Steve Divnick has always made things. He grew up welding, cutting, machining, and modifying everything from bicycles to electrical wiring circuits. He built off-road vehicles, and made them go faster and climb steeper. During his young motorcycling and off-roading days, he developed a reputation for being able to "fix anything with a pair of pliers and some bailing wire." If you were on a safari and your vehicle broke down, you would want Divnick to be on the trip!
After college, he taught at private high schools in California and Michigan from 1973 to 1981 (physical education, religion and guidance counseling) with a masters degree along the way. Even though he loved teaching, Divnick was drawn to his passion for mechanical creativity. He took a 2-year leave-of-absence from teaching in 1981 to devote more time to making and marketing his products. That leave-of-absence has now stretched out over several decades and developed into an international businesses.
Along the way, he came to understand that, while inventing and developing products was a great outlet for his creativey, business and marketing is the key to success.
He enjoys speaking to business groups and colleges about inventing, marketing, and self-employment with a motivational emphasis.
Hobbies include golfing, boating, and time with his five adult children, grandchildren, and extended family.
Association of Consumers and Merchants (AOCAM)
Divnick is currently working with a team that is developing an "Association of Consumers and Merchants" that shares significant mutual benefits. It grows the number of loyal customers and merchants using a proprietary formula developed by his team. These are main-stream merchants that include gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, hardware stores, service providers, and all other local and national merchants.
The formula not only grows membership, it creates long-term loyalty at the same time.
The best part is that it is absolutely free to join. Even though it is free, it still generates referral commissions. How is that possible? That is part of the "secret" to their program.
Divnick conservatively predicts that it will reach at least 1 million consumer members in the first 3 years with significant numbers of participating merchants. They conducted a 60-day test where 119,769 consumers and 4,322 merchants filled out a form that said they will participate when the program launches. So they are very optimistic about the program.
While it will grow via the viral Internet, it focuses on local brick-and-mortar merchants.
They are currently in conversations with banks and credit unions to find one that can handle all the accounts and transactions, and the viral growth of the Association.
If you would like to know when this program launches, please send an email to sales @ divnick.com. Please let us know if you are a consumer and/or a merchant, and include your city/state or province/country. We will NOT use your email for anything but this notice.
Divnick has invented and patented a variety of products for world-wide distribution through licensing agreements, most recently a unique boat lift that mounts on the rear of houseboats and yachts. He also manufactures some of his products and markets them through companies he has formed (see www.divnick.com).
Divnick built the first prototype Pickup-Van combo, now a standard in the RV industry as 5th-wheel tow vehicles. It was featured in magazines in the late 1970's. Click here for more pictures of the building process.
The Auto Light Sentry
Another invention in the 1970's was an automotive alarm system that buzzed if the lights were left on after the engine was shut off. He called his original design, "The Auto Light Sentry" and sold it as an aftermarket kit that could be installed on existing cars. He first provided them to fellow teachers so they would remember to turn their lights off on foggy mornings. Orders began coming in from everywhere. Within 2 years, it was offered as an option on Cadillacs, and within 5 years, it became a standard in the automotive industry. Modern digital versions are now on every car sold in the world.
SLICK 50 and Demo Engines
While still a teacher in 1980, Divnick tried his hand at selling SLICK-50, a product that treated engines with Teflon to reduce friction and increase mileage. But he wasn't very successful using the company sales-pitch that was mostly talk, so he came up with a plastic window on the side of a lawn mower engine so people could see it running without oil...for hours at a time! This demonstration device helped him become the largest distributor in SLICK-50's history. Divnick purchased truck-loads of these engines from Briggs & Stratton and hired students to modify them with the customized see-through glass window shown here. He sold the demo engines to fellow distributors all over the world. SLICK-50 is now sold in major department store chains and the see-through engines are still used to demonstrate Teflon metal-coating products.
Divnick became an instrument-rated pilot in 1982 and immediately began modifying his Cessna 210 to make it perform better. He later developed a passion for vertical take-off-and-landing aircraft (VTOL) that continues today. He has experimented with models and believes a full version of his design will lift the payload of a helicopter and match the airspeed of a fixed wing airplane.
