David Lichter Podcast Transcript

Headshot of Founder David Lichter

David Lichter Podcast Transcript

David Lichter joins host Brian Thomas on The Digital Executive Podcast.

Welcome to Coruzant Technologies, Home of The Digital Executive podcast.

Brian Thomas: Welcome to The Digital Executive. Today’s guest is David Lichter. David Lichter is the founder and owner of Lock Horns, whose locking system patent is the foundation for their first product to market. Wheel locks that actually lock.

David has been a scientist in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries for 20 years and applies his expertise in the scientific method, organization, and problem solving to entrepreneurship to create, innovate, and drive progress. In 2009, David woke up to his new car on cinder blocks, wheels nearly stolen.

After searching the market unsuccessfully for a higher quality wheel locking system, he finally decided to reinvent the wheel lock. To create a superior theft deterrent and lock horns with thieves to help millions of vehicle owners protect themselves and their families.

Well, good afternoon, David. Welcome to the show!

David Lichter: Good afternoon. Thank you for having me. Appreciate the opportunity.

Brian Thomas: Absolutely. I appreciate you making the time and we’re going to jump right into your First question, so we can start to talk about innovation here a little bit around something that you decided to get really passionate about.

So, jumping in, David, your journey to founding Lock Horns began with a personal experience in 2009 when the wheels of your car were stolen. Could you share more about that incident and how it inspired you to develop your patented wheel lock solution?

David Lichter: Yeah, thank you for asking Brian. Appreciate it. So, it was 2009 – a long time ago.

I was in my late twenties and, and I was so excited. I just purchased my first car. It was a sleek black 2009 Honda Accord Coupe. And you know, to me it was, you know, something I had saved up for You know a long time to purchase it was the perfect balance sporty practical as a single guy living here in a major city and you know to me it just represented freedom and independence and I was I was out on a saturday night got home late and was roused awake, by the police early that Sunday morning probably somewhere in the 4 to 6am range, you know banging on my door that they had scanned my, my license plates and found where I lived. They told me to, you know, I said, Hey, are you the owner of a, an accord coupe black? And I said, yeah, you know, as of, like, 4 to 6 weeks ago. I mean, I just bought this Brian and I just parked out on the street.

And they had me come downstairs and my car was there, but it was on cinder blocks two wheels were completely removed now. It was mid theft, so my car wheels actually weren’t stolen. I was the lucky one. That basically whomever was Trying to you know steal my wheels Saw the police the police were doing their rounds, early morning.

They had called in, they told me on a domestic dispute So whoever was trying to steal my wheels fled the area. So, I was lucky. The most people are not so lucky, but I was furious. I mean, I was absolutely livid, you know, being in my twenties and, and, you know, spending a ton of money on my first car and something that I worked so hard to purchase, just such an invasive and violating feeling.

So, my wheels were there, my lugs were there, you know, we were able to, you know, recover everything, but. I was just more confused than anything. I thought to myself, you know, I’m driving a Honda. This is not a fancy car, you know, not particularly, you know, luxury car. Why, why is someone doing this? Why would someone want my Honda wheels?

But, you know, I was naive. I didn’t realize how quick, easy, lucrative crime that wheel theft. Actually, was and that the common cars like the Honda are really targeted. So, the next day, I mean, I was told my 1 of my friends said, look, well, yeah, you have to have wheel locks and I had never heard of them before.

So, I went to the auto store, and I saw. Well, wait, is this is this the wheel lock? And it was, you know, the standard ones. And for, for me, just immediately it clicked. It said, and I said, well, wait, where’s the lock? You know, these, these blogs don’t have locks. It felt like a misnomer. You know, instead, it was this lug nuts specialized design, a complimentary.

Fitting adapter to sort of fit on this flower shape. But I thought to myself, well, wait, if I’m coming in and buying this. Couldn’t the thief just have the exact same product that I have? You know, it’s only costing me, you know, maybe 50. They could easily come in just by the Honda wheel lock or another brand’s wheel lock.

And they all kind of look the same. I just didn’t feel like this was a sufficient solution. I didn’t feel safe. I thought, you know, okay, this might slow down maybe, you know, one or two thieves, but, you know, the, the ones who are doing this more routinely, they probably have all the different wheel lock fittings just to make their lives easier.

Brian Thomas: It’s an amazing story. I appreciate that. Every podcast here comes with a story, which is great. But the fact that you go to a store hoping to get a security system that’s It’s going to be flawless, and you find out, well, gosh, the thieves can do the same thing. So, I really do appreciate that backstory.

