We talked to Dr. D’vorah Graeser, CEO, and Founder at KISSPatent and KISSPlatform on how to validate your idea in seconds with our agile competitive intelligence toolkit and she had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: Thanks for asking! We’re all doing well, but I haven’t been able to visit my family for a long time.
Visiting them means taking international long-haul flights, which we’re all avoiding right now.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded KISSPatent and KISSPlatform.
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: I’ve been interested in tech for a very long time — I started coding when I was 16. This was back in the days before the GUI (graphical user interface) was common. I took one class in high school and then one at university, but my interest led me to learn more by myself. Naturally, that just led me to look for a career in tech!
When I worked in the Human Genome Project, I realized everyone in a leadership position was male. The only women who I knew, and who were in leadership positions, had their own companies. During this time, I also got interested in patents and how they could help the smaller companies stand up against big corporations.
I understood pretty quickly that if I wanted to have the career I wanted and break the glass ceiling, I would need to have my own company. Also, I noticed that all the law firms offering patent services had very outdated processes and very expensive services. I knew there could be a better way of doing things.
So that’s exactly what I did. I built a company focused on supporting startups in their intellectual property needs. Our services were accessible to smaller startups because we use fixed prices and automation tools, which are both uncommon in the legal world.
How does KISSPatent and KISSPlatform innovate?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: Did you know that patent classes were established back in the 19th century when gears were the next big thing? We’re innovating in a space that hasn’t seen much innovation in decades.
We’re doing so using AI and NLP (natural language processing) in a way no other company has done before. We recently launched a unique business toolkit that allows innovators to search for patents, discover competitors, and validate their ideas; everything at a very affordable price.
Our iSearch tool is unique because it helps innovators even when they don’t know which questions to ask or where to start when trying to validate business ideas or iterate them…and everything through the use of AI.
Since it’s pretty easy to use and affordable, we can support more startups in their innovation journey!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: We had been a 100% remote company for 3 years already when the pandemic hit. In that sense, our services and our internal processes didn’t really change. We already had everything in place to function this way. I’m glad we were ready. Also, a lot of innovators finally decided to start investing more time and resources in their side-hustle or to accelerate things inside their companies. We got more clients interested in protecting their ideas or validating their side-hustles. That went well!
That said, it has really had a toll on our mental health.
We have coworkers working from many different countries, from Vietnam to the US. We’ve seen different kinds of lockdowns and restrictions going on everywhere. We have a teammate that has been in lockdown since March! Others have had better luck, living in places that haven’t been so affected by the pandemic. But, in general, none of us has been able to live a “normal life.”
As a team, we have to keep strong and be there to notice when somebody is not feeling well. It’s very easy to overlook things when you’re not working in the same office, so we need to really be aware of how everybody’s doing.
Having team meetings, asking how everybody is doing, and, in general, recognizing that we’re all being affected by the pandemic in one way or another is very important.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: I have had to make a lot of difficult choices, but the hardest ones I had to make when I was just starting to build my first company.
I started my first patent service company, in Israel, right before the first dot-com bust. It’s still going and is still successful. During the first dot-com bust, I learned a lot of hard lessons – how to cope with a plummeting high-tech economy and the necessity of spreading out to different types of economies. So I wrote patents for both software and pharmaceuticals (my PhD is in Pharmacology). I looked deeply into whatever talents and skills that I had, and really dug deep to keep my company afloat.
It was hard to balance my business with my family. There were sleepless nights and times that I considered giving up, but I was never serious about stopping. I just dug deeper and worked in a more focused way. But then the economy grew, and my company grew with it, so I was happy. I just refused to give up – sheer stubbornness on my part.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and KISSPatent and KISSPlatform in the future?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: I exercise every day! This is what keeps me sane and in better mental and physical shape. I can’t start my day without going out for a walk or a run. With the pandemic, I haven’t been able to do ultramarathons, which is something I really enjoy! But, at least, I can go out for a run. That really has helped me thrive in other areas of my life!
I know everybody in my team deals with it differently!
I believe in a future where we can be better if we work together to bring the best innovation to the world. We’re helping to build a future that has the possibility of better and the chance to do something that matters.
I see a future where my companies move to a completely automated set of AI services — an all-in-one solution for innovation support. This will help us provide solutions that won’t be available anywhere else, at a reasonable price.
I see a future where all types of innovators have access to better tools, to better connections, to a seat at the table — to a fighting chance to make the world a better place for all of us.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: We have many competitors that are also doing amazing things but, our biggest competitor is people not doing anything about their ideas.
Every day, people decide not to work on their side-hustle, not protect their ideas, to not work on that innovation that will change the world.
That’s the reason everything, from our messaging to the way we talk with our clients, we make sure to encourage them to start doing something. It can be a small step, like just investing half an hour a day in writing an algorithm. It can be a bigger step, like validating a business idea. Whatever that step is, we’re making sure that innovators take it!
Your final thoughts?
Dr. D’vorah Graeser: If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re working on an interesting idea. I need you to keep going.
The world is going through difficult times, and there’s a lot of uncertainty, and we sometimes feel like there’s no hope. And that’s why we need innovative startups now more than ever. We need solutions. We need people that aren’t afraid of putting their ideas out there.
We need you to keep working to change the world!