ship these with that protective coating that you were talking about so that you take that film off like a screen protector when you get your phone. It’s pretty satisfying, actually, when you get it. It has a nice copper shine when you peel it off and then you get to stick it on your door. It’s pretty cool, but that also keeps it from oxidizing during shipping and stuff. Larry, do you want to take this? Now, we’re rolling it out into the market. 

I think it might be helpful if I back up for a bit and first talk about the challenges when we first got going because that leads into the business model we took. One of the first things Victor and I recognized when we got going was that this is not a local market. This is not a continental market. This is a global market and the product is global. 

That’s the reason why I think I called you, Dustin, the day after I committed to Victor that I was coming on. I called you because we could have the best marketing in the world and some of the best commercials in the world but at the end of the day, we needed to be able to develop a supply chain that made sense for this product. 

The business model we took was we looked at your area. Columbus, Ohio went, “You’re getting a warehouse. You’ve got a warehouse. We’re going to have an office in that warehouse. The manufacturers are all within X amount of time around that warehouse. Let’s call that CuGrips Central.” Seriously, let’s call that CuGrip Central. For the rest of the time right now, it made sense for us to reach around the world and find the right people in the right geographical locations to be CuGrip distributors. They’re almost like our family. They’re going to have a warehouse there, just like we’ve got a warehouse. They’re going to be able to fulfill products online. Same as we can fulfill our product online. They’re going to be able to supply wholesalers and resellers. 

The whole point was using Ohio using containers because that’s what I like about Ohio. It’s transportation is Central to everything, and once I grasped that when you and I first met a few years ago, I went, “We can get anywhere in the world in 25 days.” That’s pretty cool. If we get the distributor set up we can send them an entire container. 

They can all be set up and ready to rock and roll. We’ve got four of them. Your readers have to appreciate that there was nothing. There was no supply chain, no warehouse, no distributors, no nothing. We have a product. We have these things. Here we are sitting now with a very sophisticated supply chain, incredibly sophisticated. 

Victor has made a spreadsheet for our costing that is second to none. I put that up against any company in the way that our numbers are so that we understand our numbers moving out to our distributors and then to their resellers, wholesalers, and retailers. We know the numbers now. The numbers tell us that, number one, we can get products to the right places in the world quickly. That’s what started to bring the quality of the distributors up. 

The numbers will tell us that we can get products to the right places in the world. Share on X

Looking back now, I’m not blowing wind here and I know I shouldn’t speak for Victor, but I won’t, but we would have been in a heap of trouble if we hadn’t called you in because we had no supply chain. We would have a great story. We have a great story but we wouldn’t have any product. It’d be coming off a thimble. That’s the whole thing. We’re pulling in the right kind of people into this project, and we need to be successful in a world that wants an answer right now. They don’t want it two months from now. They don’t want to six months from now. They don’t want it a year from now. Can you get this rap on the market quickly? 

One of the challenges that I know I didn’t take it into consideration at all was the lead time. One of the first factories I went to and visited, one, it was during the time when nobody wanted any outsiders in their facility whatsoever. It was totally understandable. One of our main things is visiting places physically to make sure they’re real, getting to know the people, and having face-to-face interaction.

I talk about likeability all the time and it’s so true. We want to befriend our partners. During that time and that very short courtship, we got pricing, we got all this stuff, and then the lead time was six freaking months. I called it, and I’m like, “I think there’s a typo. You spelled weeks wrong here,” and they’re like, “No.” 

That’s what I thought.

I was ready for six weeks. It’s longer than what we want to wait, but six months? The guy explained to me, he’s like, “The copper market is down so much right now.” Their main mill that they buy from is in Germany. I would love to know who this company is out of pure curiosity, but they are shutting down the entire month of August to try and help correct the market. That’s amazing to me. One company can shut down their production. I’m sure that they know more than they think. 

The copper market is down so much right now. Share on X

I’m sure that there are analysts behind all this and they understand exactly what they’re doing. If they don’t do it right, they could destroy their business. I was talking to a couple of other big factory owners, and they’re like, “If that goes wrong at all whatsoever, you could possibly bankrupt your company by pulling a move like that.” Anyways, they’re going to shut down production for a month to try and correct a market because the pricing of copper is so low.

