He put hooks on clothes pegs and exported them to China, built an internet cafe in Alaska and set up an ice rink in Alice Springs in summer. Adelaide inventor and entrepreneur Scott Boocock bucks trends and solves problems, and he says there’s a simple secret to turning ideas into action.
Boocock has just been announced as a speaker at TEDx Adelaide 2016: Metamorphosis, and he’s looking forward to dishing out some answers – they just might be to different questions than you expect. “I get two or three inventors a day asking me how to start,” Boocock says. “When HEGS came out, people kept asking me how I did it. But the real question isn’t how I did it, but why.”
The HEG is one of those inventions that seems obvious in hindsight – a clothes peg with hooks that allow you to hang multiple garments. “I was hanging out my wife’s little black dress and had trouble hanging it by the thin straps,” he says. “That was the problem, the HEG was the solution. But until that point I had never been in manufacturing. My metamorphosis from manager to manufacturer required a process to turn the idea into a result. And that process applies whether you’re running the treasury department or a small business. It’s not just about inventions or products – in the corporate world, in your family life, if you’re building a garden – ideas are the forerunner of the future.”
It’s a process Boocock has developed over 20 years. With a background in general management, he has built and sold numerous businesses thanks to a knack for identifying solutions to problems. As well as the internet cafe and the ice rink, he has started a carwash and a portable toilet business, and works as an agent for keynote speakers, entertainers and celebrities.
As a newcomer to manufacturing, Boocock has gone against the old Adelaide cliche of moving jobs offshore. After the initial manufacturing run in China, he figured out a way to make HEGs more cheaply in Australia and shifted production to Adelaide. HEGs are now exported to China, along with countries including Japan, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.
Boocock says the success of HEGs was far from a foregone conclusion, describing a long period of time in what he calls no man’s land, where the answer to every question seemed to be ‘no’. His TEDx Adelaide appearance will provide an entrepreneurial perspective to a day of diverse voices.
“I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity to regularly speak with entrepreneurs and business leaders,” he says. “But to be able to do a TED talk here in Adelaide is something else entirely, and I’m super excited to be involved. I can hardly wait to be a part of it.”
Tickets for TEDxAdelaide 2016: Metamorphosis are now available for purchase. Buy your ticket for October 20 now.