And the next question I have for you, David, Lock Horns features a unique double lock technology protection system. Can you explain each layer in detail and how they collectively provide superior security compared to existing wheel locks on the market?

David Lichter: Yeah, definitely. This is, you know, our technology, we wanted to make it simple yet more refined and elegant and advancement or a step up from the currently available products.

And, you know, again, most of your listeners are probably familiar with. Current wheel locks. I mean, most people have them on their cars these days, especially if you’re living in a in a more densely populated city area. These are specialized lug nuts 1 per wheel with that type of flower-like design on top.

But, you know, when, when we were making ours, we just said, let’s, you know, here’s, here’s a very simple concept. We’ll locks on the market. Don’t block hours do. And that’s what we really take pride in that, you know, when you look at the two side by side the first thing that you’ll notice is. Yeah. We do employ both, both employ a cylinder, lug nut design and that’s designed to basically prevent a standard hex wrench from attaching to the standard lug nut hexagon shape.

So, with a round cylindrical design, it just prevents something from really you know, gripping on very easily. But that’s where the comparison really ends. We have a unique. Novel design to deter thieves. We actually have a lock and key and the lock fits in a hexagonal cavity within the lug nut and you need the key to remove the lock and by removing the lock, then you get to that cavity where an adapter fits in and you can install or remove the lug.

So, what does the lock and key have on them. It’s a 4-digit individualized code. So, we have different product iterations for customers. So, you know, my code. Is likely not going to match your code and likely not going to match a lot of people’s codes And what that does it just gives increased peace of mind that yours is a personalized solution an individualized one for your particular car so that’s the first line of defense and that’s really the most important part is just having an actual lock on the wheel lock the secondary Locking mechanism is just simply a cap You That goes on top and originally we designed, you know, this cap to just protect the law from dirt and debris that could kick up from the road.

And if the elements, you know, currently living in the New England area, you know, that with all the snow and the salt and debris that kicks up from the road, we wanted to protect that lock just to make sure it’s always coming in and out of the lug easily, but the cap itself, you know, It tightens pretty tightly.

And you know, I’ve actually been informing customers. Now, you know, you really don’t want to tighten that too tightly. You know, you just kind of want a gentle you know, screw top tight. And we do also give a cap key. It has little fittings to just unscrew that cap. It’s a double lock. So, when it’s when a thief sees this 1st, the 1st reaction we imagine is What is this second, you know, if they do, you know, have tools to unscrew the cap.

Okay. Then they’re going to see a lock with a four-digit code there. So again, I would say the name of our game is deterrence. You know, we, we know that no You know, solution will be 100 percent ironclad against any tool that a thief may have. But the game is deterrence. And if somebody is trying to steal your wheels, we want.

The process takes a long time. We want it to be loud. We want it to attract attention. So, if someone tries to use tools to, to get our Our wheel lock off, we would like it to attract attention. Maybe by that time, the police will be there. Somebody calls the police. So, you know, the name of our product is wheel locks that actually lock.

And that’s really the key differentiator between hours and what’s out market currently.

Brian Thomas: That’s amazing. And I know you put a lot of thought into this. You know, you talked a little bit about the weather out there in New England and so forth and keeping it clean, making sure it’s able to be removed when it’s needed those sorts of things.

So, you really again, we’re very thoughtful in this process, but I love the fact that it’s very deterrent heavy. And at the end of the day, let’s prevent the wheels from being stolen. So, thank you. And David, your product is designed with beating theft in mind. How do you stay ahead of potential thieves and continuously improve the security features of lock horns?

David Lichter: Yeah. You know, auto theft and, and wheel theft specifically are much bigger problems than I could have ever imagined. Certainly, back in 2009, when my wheels were almost stolen, but as I’ve. You know, been developing law courts and coming to do more research on the topic, I, I was really shocked, Brian, at how many people have been victims of, of wheel thief thievery.

So, there have been thousands of Americans who have been victims of this over the years, and that’s because it’s such a quick, easy, lucrative crime. And there haven’t been ideal solutions to protect oneself. So, some of the data suggests that car theft is really. Something that there’s more data on and that in the U.

S. it occurs about once every 32 seconds, according to the national insurance crime Bureau, which blew my mind. And, you know, the data around wheel theft in particular, it’s tougher to come by than auto theft. I can, since it’s easier than car theft, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s at least comparable, if not more problematic than auto theft.

