In the interview between talk show host Marlo Anderson and inventor Lael Alexander, the inventor discussed his background and career journey in the consumer electronics industry. Lael shared how he started as a coder and later transitioned into a product designer, working with companies such as TCL in China. He talked about his company Novan, which was born out of his passion for innovation.
The conversation then shifted to the impact of the pandemic on Lael’s business and how it expedited his plan to bring manufacturing and products back to the United States. He spoke about his decision to set up his business in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as part of the Black Wall Street movement. Lael expressed his frustration with the way the media portrays the movement, highlighting that it’s mostly about small app companies and that the role of large companies like his has been overlooked.
Overall, the interview provided a glimpse into the life of a successful inventor and entrepreneur and the challenges and opportunities he faced in the consumer electronics industry.
Let’s talk about your background first. You have a very fascinating background, so tell us about maybe the last 15, 18 years of your life that, that’s easy. For the past 15 years, I’ve been a consumer electronics product designer. Most of the people at CES and the electronics world know me for the development.
A solution that everyone uses. It’s called miracast, the way you share the screen of your phone to TVs. So most of the companies here utilize that technology, including myself, . Very appreciate that. Very. I love Miracast. Thank you for that. Yeah. Our next our next big deal was literally being, Picked up by a large China company in oh nine, and that’s where the whole story changed for me because I came into the market as a pro as a coder, right?
But then two years into the market, I’m now a product designer, building products for tcl, all could tell higher all the Lord China firms, and then two years. I’m granted my own shop to go ahead and start doing the things that I could dream of. Okay. And Novan was born. Novan is innovation spelled backwards.
We partnered with c Om we found I’m co-founder of c Om. That’s one of China’s largest. Tech companies. And in 2016, the government kind of took that company back which left me to being a design house again. And you were in China at that time. Time, right? Yeah, I was in China for 13 years.
Okay. Yeah China really gave A designer like me, an opportunity, I was, I hail from the energy industry. Over here as an engineer or a mechanical designer, you’re designing things that are utility, somewhat interesting, but not the things that are sizzling. You go to China, you.
Kind of on the cutting edge because the mobile industry was just exploding. And I had the opportunity, as God has seen it for us to be there on the cutting edge, right when the whole mobile hemisphere was just launching. And I was a part of that, so I’ve been at CES since 2010 won multiple.
I think I handled every industry award so far in the consumer electronics . That’s pretty impressive. Yeah. So three years ago, the pandemic comes around and changes your life, obviously. So what happened at that time for you? It absolutely did. wanted to make a mainstay for bringing our manufacturing and products company back to the us.
But see but covid really just kinda sped up that entire, it expedited it, right? So a lot of makers wanted to onshore to either Mexico or us, and I saw fit to seek out what was called Black Wall Street at one time, Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was once a place. Minorities were really thriving. And for the Black Wall Street Rebert to actually happen, it takes a company like mine.
A company that has manufacturing scale and capacity, has design and real technology, not an app company. So sometimes it drives me crazy every time you see them speak. The Black Wall Street movements that’s happening in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s always these little $5,000 app companies. Sure. They never really look at the hams in the business.
Yeah. And that’s really the press’s job. I think we’ve somewhat been overlooked. Because they probably think I’m still a Chinese company. Making products hasn’t been sexy for a while. It hasn’t. It’s al, it’s always been, in the last 10, 15 years it’s been about the app development.
Yeah. I’m starting to see that change a little bit too. And you and I are gonna have a conversation after this.