Comparisons to Henry Ford are few. So when George Davison is referred to as “the Henry Ford of inventing” by those in the know, the praise should not be viewed lightly.
The reference works because indeed, Davison puts inventing within reach of the average person. He is founder and CEO of Davison, a product development company in Pittsburgh that has seen its inventions sold by most every major retailer. Entrepreneur magazine called Davison a creative genius. He’s also one heckuva entrepreneur, building Davison into a 250-person company that has been cited by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of the city’s best for which to work.
Davison’s company comes up with new ideas for new products to unleash through its Inventionland facility, a 61,000 square foot complex consisting of designers, craftsmen and dreamers. The space is divided into 16 areas and includes a new movie theater with comfortable chairs and Hollywood-style screening room luxuries. Inventionland is where 1,800 new product prototypes are produced annually.
What was the inspiration behind Davison?
Getting beaten to the market by a large corporation who had bigger, better resources than the everyday, individual inventor. Determination, passion, learning through failure
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome, personally or professionally?
Repeated failure. Failure shows us we’ve got it wrong, but that’s exactly what makes it so right. That’s because it creates the pressure to find the successful solution. It’s never if I will succeed, it’s simply a matter of how many attempts it will take. I like to think whatever I put my mind to I can accomplish. You have to have blind belief to get the job done.
Talk about the moment where you knew you made the right decision in starting this company:
When we sold our first invention to the Swiss Army Knife company.
How can we stimulate small business to be an engine for job creation?
Stop taxing us so much. When the government takes the revenue, we can’t dream as big. Every time we turn around they are reaching into our pockets, either through taxes or regulations. Increase the R&D tax relief to help us.
What key partnerships in your region or state have helped Davison grow?
University of Pittsburgh Entrepreneurial Studies.
What’s the big differentiator for Davison?
Affordable research and development that delivers an actual product sample.
What’s next for Davison?
Inventing for corporations is expanding rapidly.
— by Joe Petrucci
595 Alpha Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15238