It also makes me think. I’m sure they have their reasons, but take us for example, and I’m sure a lot of other companies in our position as well, they were our first choice. We were going to go with them, but now we’re going with another supplier. It looks like they have a global effect on companies and there might be others like us who had them as they’re forced first choice and are now going elsewhere. 

I know you guys are in Canada. It probably doesn’t mean as much to you as it does to me, where the second place that we went is all getting sourced here in the USA. The first place that we went to was going to be broader and from Germany. We were all fine with that. It’s a big global supplier. The quality was amazing. The company that we went to is amazing. 

The people were great. When we thought that we were ahead a little bit, somebody strapped the parachute on our back, and we were brought to a screeching halt. That was the first time with you guys that I’m wondering what we are going to do now. There cannot be another one of these companies that is this niched. 

I got back on the phone and had some referrals and ended up contacting another company that I actually forgot that I even sent an NDA to and they weren’t super responsive in the beginning. I reached back out to them, and they said, “Yeah, we have several tens of thousands of pounds of that exact material in our facility already. As soon as we tool up, we could have parts to you within weeks.” I was like, “Okay, that’s a lot.” That’s amazing. The pricing is still great, and the way that they’re going to run the parts, we’re all learning together because they’re running so many parts. How many SKU numbers do you have now, Victor? Is it eleven? 

We’re actually over eleven now. We’re closer to twenty now. 

I have eleven. I guess I’ve only done 50% of the work that needs to be done as far as the quoting goes. It worked out well. It’ll be interesting to see when we start seeing material start to where the copper’s actually mined. How many copper mines are in the world? I know you guys know. Is there quite a few? 

Yeah. There are quite a few, but there’s some dominant ones as well. Part of being in this business, I took it on myself that I wanted to learn about the mining business. I wanted to learn it right from the ground. How’s it shipped? It’s mostly shipped by train in its raw form and then ends up at another depot that will either ship it around the world to be milled, smelt, and then turned into cathodes. You start to understand the dynamics. 

For example, when I heard you talking about shortages and what have you, a group in Dubai wants to do something about copper in a big way. They want to put manufacturing there and what have you, but that’s for a different day. I’m bringing all that up because a company like CuGrip will be going through a lot of material. It’s no longer 100 pounds here and 1,000 pounds there. You get a line going 24/7. It’s putting out million, 2 million, 5 million, 20 million parts a month. That’s a lot of copper anyway you shake it. 

Have you guys done the math on that? 

Victor did. 

Victor, you sent me weights, which is awesome, just so we can plan on how many parts per pilot we’re going to get in and so we have an idea of how we’re going to process things. Our team is working on that process and procedure and we brought in actually Theresa that we did an episode together not too long ago. Her team of super ninjas has joined our forces to help us figure out our processes and write job descriptions for people that we will need to bring on and things like that. 

As we’re looking at this, the weight of 1 million parts, and I know that you have a lot of different SKUs but like the shopping cart, which I think is amazing. We talked about the shopping. The shopping carts alone, I did the math one day on how many shopping carts were with Costco. I did the math and I’m like, “Is that number right?” Copper is a heavier metal. It’s getting there. How many parts can you get on a truckload at 40,000 pounds? 

I think it was like 600,000 or something like that 

That’s our big ones, isn’t it, Victor? It was a mixture. 

A truck is about half of the maximum for a 40-footer tanker. Yeah, but then we can double that on a 40-footer. That’s 600, Larry. You’re right. That is a mixture of different shapes. 

What would the weight of that be around 40,000 pounds? 

If that is how we calculate, I think it was. I cannot remember off the top of my head anymore but must have been around there, yeah. 

It’s pretty significant. It doesn’t seem like I’m holding it up right now, but you look at something like that and you think to yourself, “That cannot weigh much.” You go time 600,000 and they’re 2 feet long and they’re all flat packed correctly. They’re not put into our fancy packaging. They’re raw going out to a distributor. That’s a lot of weight. 

