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IAM825- Entrepreneur Helps Businesses Protect Their Assets

Podcast Interview with Devin Miller

Devin established his first startup while earning my Law & MBA degrees. Since then, he has set up several startups and enjoyed every minute of it. Devin is an entrepreneur who is also a patent and trademark attorney. Devin has obtained several degrees including a Law degree (JD) and a Masters in Business Administration. Devin also has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mandarin Chinese.

While working for a large law firm helping Fortune 100 clients like Amazon.com, Intel, Redhat, and Ford with their intellectual property, Devin quickly realized that there weren’t many good intellectual property legal resources out there for start-ups and small businesses. As an entrepreneur himself, Devin wanted to help other small business owners learn about patents, trademarks, and copyrights so they can build value into their businesses and protect their assets.

In addition to founding and running his own patent and trademark law firm, Miller IP Law, Devin has helped found of several startups including a multi-million dollar startup for wearable glucose monitoring. Devin also runs a product development company that helps startups and small businesses with developing their ideas and products.

Devin has also been married to my college sweetheart for ten years and we live in Utah with our four children. Devin focus on being home each evening with his family to help find a balance between an exciting career and a well-rounded family life.

  • CEO Hack: Automation for efficiency and better quality
  • CEO Nugget: Get in and get started
  • CEO Defined: Entrepreneur and leader

Website: http://milleripl.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/milleripl/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MillerIPL/


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Transcript:

Intro 0:02
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Greg from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today of Devin Miller of Miller IP law. Devin. It's awesome having a show.

Devin Miller 0:39
Hey, it's great to be here and excited to be on the show.

Gresham Harkless 0:42
Yeah, absolutely. I'm super excited to have you on as well too. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Devin so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Devin is established his first startup while earning his law and MBA degree. And since then, he has set up several startups and enjoyed every minute of it. Devin is an entrepreneur who is also a patent and trademark attorney. David has attained several degrees including a law degree and a master's in Business Administration. And Devin also has degrees in electrical engineering and Mandarin chant Chinese while working for large law firms helping fortune 100 company clients like amazon.com, Intel Red Hat and Ford with their intellectual property. Devin quickly realized that there weren't many good intellectual property legal resources out there for startups and small businesses. As an entrepreneur himself Devin wanted to help other business owners learn about patents trademarks copyrights so they can build value into their businesses and protect their assets. In addition to founding and running his own Patent and Trademark Law Firm Miller IP law Devin has helped found several startups including a multi million dollar startup for wearable glucose monitor monitoring. Devin also runs a product development company that helps startups and small businesses with developing their ideas and products. And Devin has been married to his college sweetheart for 10 years and they live in Utah with four children. Devin is focused on being home each evening with his family to help find a balance between an exciting career and a well rounded family life. Devin, are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?

Devin Miller 2:11
I am ready to go. That was a great intro. Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 2:14
Yeah, absolutely. You doing so many phenomenal things. I love that we get the opportunity to have you on the show to learn a little bit more on how you're able to do so many things. And and I guess I know I touched on it in your bio, I wanted to kind of hear a little bit more how you got started, can you take us through your CEO story. And we'll let you get started with all the awesome things you're working on.

Devin Miller 2:32
Yeah, and it depends on CEO which company but I can give you a bit of a story. So as I said, I'm a bit of a serial entrepreneur. So I love what the law side dependent trademarks work with working with other companies. By the same token, I love to run my own company. So you kind of hit on the bio, I've done and I'm still actively involved in a lot of the companies and several my own startups, which I am part of, and also on Miller IP law. I founded that and started at about two years ago. So within that journey, going all the way back to the sum of the startup side first startup who started as you mentioned, and when I was doing my MBA in law degree at the same time, that actually started I entered a there was I saw a sign that said, Hey, business competitions, have come see a session join or join a team or find a team or something like that. So I when I didn't know anybody there found a few other people that didn't know anybody else there we joined there started a team. And the first one we entered the first year with a I think it was for athletic gear in order to make gym bags, there's not as much. And we did that took second place, didn't do much more with it, but got to the second portion of the second year of the competition. And we're saying, Hey, we want to come back, we kind of got the group back together, we're going to do it again, and cited that we didn't like the first year's idea. So we said, hey, let's come up with a new idea came struggle for a while, came up with some stupid ideas before we came to that. And I was walking home one day and says, Hey, you know, wouldn't it be that time and I still do quite a bit I was getting into running. So I ran my first marathon did horrible, not horribly from timewise. But it was painful in the sense I didn't hydrate as much as it wouldn't be cool. If you could have a wearable and this was the time before I watch or Apple watch or Fitbit. None of those are out yet. It'd be cool to have a wearable that I could actually monitor my hydration level and see where I'm at. So that took me on down on it. We re entered that came on or did the business competition again, got to the end of it and said, Hey, I'd moving back to Utah. I'm graduating and you guys are all going across the country. I'd like to just buy you out and continue this on on my own. Does it make sense to have everybody spread across the country? So that got my journey of a whole long story short is that started me down the path of entrepreneurship. I ran that alongside those companies alongside and continue to grow them alongside during my full time job, which was a lot of law or a patent attorney work for a number of firms did that and I kind of got to a point where I was one To do my own thing, both from the side hustles that I've been doing growing those, those are getting bigger, we had investor dollars, they were getting or gaining traction. And I also wanted to do the law firm and say, hey, I want to both combine all my interests and set my own direction, all these. So I spent out, did my own thing full time started Miller IP law and said, Hey, now as I'm doing this, where do I What do I want to do as a law firm? Where do I enjoy it? That's what startups and small businesses, that's where I want to focus. So that was a short question, a much longer answer. But that kind of gives you an idea of at least kind of what got me down to the path of running my own companies and being the CEO.