So, You know, these are crimes that a thief is doing routinely. Easily, they can, you know, mask themselves and avoid some of the, you know, the cameras. We know it’s more frequent around major cities, more densely packed and just more opportunities to get away with it. But we know that that real thief targets.

Both common cars, you know, the Hondas, the Chevrolets, Fords, and also luxury cars, because they have nice fancy rims. So, we know it’s a problem. We know it’s increasing. And frankly, we know that you know, the average consumer, the average person who has four wheels robbed from them. I mean, we’re talking about thousands of dollars out of a car owner’s pocket and into a thief.

And, you know, we’re very sensitive to that. We know that the average American, once they buy a car, lease a new one, they don’t have. You know, thousands of dollars to basically just get it up and running again to utilize the car. So, you know, we know this is a fast, easy, anonymous crime. A thief can make out with thousands of dollars and they’re just targeting everywhere.

I mean, people are parked everywhere. So, when they see, you know, a new car, that’s a new opportunity. And. You know, we at Lock Horns, we feel our technology is superior. It’s a superior theft deterrent. We want to help a ton of people, but we’re learning all the time. I mean, we really just launched this company and we’re aiming to create a direct channel with our customers.

We want to listen to their feedback and to continue to improve the product over time. So, we’re excited where we’re starting. This is just a start and we’re just going to keep getting better and better.

Brian Thomas: That’s awesome. Thank you for sharing some of those statistics around stolen wheels. I mean, if you think about it, that’s just it’s too much, but obviously we have people like you that are developing some innovative solutions to prevent a lot of this.

So, I’m really excited. And David last question of the day, looking to the future, what are your plans for Lock Horns? Are there any new innovations or expansions you’re excited about that you can share with us?

David Lichter: Yeah, definitely. I mean, as I mentioned, we are so excited. We launched the company just this year and we launched with one size.

We wanted to see how the market would respond to this. And so, we launched with the size M12 by 1.5. And this is available now in both silver the Chrome finish or black. And this is available right now on our website, lock horns, USA. com. And this was kind of our proof of concept to establish the company, the technology, start building the brand.

And the feedback so far has been extremely positive. So. We’re very steadily gaining traction, momentum, getting our fitting in the online commerce field, and this is the first cone size. So right now, we have four more sizes in development, which should be available soon. This is the M12 by 1. 25. M14 by 1. 5 and M14 by 2 and half by 20.

These are going to be available in silver and black. We also will have long versions of the M14 sizes for the for the pickup trucks and other large vehicles out there. And then in our next stage of development, we’re really aiming to tackle the lug bolts and German cars really standard have more bolts than lug nuts.

So, we want to be able to have a solution for those as well. And finally Toyota’s and others have what’s called magazines. Like not fitting and we want to develop a solution for that as well the more exciting thing from our company in general is this is our first product we lock that actually locks but the patent so we have a utility patent on this technology and it’s broad it’s not just limited to lug nuts so we see this technology.

Really fitting lugs for now. That’s our short game. But this technology could be applied to other fields as well. So really, the sky’s the limit where we go next. And we’re imagining all different types of potential security improvements that other products could benefit for and trying to understand how our solution could potentially be a fit for those as well. So really again, a great way to, you know, just kind of keep in touch with us and follow where we go next. I mentioned our website, LockHornsUSA.com, there you can sign up for emails to stay up to date on what we’re doing right now. We have a request for a size, a link, which, you know, we know we don’t have all the sizes available today, but we’d love to hear from people about which ones they would like to see next.

We’ve got a Facebook and an Instagram account. We’d love to. Really have everyone be part of the Lock Horn’s family, be an early customer and adopter of this technology. And, yeah, we can’t really wait to see what happens next.

Brian Thomas: Awesome. It’s just amazing. I appreciate you sharing that. Obviously, we’ll get this out to our audience as well, but just love the fact that you’ve innovated, and you’re continuing to constantly improve and beat the thieves at the work that they do.

So, thank you. And David, it was such a pleasure having you on today. And I look forward to speaking with you real soon.

David Lichter: Oh, Brian, it’s my privilege. Such a pleasure to meet you and to be speaking with your with your audience. Thanks for the opportunity.

Brian Thomas: Bye for now.

David Lichter Podcast Transcript. Listen to the audio on the guest’s podcast page.


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