It’s a lot of weight and it’s a lot of product, but 600,000 pieces of something sounds substantial. If you break that down, the average grocery store has 250 carts, buggies, or whatever your geographic area calls these things. That’s only 2,400 stores. That’s not a lot. I have no idea how many grocery stores are in the United States or Canada. You start thinking about the number of things this is going to help and people stay home because they don’t feel comfortable. I did the same thing now. I’m fairly healthy and I don’t have a problem putting on a mask and a lot of people, there’s a huge pushback. I have my opinion on it but if that’s what it takes and people feel comfortable and whatever I’m going to adhere to the social norms to help people feel comfortable. 

The one thing that the bus line they talked about was it gives a visual aid of security. I think that that’s an amazing part about this product. I know for me, when I go into a grocery store anyways, I’m anal enough where I will, even before the whole COVID thing, I had my own Clorox wet wipes. I would wipe down the handle on the cart because I’m a germaphobe like that. I don’t know who was picking their butt before pushing that cart around earlier. With the shopping cart, it would give you a sense of security that anything that’s on this is dying. They’re going to wipe it down but it gives that extra level of security. 


That’s actually a good segue and I should also explain our vision with CuGrip. It is for everyone. I have it at home. My wife and I put it on our light switches and door handles. It’s everywhere, but a big part of our vision with CuGrip here is to help businesses reopen right now. Every business needs to clean door handles and all of that. They need proper procedures for that, and they should still do that, but it can be very hard to keep up with. You can imagine that on a public bus, you are going to have people stationed there cleaning 24/7 as people are getting on these.

A big part of our vision with CuGrip is to help businesses reopen. Share on X

It can be tough to keep up. Our vision here was to give businesses that are reopening an extra layer of protection and it’s visible. That’s a big thing. People know where to reach for. When they’re opening a door, they’ll see that bright, shiny copper that’s disinfecting and they know to reach for that. That’s what we’re trying to do here. We help businesses reopen. 

Companies are spending millions of dollars trying to reopen. We’re doing a project for a major restaurant chain from coast to coast. We have a piece of the project. The entire spend is over $3.5 million to put things in place to make their customers feel safe to come back into the restaurants. There is obviously a huge restaurant chain to spend that money, but it’s a significant economic spend. Most people had their best quarter in many years in 2020. We get on and we do these. In the first quarter, everyone was excited. There were a few sectors that were down, but the economy as a whole was banging for three months and then all of a sudden, it ran right into a brick wall. 

For three months, everyone’s like, “How the hell are we going to stay alive?” Coming out of this, we’ve been busier than ever because people are trying to reopen, everyone is still very energized, and people want to get back to their lives. They want some normalcy in their life. I think your guys’ product is going to allow people to do that. It’s going to give that sense of security and help businesses open, and people will be grateful to buy your product. 

It’s not a huge investment. To outfit our office with eight offices and places that people are going to, I haven’t done the math on what it would cost us, but it’s not as much as what people are spending on other things and it’s probably more effective than having a piece of plexiglass sitting on the bar between you and whoever you want to talk to in the other side. 

There’s something very interesting going on around the world with a lot of corporations that they’re trying to match their words with their actions. An example of that is one of the transit companies we were working with, they told us, this is their line, not from us, that they want to be seen to be doing something right. It all stems from this little back-and-forth that Victor and I laugh about all the time, and it will sound weird when people first hear it, but you cannot see clean. 

In other words, a company could have done a whole bunch of things, but you don’t know that they’ve done all of that because you cannot see it. Hospitals are the prime example. They go by the shiny factor, but shiny, it must be clean. That’s not true at all. With certain clients, they not only want to do the right thing. They want to be seen to be doing the right thing. You get a highly visible product like copper and then you educate. We get taking the task all the time around how long do viruses last on copper and all the variables involved.

Ultimately, at the end of the day, when you put this kind of product on, you’re maybe talking from instant contact to maybe 2 hours to 4 hours maximum on with viruses living on copper. The next morning, it’s self sanitized and you don’t even have to clean it. That’s not a shout-out for the product. That’s a shout-out for the companies that might miss a doorknob where it live for 48 hours or 4 days or however long and whatever the material is. There’s some payback not in labor but in being seen to do the right thing. 

