Posted by: reformedmusings | November 12, 2012

Bug-a-Salt hits a home run

Government handouts don’t create real jobs or make America great, and neither does creeping socialism. Entrepreneurship makes America great – men and women taking a on personal risk bringing innovative ideas to the market. I’ve stumbled upon another great example: Lorenzo Maggiore who started Skell, Inc., to sell his innovative Bug-a-Salt. On its front page, the Wall Street Journal described Lorenzo as “an eighth-grade dropout turned artist who makes an unlikely merchant of death.” Lorenzo is a prime example of what makes America great. Yes, Mr. President, Lorenzo, his team, and his investors DID make Skell, Inc., through hard work and personal sacrifice.

A friend of mine sent me a link to a Bug-a-Salt video that really caught my eye:

The idea and innovation behind it instantly appealed to me. I also found the financing scheme intriguing. Lorenzo worked through IndieGoGo, an innovative, international crowdfunding company, to raise the start-up capital. Each contribution level netted the investor a certain number of Bug-a-Salts. Lorenzo started out to raise $15,000 to fund Skell, but ended up with $577,976! The power of innovative ideas!

Lorenzo found a manufacturer in China who agreed to make the salt guns. He travelled there numerous times to ensure good quality control and to work shipping issues. The Bug-a-Salts come well-packed without wasteful overpacking. Mine showed up at my door in perfect condition.

International shipping has turned out to be a bit of an unanticipated nightmare for Skell. The physical shipping is easy, but getting through customs with anything that hints at being a useful implement has been challenging. Some countries, especially in socialist Europe, actually treat these salt shooters as firearms or air guns. In the U.S., investors had to stipulate that they were over 18 years old to placate the government bureaucrats. Stupidity truly knows no bounds. Not only did the government not make Skell, it is doing its best to get in the way of job creation.

So, how does Bug-a-Salt actually work? Outstandingly. It is not a cheap toy. The construction is primarily a heavy plastic. The inspiring thought process behind the design manifested into a very usable product to eliminate a particularly annoying domestic inhabitant. A pump action readies each shot, ingesting the salt “ammunition”, raising the rear sight, and setting the auto-safety. Simply aim at the musca domestica, flick the safety down, and squeeze the trigger. Poof, no more fly! No hazardous chemicals or shotgun patterns punched through the drywall.

The “magazine” holds 50 shots worth of salt, so you can handle a good-sized onslaught on a single sortie. Each shot uses only a tiny pinch of salt, so you won’t be coating your floor in a common spice. Salt doesn’t deteriorate over reasonable periods, so you can always be loaded and ready for musca terminations with prejudice. Bug-a-Salt also works on a host of other winged and multi-legged vermin. I keep mine right by my desk.

I found the trigger pull a bit hard, but there’s no creep in the trigger. With 3 feet or so of range, you can nail the buggers on the ceiling if necessary. As the videos on Skell’s website show, the blast of salt won’t even damage Jell-O, but will off the pesky insects.

Skell, Inc., appears to be the real deal. The bug-a-salt team sent out an email every few days during the manufacturing and shipping process to keep their investors informed. Lorenzo even provided his phone number and an email address on the company website to personally ensure that investor and customer expectations were met. His company is off to a great start. I find this saga inspiring – a sign that despite the current administration’s efforts against small businesses, entrepreneurship is still possible. This is where job growth originates, not in D.C.

So, instead of swinging destructive clubs at your musca domestica, endangering your valuable nick-knacks and blinds, send the winged vermin straight to musca Gehenna with a tiny blast of salt from a Bug-a-Salt. Support good old American ingenuity. Besides being highly effective, it’s a lot of fun!

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