Gresham Harkless 5:36
Nice, absolutely love those stories and love, you know, how and here now, everything kind of unfolds from there was that kind of like a startup weekend, one of those kind of opportunities, there was a something a little bit local, where, you

Devin Miller 5:46
know, it was like it was a multi disciplinary business competition, we did it over the space of two semesters, and they started to form the team, come meet, we'd meet every week, have come up with ideas, start to reduce the practice, come up with our prototype, business pitch and everything. And then like, February, March timeframe, you'd go presented to a panel of judges, and try and win the competition.

Gresham Harkless 6:09
Okay, cool. Yeah, always, I haven't actually covered some of those events, some of those types of events. But it's always great to see how people, you know, come together from different backgrounds, different places, and then come up with some really phenomenal ideas. So as you work in and helping out so many business owners with Miller IP law, I know you know that very, very well. Can you take us through a little bit more on what you're doing with your clients there, how you support and kind of help them to succeed?

Devin Miller 6:36
Yeah, so a whole bunch of things that we try and do and hopefully do very well. So you know, some of the things we looked at with the law firm, you know, and saying, Hey, what do you what is the barriers? Or what is Pete? What do people hate about law firms? What do they hate about Patent and Trademark attorneys? What can we do better? How can we improve the system? So one of it was, people always are afraid to go into an attorney, even ask questions, because they figure they're gonna have to pay it, they're gonna have to get charged a whole bunch. And then they're saying, hey, if I have to go in, I have to spend a few hundred dollars, and I may not even need it yet. And so they kind of basketball. So one thing we did is we set up free strategy meetings or strategy sessions, where people can come in, ask their questions, don't have no cost associated with it. And then I'll give them an honest answer, say, you know, not only just from a legal perspective, but from a business perspective, hey, this may make sense. Here's the strategy. Let's talk about it. Here's some ideas, or Hey, this doesn't make sense right now, or it doesn't make sense at all, to kind of have that kind of frame conversation and answer those. In addition, we also said, Hey, what is the, you know, one of the frustrations as people always feel like attorneys, it's an open ended check. You never know how much you're going to spend. You never know what they're going to charge. And even if they give you a price quote, usually it goes right past that. So he said, Why don't we make it easily understood? What is this going to cost you? What are you in for? And how can I help people to budget for it. So he did it on flat fee. So each time we save, here's our fee, this includes our fees, governmental fees, everything you need to do for a patent application or trademark application. So we did that. Another thing that we're actively working on that we haven't rolled out yet, we'll probably roll out within about the next month is we actually are working on building a community. So as you come in, you're a client of the firm will actually share with all of our other clients that, hey, we've got this new client, they offer this services, this is what they do, here's what they can help out with. And here's what their needs are, maybe you need a new, you know, new software developer, or you need a prototype or you need marketing service. And then anybody else's, the client can pitch in and say, Hey, we offer those services, or I recommend these, but it kind of creates that community of, hey, we're not just here to do pads, or trademarks. But we really are helping startups and small businesses, all the steps along the way. So that's a few things that we're doing. Nice. I

Gresham Harkless 8:44
absolutely love that, especially that ecosystem community piece, because I think as you know, obviously, the legal aspects is very, very important. But it's not the only aspect of business and be able to kind of create those synergies and those opportunities for people to connect and blossom. And, and flourish is definitely a phenomenal. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce, and this could be for you personally, or your business or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Devin Miller 9:11
Um, it's a good question. I mean, lots of things. But probably the thing that I feel sets me apart is that I have both D and I've ingrained in into the firm. So I've kind of made it part of the culture, but I have both. I've done startups and small businesses, as well as doing the legal side, which a lot of times you'll get attorneys that are very, I always used to joke about I think there's a lot of truth to it, that attorneys are great about giving legal advice and the terrible gag about giving business advice, in the sense that they've never really done a start up. They never really run a business. They're usually just very trained very well in the legal aspect, but they don't give much. I don't have much advice outside of that. So having that experience of Hey, I've actually done startups, I've run my own business, not even just law firms. But outside of that full startups had to go everything from product development, budgeting on people, firing people, you know, doing inventor bringing in investor dollars and doing all of the gamut. It gives a much different perspective and I think gives a more holistic look at things. So that's one of the things that we do that I don't think sets us apart. Another interesting thing that I don't think is hard, but sets us apart is or we try and be much more responsive. Usually, we pick up the phone, as soon as you call or the email, we respond as soon as you email. And we have a rule that, you know, we almost always will do within 30 minutes. And absolutely within 24 hours. The interesting thing about that legal field is one where the average response time for an attorney, so whether you email them, call them, text them whatever is three to five days, meaning anytime you reach out to them, it takes three to five days for them. Some are much worse at that few are better than that. So we set ourselves apart by saying, Hey, we're going to be responsive, you try and give us a call, we're going to respond to you, we're not going to leave you hanging, we do that a lot better. And then we last thing and again, short, short questions always leave the log answers is that we also look and say, we're going to take this from a heart or teacher, we're actually going to educate you or teach you as to what you need to know and understand it as opposed to just here's what you do. And now give me give us some money. And I'll do it for you type of a thing. Absolutely. So