There’s a restaurateur, an entrepreneurial restaurant owner who has five-star restaurants and they have multiple restaurants around town. Wonderful people and wonderful service. Larry, I think that you and I ate at one when you were here. They always have five-star reviews and somebody slammed them on Google reviews with a one-star because they didn’t feel that the staff was taking this pandemic seriously enough. 

This place is all about service and for them to get a review like that, it was mind-opening. The very next day, they had a press release about it immediately, and I’m sure that they’re embarrassed by it and other things like that. People want to feel safe when they go out. In my opinion, if I don’t feel safe, I stay home, but a lot of people don’t have that opinion about where they go out and expect everyone around them to think the way that they do and is that right or wrong.

You can make up your own opinion on that. I have mine, but people still want to get back to their normal lives, even if they’re freaked out. I think that example speaks to a situation where a person isn’t comfortable going out and they’re going out anyway because they’re tired of being at home. The hive of product like this, it’s going to add to that. It’s like somebody wearing a face mask. It gives the other person comfort that they can see that you have a face mask on and there are 50 studies that say that they’re very effective and there are probably 50 more that say that they’re not at all, but it gives that visual comfort.

The whole thing with COVID, and I’m incredibly interested in the entire subject, I read as much as I possibly can. I’m engaged in it. It’s all about layers. It’s such a complex issue. People are trying to make it political, that’s going to happen. People have their own opinions, that’s going to happen. There’s a piece of philosophy in here. When does an individual’s rights become more important than societies?

Let’s reverse that statement. When can society have a bit more rights than an individual? These are all very heavy topics. The bottom line is that the disease itself is complex. I talk all over the world. I talk to five different countries in one day. There are different ways of dealing with it, but the bottom line, for us, this is a layered solution. 

The disease itself is complex. There are different ways of dealing with it. Share on X

We’re one layer of many different things that have to take place, and all of this begins with education. All of these products have to line up. There are spray products out there. As you say, there is the mask. There’s good education out there about not washing your hands but how easy it is to spread something. Some nurses went and did that with black ink and it was unbelievable how much black ink was around the room. 

There’s a lot of learning to be had and a lot of education. You start mixing politics in there, and you start mixing in, “I must be safe because the app on my phone says I’m safe.” That’s not quite true. We want to be known as a company that plays within the solution side and does not overplay what we do. We’re not underplaying it. We think we have a significant role to play. 

I agree and I think that the product speaks for itself. There are a lot of people out there taking advantage of the situation like anything out there and there are companies like yours that are a solution. It is going to help. It is going to help businesses open. I don’t know how else to express that. You’re going to see it in hospitals and restaurants and homes, on and on. It’s amazing. I’m not smart enough to come up with anything like this. 

I’m sure that I get to be a support piece and our team is very excited about it. Everyone’s going to have a sense of accomplishment each day being a part of the solution where there’s so much uncertainty and a lot of pride is going to go into that as well. As soon as it gets out there, people are going to start demanding it. “I went to this restaurant and they had this copper grip on. Why don’t you guys have it?” They’re going to start doing their own research and people are going to demand it, for sure. 

I like being around a product that the science is unequivocable. The science is done, but they continue to do more science. One of the things that we haven’t even talked about is what’s called an environmental sustainability and governance mission with what we’re doing, which is so cool. It’s on our website, so we don’t have to get into it that deeply. When you start talking about the impact you can make, that’s going to allow us to do what we want to do with Children’s Hospitals with COVID heroes. There are many different programs we can spend out of this with this product and give back to the community. I’m enjoying that aspect of it as well. 

Victor, talk about your vision of being green, if you will, and what that means to you because I know that that is very important to you, being an economic or an eco-friendly company and leaving less of a carbon footprint than what a lot of other companies that create products. They even take that into consideration when they start manufacturing like the coffee machine, Keurig. We probably all have one. 

