Todd Anthony Greene is a former Major League Baseball catcher. In an 11 year career, he played for the Anaheim Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants. He batted and threw right-handed. Greene was born in Augusta, Georgia, and attended Evans High School in Evans, GA and went on to attend Georgia Southern University. While playing for the Eagles, he was named the TAAC Player of the Year in 1990. On October 30, 2001, in Game 3 of the 2001 World Series, he caught the first pitch thrown by President George W. Bush in only the second instance of a sitting President throwing the first pitch of the World Series. On May 4, 2006, in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Greene was seriously injured in a home-plate collision with Brewers' first baseman Prince Fielder. While Greene continued to play for the rest of the season, his shoulder had suffered serious structural damage. During spring training the next season, while with the San Diego Padres, Greene tore two muscles in his weakened rotator cuff while attempting a throw to second base. He never returned to the majors following the injury.
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Hello, Redditors! I'm Todd Greene, the inventor of the HeadBlade, the most effective head shaving razor available.
The prototype of my original design -- one of TIME Magazine's "Ten Best Designs of 2000" -- currently resides in the permanent collection at MoMA in New York. Since coming to market in 1999, we've sold over 1 million HeadBlades.
Pre-HeadBlade, I worked at Starwave (joint venture between Paul Allen and Disney) where I worked on the ESPN.com Fantasy Games (and wrote a blog under the pseudonym "Mr. Enright") from 1995 to 1997. Before that, I was an artist for Sierra Online and worked on lip-sync animation for the King's Quest series; I was also a character in their Berlitz for Business (Japanese and Spanish) CD's.
You might enjoy this throwback video of my appearance on "To Tell The Truth" from 2001: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGatZvv6ET0
I'm an entrepreneur, an inventor, a designer, a blogger, a world traveler, and proud head shaver. AMA!
Update: Thank you all for the questions. I had a great time and may check-in from time to time to answer a few more.
How difficult is it invent something? Have you had any not-so-successful inventions?
I don't think of myself as an inventor. The HeadBlade was simply conceived because I had a dilemma and needed to figure out a better way. The "build the better mousetrap" scenario. I'm nothing like Doc from"Back to the Future." I know people like that and they're amazing. I'm just a hack designer/artist who put his money where his mouth/head was....
So...IMHO it's not hard to invent something...the hardest part is going through the patent process/prototype process/ and actually bringing something to market. In retrospect creating the product/design is the easiest. If I had a nickel for everyone who has approached me trying to sell me their 'idea' I'd be a rich man. And whoever gets where this quote comes from please tell all of Alan's fly by buddies.
After achieving such success, what keeps you motivated?
I appreciate the idea that achieving success can be a means to an end but I don't think about it like that. I tend to look at life as a mix between Sisyphus and Bubba Gump. I like my life. I come from Maine and grew up pretty grounded. I do not live outside of my means...never have..never will. Everyday being happy and healthy keeps me motivated. I love to create.
What is your favourite type of pie?
Reminds me of the scene in "When Harry Met Sally" and she ordered the apple pie ala mode. I do like apples (I'm from Maine) but when I was a kid my fav is cherry. But again...I like whip cream..only real...not out of a can...and I do like ice cream...but only on the side. Not on top. And I want the pie heated....hahahah.
What inspired you to create a head shaver?
I created HeadBlade because I had been losing my hair since early 20's...and started shaving when I was mid 20's...back around 1994. I started shaving daily in 1997 and realized there was no 'good' way to shave... Publicly I've always said I shaved at night because it took so long and would have 5 o'clock shadow by morning. That's all true but there was also this 'friend,' and she loved to come shave my head....so I never really thought about ways to make it easier. but then I met and married a woman (over a 3 week period) in 1997 and moved to LA. So I had to figure out a way that was easy and I could do it myself. hahaha. true story.
Have you ever found the headblade to be useful for something besides shaving? A life hack if you will (like using it with an old razor to take pills off an old sweater)
I would love to find a life hack for HeadBlade. Then the San Francisco Globe could post it on everyone's FaceBook feed with a catchy title like "This may be a little headshaver but when you see how it saved humanity you will be shocked!"
The Sisyphus reference is interesting. Do you find your endeavors endlessly frustrating?
No...but introducing a new brand/product to retail via bootstrapping (and starting it all out of your apartment with no employees) is next to impossible. Having done that, I'm still working every day. There is a saying...count no man happy until he's dead. I am fortunate and I appreciate my life on a daily basis. But it's never a downhill cruise.
What are your thoughts on Breaking Bad?
I could not get through the first two episodes because of the violence. But about a month later I watched it high and then got hooked (on the show). I binge watched the entire series over a two month period. I really don't like violence. On tv I only like funny/car chases/and t&a...my favorite show, which has never been created would be a mash up of Mr. Bean meets Emmanuelle with a lot of car chases.
which firms are the best to work with to take your product to market?