Another long-term project is developing a rotary cylinder combustion engine that Divnick believes will improve on the efficiency and emissions drawbacks of the Wankel/Mazda design. When completed, it could be as little as 1/3rd the weight, have 1/2 the moving parts, and produce 50% more power than a conventional engine on the same amount of fuel. His goal is to challenge the traditional automotive engine market and have a light-weight dependable power plant for his VTOL aircraft. Of course, this would also go a long ways in reducing the world's dependency on oil.
In 1985, he created and patented a fund-raising device called the "Spiral Wishing Well". Thousands of Wells have been sold to stores, restaurants, charities, museums, zoos, and many other locations. They have raised over $200 million for charities around the world. The one-day record is currently over $40,000! He added a miniature toy model in 1987, shown below. This product line continues to be one of Divnick's favorite because the money raised has done such wonderful things...from saving lives with transplants, sending blind children to summer camp, and much more. By the way, Divnick never receives any ongoing splits...100% of the money raised always goes to the listed charity. He states, "My job is to provide the Wells and the best-use strategies to maximize their income."
Divnick took up the game of golf in 1988, and thought it was unnecessary and cumbersome carrying a huge and heavy set of clubs around. He started working on a club with a transmission in the club head that could be locked on the various lofts of a conventional set. After four years of development and testing, he patented the Whole-In-One DIVNICK™ and now ships it around the world. (He wanted to call it the "Nicklaus" or "Palmer" but eventually settled on the DIVNICK™, a more available trademark!). It also has a telescopic shaft, so it collapses short enough for easy travel. Now you can play the entire game with just one club. The loft can be adjusted to replicate every club in your bag, including drivers and putters...and even half lofts. So it has twice as many lofts as a normal full set of clubs.
Shortly after introducing the adjustable club, he began to make telescopic drivers and putters for players that wanted to hit the ball farther than the shorter adjustable club was capable of doing, and have the more conventional feel of a normal putter. This led to a full line of telescopic clubs for easy travel, including the globally popular long chest putters.
The success of the telescopic driver has led to the design of the break-through BIG STIK™ titanium drivers. These clubs have achieved the nirvana of drivers: High Loft AND Low Back Spin at the same time. The drivers come in 11º, 13º, and 15º lofts. He has also added titanium high loft 3-woods called LITTLE STIK™ that make it much easer to get the ball up in the air off of fairways and out of the rough . Click here to read more about these new titanium drivers.
In 2001, when VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) was just being developed, Divnick founded a global communications internet company that provided a VOIP technology that let you talk with anyone in the world over computers while showing visuals (screen sharing, power points, graphs, web-pages, etc.). The voice quality was better than the telephone. Conversations and visuals could be one-on-one or with hundreds of people in the virtual rooms at a time. Divnick sold Voxwire a few years later to a large telecommunications company.
iBizGrams.com provides topical business-class ecards on motivation, appreciation, announcements, congratulations, and teamwork. The sender can add his or her own message to the variety of astounding graphics that populate these unique cards.
In addition to patented products, he has designed products and modifications in many other categories such as a variable speed motorized pottery wheel and a tilting basketball pole, but because they did not meet his criteria for patents and marketing, he kept them free in the public domain.
When asked to describe how he comes up with ideas, Divnick says, "I don't spend any time trying to think of things to invent. Ideas tend to come up naturally from normal daily experiences. There is always room for improvement...a better way to do things. Of course, many of the things I pursue are in the areas that interest me...golf, flying, water sports, etc. I might as well make money while I do the things I enjoy!"
Divnick's customers become loyal followers and are responsible for a large portion of the company's ongoing sales. Divnick comments, "Our customers are our best source of advertising. It only makes sense to treat them like I would want to be treated."
Divnick and his partners appreciate your interest in their products, and hope you enjoy your tour through the various web sites.
If you are interested in inventing, how to get a patent, and related questions, we invite you to click here and review our free page about inventing.
Divnick's Blog about Politics, the Marketplace, College, Religion, the Ideal Job, and more...
Divnick has become an outspoken advocate of small business innovation and self-employment. He lectures to students and at other business and motivational venues. Through the years, he has developed strongly-held opinions about business, politics, and a variety of other subjects. Click here to read more about these topics.