I got one for Father’s Day and I use the hell out of it and the guy that created that thing released something years later. He’s like, “If I would have known the negative impact on the environment, I would have never created it,” which is strong. The guy’s probably doing fairly well because of that product and he realizes that he caused a bigger issue within our environment than having coffee quickly. Anyway, I got on a soapbox there but that’s a very important subject to you guys. 

That’s something I’ve always been focused on, especially I guess this started with our first product Sepura, which is an eco-friendly garbage disposal. That’s the point. It keeps good waste out of landfills and drainage systems and uses it to make energy or fertilizer. That’s been the goal right from the start with Envy Technologies and when we come up when products like CuGrip, yeah, of course, I like to keep that in mind and that’s exactly what we’ve been creating here. 

We’re in a very cool position where our product, metals, is one of the easiest things to recycle. The recycling process for metals is super easy, and you can take copper to recycling depots and even get money for it. That’s how great it is to recycle. The way that we ship these is everything’s paper and the rest is copper. The entire product, packaging, and when you’re done with it is recyclable. It’s not like buying a phone where there’s that electronics waste. 

Recycling metals is super easy. You can take copper to recycling depots and even get money for it. That's how great it is to recycle. Share on X

The entire thing can get put into a closed loop. The way that we’re trying that or the way that we’re approaching it is keeping everything close by. Our suppliers are close to you. That’s where your warehouses will be placed close to you, so as little traveling as possible to get this done and get our products to our customers. Closing that loop and tightening as much as possible and keeping that in mind along the way. 

I knew that was important to you was when I started having a conversation with the packaging company that we’re working with to have special packaging designed. That was one of the things that I brought up. If we can do something that’s green and if we can do something that’s recycled, to continue that because not all the packaging is going to end up being recycled because of the nature of how people do things. 

Some people don’t care, but if it comes from something that’s already recycled, then we’re paying it forward with the packaging that’s being used. I’m excited about that. The company that’s helping us with that have a global footprint already and they’ll be an amazing source that will support us and give us great ideas. All the people that we’re meeting throughout this process is pretty cool. Everyone loves the mission. 

Everyone wants to be part of something fun and good and there’s a philanthropic aspect to it. For me, that’s always been very important. I started my first company that was 100% philanthropic backed and failed. I spent a lot of money trying to make that company work. At the end of the day, I learned that some people they don’t even care. I was part of a philanthropic organization here in Columbus and I thought, “All these people buy this product so why wouldn’t they buy their product for me?”

We have the same business plan and the same idea and we were more expensive and they’re like, “No, we’re going to go buy from this company. They’re less expensive.” I’m like, “Your mission is to be philanthropic,” and I know our proforma makes us a little bit more expensive, but they’re like, “We don’t care.” I’m like, “That that means something.” 

When McMillan Co. came around, it was like, “Okay, we’re going to concentrate on making money and then we can do whatever the hell we want to do with our money, and part of that is giving back to the community and being very involved.” Ohio State reached out to us, which was crazy timing. Ohio State’s MBA program reached out to us to do some internships, which is process improvement, case studies, warehouse design, and all these things. 

It was so funny to me that it was something that I was super worried about, being able to support you guys, understanding the fulfillment end of things, and how the hell we are going to fulfill 5,000 packages a day. I don’t know. I’ve never done that before. The next day, I got a call from the Ohio State University MBA program that some of their people are majoring in logistics and fulfillment. I’m like, “How did that happen?”

It’s Eerie how these things unfold and absolutely, I’d love to have you guys and they’re like, “A lot of them will work for free,” and I’m like, “No, why would I not pay an intern a fair wage because I can?” It’s like, “No, come in. We’ll figure out a good payment for you,” and that’s what we’ll do and we’ll be very involved with a great University that does great things for cancer. 

We have Nationwide Children’s Hospital here, and that’s absolutely phenomenal. The network of everything that wants this product launches, and after that, people start listening to this show. They understand that it’s here in Columbus, Ohio. It’s going to mean a lot to the city, I think. Columbus released a mandate. It’s mandatory to wear a mask in public now, 100%. 

It’s going like that in a lot of cities. 