Not sure what you mean. I would never advise someone to use an "invention submission" company. There are companies that specialize in prototypes....but in terms of 'going to market' you need to look into organizations like ECRM....and get yourself a manufacturer's rep.
Does Todd Greene the baseball player use the HeadBlade? He was the man and would be able to use this product
Yes. Todd is a HeadBlader. When I worked at ESPN in '97 he was coming up to the majors and started playing in CA. Later that year I moved to LA and a couple people thought I was him...but he did not shave his head. Years later, after he started shaving, he was introduced to the brand...but he thought it was fake (when he saw my name). He had been under contract with Rogaine when he first came up to the majors, so when he shaved his friends sent him the link to my site. Bald Vinny, from NY (the Bleacher Creatures), is a mutual friend (and HeadBlader) and he even took a video of him talking to Todd about HeadBlade. I've met Todd a few times (in LA and FL) and every time we talk we like to start by saying, "Hey Todd, this is the real Todd Greene...."
I was mad because he gave me one of his baseball jerseys. I was intending to wear it and have people really think I was him...but he signed the shirt...so I had to frame it and give it to my father for his home sports 'bar.'
Inquiring minds (several HeadBladers on FB) want to know: Where do you get all of your awesomely cool eyeglasses?
I've been wearing Rudy Project glasses for the past decade...and YES they are prescription. Not sure if we still have a discount there...but try "headblade" and see if it works... ;)
If you had to pick one celebrity to shave their head who would it be and why? Also which celebrity would you want to shave their head because their hair is that bad?
The obvious person to call out is Donald Trump but I really don't see him shaving as adding anything good to this world. Kind of like getting your product endorsed by a Kardashian. I would like to see Taylor Swift shave. Actually I would like to see Taylor Swift do anything. For people with bad hair...hmm....I'll take Jon Cryer for $200 Alek....and follow it up with Charlie Sheen and the Daily Double. They both need to shave.
what i mean is if you are only interested in creating the product and have no interest in sales, manufacturing (other than ensuring it is made to your specs), who would you go with?
I have to follow up your question with another question. Do you already have the design? Is it bigger than a bread box? If it's small..then look at a 3D printer or rapid prototyping. If it's complex and mechanical/electrical search online for a company that specializes in that field. Hard for me to point you in a general direction...as your best bet is to research the field and find a company that specializes.
Where is your favorite travel location? Anywhere you want to go and haven't?
I love traveling to Asia...Hong Kong is a great city and very easy to get around with public transport. I love Thailand/Japan and will be going back to Vietnam next month. I've never been to Halong Bay, which is close to Hanoi. I've been VN a few times, but only south. Eventually I would love to travel to India and Sri Lanka. My family is all back in Maine...and I love it there...but I do not miss cold/snow/shoveling....so the places I travel (for leisure) tend to be warm climates.
the best resource I've found so far is a company called quirky which takes people's ideas and commercializes them, whether they be large like an air conditioner or small like a can opener, but you've warned against such companies, so I'm wondering what is out there that is a good alternative. For example, suppose I design a guitar effects pedal: what is the next step if I don't want to commercialize it myself?
Quirky is different then the traditional invention submission companies....so maybe my blanket statement was incorrect. If you do not intend to patent the item..and merely wish to get it out there then that vehicle may work. The questions you need to ask beforehand are; do you wish to OWN the idea and go for the patent (and create a licensing opportunity) or do you just want to get it made and maybe get some short term money? I'm not sure about who owns the product/idea/IP with Quirky...but it's a legit company and a cool way to get a product made.
What's the best thing you bought with the money you got from it?
what was the work flow and tools you used working on king's quest? do you think game dev is easier or harder now on the artist side?
Wow...way back then...I think we were using Studio 8 and then Studio 32. Not much RAM back then and we were essentially doing our own dithering. Now it's so much easier and faster to create and do art on a computer. The lip sync technology was bought by Sierra from BrightStar technologies. When we were updating the Kings Quest CD's to include audio and 'talking/animated mouths' of the characters, we would sit at our computers and match the audio waves to one of about 30 different mouth positions. Once you matched up the mouth to the audio correctly it felt like the character came to life. Odd...but challenging and very cool. We were pulling 80 hour work weeks. It was a crazy time.
Now I think it's much easier but A LOT more competition...both in the US and abroad.
Hey Todd! Been a HeadBlade user for almost 5 years (since I was 21) and still love my HeadBlade sport more than anything. How many prototype designs did you make before finally arriving to the HeadBlade Classic?
Also, when can we expect more "This Week in Bald"? I still laugh at "also, most baboons are judgemental assholes"
Thanks for the continued support! I use the new Sport, which has the rubber finger ring. I still love the original design, too. We don't have any more "This Week in Bald" scheduled...trying to come up with some new ideas that may go viral. Any ideas?? Send them to me...hahah...at "Todd@HeadBlade.com" Thanks!!
how did you make your first model?
The first model was made out of clay...then I started working with FIMO...which is a very cool soft clay that hardens when you bake it...and it comes in a lot of cool colors.