Gresham Harkless 11:14
I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Devin Miller 11:24
I'll tell you from the effective and efficient, one of the things that we've done is we do a lot of automations. And automation gets a bad name a bad name or bad rap in the sense that, you know, typically when I think of automations is I call customer service and I get I get 20 different levers that I have to get directed to I have to answer the same questions five times and then somebody finally picks up on the phone, and they say, Oh, you got the wrong drug division, let me transfer you then you start all over and you'd hate it. That not that kind of automation. But we look and say, What are the touch points that we really want need to be available for, we need to, you know, emails we need to respond to, you know, different things we need to be there and be but if it's like, hey, for instance, a follow up, or providing them more information or making sure things move along, some of that can be automated and done very well. So that we still make sure that things are moving through. We give people the status updates, but we're not we're spending the time on the things that we can add the most value to, as opposed to the things that just are needing to get done. So we're one of the things that we I put a big focus on the health both in efficiency helps on quality and I think health care provides a big benefit to the clients is what can we automate so that we can spend the time on the things that we can't automate the things that we can add the most value to, and I think that is put up or freed up a lot more time and allowed us to be a lot more efficient and provide better quality.

Gresham Harkless 12:45
So now I want to ask you for what I call a SEO nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Devin Miller 12:56
Yeah. And as I mentioned, so I do a podcast myself and I love being doing podcast, we do it from a different perspective, different audience. But our podcast is built in is focused on a lot of startups and small businesses. So I'll give that nugget in the sense of this is the one that I hear from most entrepreneurs, most startups and what they would always do, and I think it's the one that I find to be reoccurring the most is to just get in and get started. And whether it's a you know, the thing that I find most people when I talk to them is, Hey, I wish I would get started five years ago. I love it. I'm passionate about it. It's been so much more fun. I enjoy it. And it's been rewarding. I wish identified years ago and I think that that holds true probably for everybody else. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So

Gresham Harkless 13:37
now I want to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping that different quote unquote, CEOs on the show, so Devin, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Devin Miller 13:47
I'll put it is. So there's one book that I love to read, which is by Dave Ramsey. A lot of people know Dave Ramsey, and it's out there. It's called entree leadership. And that's kind of where if I were to define what the CEO is, it really is an entree leadership, as you can probably guess his entrepreneurial mix was leadership. So I think hard to define what a CEO is, it really is that mixture, you can be a great leader. But if you're not entrepreneur, if you're not coming up with new ideas, if you're not leading the company as to what the next direction is, you're really not being a CEO, Devin, truly appreciate that definition.

Gresham Harkless 14:17
I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course how best they can, you know, review, subscribe to the podcast and find out about all the awesome things we're working on.

Devin Miller 14:29
Yeah, so I'll give you three ways to connect up with you to connect up with me depending on you know what you're looking for. So if you're just looking for generally find out more about the law firm Miller IP law, go to our website, just go to law with miller.com and you can find out more about the law firm our prices or turnaround times what we do and everything about us. If it's more specifically your whining, any questions about patents, trademarks, anything of that nature, you can go to free strategy meeting.com sign up for a free strategy meeting. We'll talk to you those questions want to talk to me directly whether it's questions anything I do find out more about me or shoot the breeze whatever whatnot, you just go to meet Devin calm all both of the free strategy meeting and the meet Devon comm link to my calendar gives you a time fine when I'm available. I'm absolutely happy to chat. So those are the easiest ways to connect up with me. And I certainly am happy to talk with anybody about anything that they have on their mind.

Gresham Harkless 15:23
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much. Again, Devin, we will have the links and information in the show notes as well too, just so everybody can follow up with you as well. But I truly appreciate you for reminding us of how important it is to kind of sharpen the saw and you providing so much mentorship and advice to us as well too. Because I think that's the way to be successful in who you surround yourself around. So I appreciate you for doing that today. doing that for the community and everything you're building as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Outro 15:47
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a www.CEOgear.co This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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