It is what it is. it’s not a law. We have this little thing in America called the Constitution. I think it’s interesting that what they’re mandating people to do doesn’t make sense. Sure, I could argue both both sides of it. Am I going to buckle and carry the Constitution around with me because I want to be that guy? Me 10 years, 15 years ago, probably. Now, not so much. I have bigger things to worry about than proving a point to people I don’t know. 

The one that got me the most and I know it’s a little bit off-topic, but it’s in the right vein of what you’re talking about, is how about that family? Fifty family members showed up for a barbecue and 50 family members got COVID. That was unbelievable. 

I did not read that story.

Super Carrier

Just devastating and I’m going to use a word that may not be familiar to a lot of people, but there are words that I use internally or stuff like supercarrier. Supercarriers are wandering around and have no idea they are spreading the disease quicker than you can say your name. That’s basically what happened at a family barbecue: everybody felt a little more comfortable. 

Instead of five people showing up, 50 people were there. They were all from the same family and all 50 people got COVID. One of them died the next day. It was a devastating article, but it goes to show that I can have a lot of rights, but dead is dead. You know what I’m saying? It’s like being on a bike, I can be on the road on my 15-speed bike and I’ve got a lot of road rights, but you’re going to lose against a truck. COVID is the truck. 

It is serious and quite honestly, it scares the hell out of me. My neighbor right across the street was diagnosed with COVID. My son was out working painting their deck, and the guy came to the window and said, “Just so you know, we’re a COVID-positive home.” My son finished the job and he comes home and he tells me I’m like, “Why’d you stay?” He’s like, “They were inside, and I was outside. I felt comfortable.” I go, “Okay, but you cannot go back there to do any more work because you’re going to get it and you’re young and you’re not going to know it and then you’re going to give it to me, which is going to give it to Aunt Coleen.”

Kids don’t think that they can die, but you take somebody like my daughter who has Crohn’s disease. She has no immunity. Whatever age you’re at. If you have a pre-existing condition that deals with immunity or lungs or breathing like anybody that’s got asthma. I’ll tell you if you got asthma and you get cold, but you got it. You got yourself a heap of trouble. I do one of my very close friends over in Eastern Europe in business, close business friends. He got COVID and he didn’t even go outside. 

He got tested for COVID, and it blew me away. He was compromised. He’s still coming through the other side of it. Where I come from a lot of that right now is that we’re hearing from people that for example, one city that we’re talking to gets a world championship next year. They want to start working on building the city because they don’t know what stage the world is going to be at one year from now. 

You can be guaranteed that there’s going to be something. The added conversation we had was that they can use it in their PR, but they want to use it that isn’t about COVID. It’s about flu. It’s about colds. It’s about viruses. That’s the message that they want to have as they’re moving out of this program to do the city. it’s one of those situations where that’s not the end of all the Beatles. It is one piece of a very complex issue of the world’s coming into play sports. 

It changed our life as we know it forever. When we’re gone, this is still going to leave an impact and it is. It’s going to change how we interact as humans for the rest of our lives. Before March 2020, I could probably count the number of video chats I have been on. It’s typically when there are more than two people and you need to share a screen and everyone needs to look at what you’re doing. In one day, I’ve been on ten. What the hell is going on? 

It’s about a simple thought of five. Yeah, like the girl who said we’re looking at office furniture. We’re talking, and I’m like, “Why didn’t we have a phone call?” She’s like, “I was thinking the same thing but we’re so used to sending a Zoom call now.” It is nice. You’re going to interact and I’m a recluse anyway. If I don’t do this besides my son and my daughter, I could go. We cannot not see another person. This hasn’t changed my lifestyle a whole lot, anyway. I’m probably the least excited about getting a new office because that means I actually have to go somewhere. 

I love the people that are using the backdrops, the software? The other day, this guy’s got this view of like he’s on the 80th floor and I said, “You got to do me a favor. Show me what’s in a closet.” 


Dan and Dan would not appreciate me telling the story. Dan and I are one of my sales engineers. We were on a Zoom call and he was in their spare bedroom and they were getting ready to move and it looked like a bomb went off the room. I’m like “Put a backdrop in. You are not having conversations with customers like this, are you?” He was like, “I didn’t even I’d even think about it.” I’ve done some different ones. This one is whiskey barrels. 

