Tony Nestora gets chills when he thinks about all of the backup incidents he’s discovered due to blind spots.
Tony and his team over at Back Up Better, have researched the subject. They’ve compiled the stories and researched solutions. They’ve tested products in the real world, with real people… with their neighbors and friends. The result of this research and passion is that they’ve found simple and inexpensive solutions that really work.
MO: How did you come up with the concept for Back Up Better?
Tony: I became award of the Fresnel lens at a store called Western Auto, a chain that no longer exists in my area, that’s how long ago it was. At first I was buying lenses and giving them to friends and clients who had recently purchased an SUV, minivan, or station wagon. People loved them. When they started to ask for another lens for a friend I realized we were on to something here and I started Back Up Better, llc to educate people on improving rearward visibility and the products necessary to do that- our Back Up Better rear window Fresnel Lens.
MO: Can you talk about the development process of providing real solutions for eliminating blind zone vision problems and improving rearward visibility?
Tony: Well, inherently all SUV’s, minivans, and station wagons have a blind zone right behind them based on how they are built. All of these vehicles have a vertical rear window at the end of the vehicle and your natural line of sight from the driver’s seat leaves a blind zone behind the vehicle of anywhere from 14-50 feet, depending on the individual vehicle and the height of the driver. A driver 5’8” can see more sooner, have a smaller blind zone, than a person who is only 5’1”. On one vehicle that comes to mind, the 5’8” person had a blind zone of 17 feet and a person only 5’1” had a blind zone of 33 feet, almost double that of the taller person. We realized that there were a lot of factors that determined the total size of each person’s blind zone BUT that everybody cannot see for at least 12-15 feet from the back bumper, everybody- that’s what the lens focuses on, not the total blind zone but it does show you that as well.
MO: Would you suggest that someone who already has a backup camera still has a need for your site and products?
Tony: I guess my answer is yes and no. No with a backup camera you can see even better than with a Back Up Better rear window lens, but the camera can get dirty and not show a lot, or break, it happens. Then I would say YES, having both is the best of both worlds, the more driving aids the better and the camera and lens give you two different views of the thing behind you. Some people would say its overkill; I say you can never have too much blind zone or blind spot vision, the more the merrier.
MO: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked well for you so far?
Tony: Trying to get into mainstream media. If we have an article written about us in a local or even national paper, we were in the 4/7/13 Sunday supplement of the Wall Street Journal which is in over 100 local/regional papers, or a guest speaker on a radio show, we were on a show called Car Talk in Boston about a month ago, these mainstream types of media exposure always translate into a lot more orders. We have had less success using “mommy bloggers” who do a product review and often a giveaway also. Their exposure is much smaller and so are the amount of orders we get from them.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Tony: The most exciting thing and also the hardest thing to do right now is to raise money from venture capitalists. They want results and guarantees yesterday and are a difficult skeptical bunch but they have the money and we have to get that money if we still want to do an infomercial and advertise on the radio. That’s what we need to hit the ball out of the park so to speak!!
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