That’s good. I like that one. Yeah. There’s a whiskey. 

I’m in a dungeon. I had a couple of other ones. They don’t work real well without a green screen. 

He’s got a little halo around you. How about the lady that was in the giant Zoom meeting and went to the bathroom? She had her phone and she left her phone on and then she proceeded to get up and go to the bathroom. 

There are some horror stories. 

That’s going to happen so often now. 

It’s because he was talking. Probably the most embarrassing one and I’ll keep this as PG as I possibly can, but it turned into not being PG. A guy was on a big Zoom call and they’re like 50 people on the Zoom call for work, and he thought he left the call and he got up and went got some tissues and then went and got some lotion and he was not blowing his nose or her fixing the dry skin on his feet. I watched it. I watched it all because I was laughing my ass off watching it, but I’m like, “Is this guy going to do what he’s doing?” Then I think right when it got inappropriate. I think somebody was smart enough to kick him out of the meeting. 

This dude was like he was in it to win it. He had something good pulled up on his computer that I was keeping his attention away. I’m like, “Holy crap.” That’s the most embarrassing. you don’t recover from that. That’s viral. 

That’s going to go everywhere.

You Google that right now and you’ll find it. 

That lady I’m talking about if you search for that right now, it’s been watched something like a billion times because she went to the bathroom on and somehow nobody hit the pause button for her. 

I probably want to hit the pause buttonlike, “Karen, you’re pooping right now. That’s great. Thanks.” 

That’s right. Now that she’s gone completely in the toilet. 

Yeah, that’s all right, though it makes it fun. Victor, you are a little red, though. I think I am embarrassed. 

I was still laughing at that person, but I was thinking like, “It’s so mean of the people that post that online. I don’t know how I get out there.” I’m sure there are so many things like that that happen. It doesn’t make it online because people are decent enough not to post it.

That guy pissed somebody off and somebody’s like, “Yes, this is a softball.” 

I walked in when my wife was in classes. This was already the most embarrassing one for me so far. Thank God I wasn’t naked but I was almost naked when I walked right behind for the whole class to see. 

That is great. Good work.

Absolutely. Thank you. 

By the way, before we leave, if you’re wondering about the colors today, this is my homage for Brooks, Oregon. 

That’s a steamboat. 

What’s that?

That’s a steamboat show you’re telling us about. 

Absolutely. It was the steam show 150,000 people and there were only 5,000 people that lived in Brooks. It’s unbelievable to go there. Anyway, that’s why I’m wearing this for you Americans.

That’s awesome. Yeah. What’s on your hat? Is that a bulldozer? 

Yeah, I think it is. I think that’s the case. It’s all out of the same thing. Have you guys actually done the suit and tie thing yet with shorts on? I’ve done that dozens of times. 

At this point, I’m in a T-shirt. 

I haven’t bothered with the time. 

Before COVID, if you were going to go on a Zoom meeting with somebody around the world, you put on a suit and tie. I got good at the suit and tie. I have my underwear or my shorts.

I’m going to say, at that point, why bother with the shorts? 

Yeah. Everything’s right here. I have this tie. I look like $1 million. I’m as good as I could look, and if I stood up, it be a no. 

You’d be a TikTok famous. That is what you’d be. 

Yeah, of course. You got it. Nobody needs to see a six-foot-five guy with no britches on. Nobody needs to see that. 

It is a crazy time that we’re living in and it’s a lot of fun. You have to have that outlook on life right now, which you have to figure out. We talk about this all the time, bobbing and weaving and figuring things out and the market shifting. You have to shift with it and you got to laugh at these things because everyone’s doing it. How many subscribers did Zoom think that they were going to have when they launched? Whatever it was say it was 5 million subscribers, they ended up with like 500 million.

Teams came along and said, “We want a piece of that action.” They went hard on Team on Microsoft. 

It is a little overwhelming. I think where one person wants to do a Zoom call, one person wants to do a Skype call, and one person wants to do a Teams call. What am I missing? Google meets. 

Go To Meeting.

I get it. You got to get a bit of everything on your computer. Set up for everything.

Citrix. It’s all right already. 

There are some private ones, too. You can get an Uber. There are lots of them, but I don’t know how Zoom beat out Go To Meeting because those are the two incumbents. You call Citrix and Zoom where the two main ones that I’ve used because I’ve been doing this for decades. For me to do online, it’s the way I do business. I had them all. I used them all, but when this whole thing started, Zoom took the lead, and then everybody found all these holes in it. They also took a bit of a bashing. 

It’s amazingly easy to use and that’s what we subscribe to as a company is Zoom and it’s less expensive. It’s very easy to use. We’re able to do this show via Zoom and the Audio. It’s not like all of us sitting around with a fancy microphone and headset and it sounds good, but it sounds pretty damn good to do a Zoom call hooked up to a computer. I don’t think they sound bad. You’ll hear my dog bark or something like that, but it is what it is and nobody even cares anymore. 

Not anymore. This is the norm. 

This is the norm. Cool. I’m sure we could keep telling stories and laugh our asses off some more, but is there anything else that we didn’t cover that you guys want to talk about and we can get things wrapped up? 

I think that’s all I had in mind. Larry, anything else? 

No, I appreciate the opportunity to do something like this and for people to hear firsthand who our number one partner is. Now, that is not meant for the show in that we’re blowing wind at somebody. You are an integral part of the company.

Thank you so much. We’re unbelievably fortunate and excited and any other positive adjective that I could possibly think of but very appreciative. We cannot wait to see how we can help and see where this thing goes. It is going to make a positive difference in the world. That’s weird to say when you talk about making a worldwide difference and you don’t always get that opportunity. 

No, there are millions and millions of people that never have that opportunity, and Victor, you’ve figured out something that’s going to make a positive difference in the world and you have somebody crazy enough as your partner now that is going to make that happen. There’s a big science saying that people think that they are going to make a difference in the world are crazy.

I truly believe that they are but I don’t think that people put a positive aspect on that. If you don’t believe in it well enough and people tell you that you’re wrong, you start to believe it unless you have that part in your brain. Those things don’t register. I think so many people have wonderful ideas and care too much about what other people think.

There, they get stifled and they don’t do it because their mom told them it is crazy or they don’t do it because their best friend told them that was the dumbest idea. I think as an entrepreneur, you have to have that peace that you don’t care. I didn’t do this podcast for years because I was afraid of the criticism that I would get. Finally, one day, I was like, “Who the fuck cares?” At the end of the day, who cares if you’re going to make fun of me and whatever? 

Make fun of me enough that it creates so much interest that it drives more people to listen to the show and that’s where I am at it with life and that’s the fun thing about it is giving back and hopefully inspiring other people that have great ideas. It’s like run it until it’s dead. Absolutely run it until it’s dead. If it and when it takes off, then you have nothing to lose. If it fails, then figure out the next idea. 

I had a cool call. It was from a VC I’ve known for a number of years. I’m going to end on this this quick story. He said he’s been following us for the last four weeks. He says what we’ve done in four weeks. He finds it incredible and he says, “You better be keeping track and you better be taking notes because Victor’s going to be doing a TED Talk.” 

I’m glad I’m the first one that had you on. 

That’s how far we made it in four weeks and the next four weeks, we got the product out. It’s incredible.

The four weeks felt like an entire year. 

It is and it’s such a great feeling to accomplish as much as we have in such a small time. There are companies that take years to launch a product. I work for a company, I promise you, a product that we were designing pre-2012, I promise you they still have not launched it. 

That’s absolutely nonsense.

For us to figure out how to put a supply chain together and deliver millions of liberties pieces is fun. It’s a hell of fun.

Thank you.

No. Thank you guys. Go to CuGrip, Check those guys out. Reach out to him. If you want to, email us at We can certainly hook you up with these guys and get you all the information that you need. Call us, email us, and give us feedback. We’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts, and I’m sure that we’ll have you guys back on here and give you another update. Thank you guys so much for coming on. I’m very appreciative of that. 

I look forward to it, Dustin. 

All right. Thanks, guys. 

Thanks, guys. 



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