Meet The Mallorys! Gregg, Amanda, Andy and Drew are makers from Indianapolis, Indiana. Their team is named after the P.R. Mallory Campus on the Purdue Polytechnic High School campus, where the group of educators work. Andy, Drew and Gregg are high school teachers and Amanda is the school nurse. Together the team created a patent-ready winning idea. Watch their story and the entire competition on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l06stLgaFHs&t=258s
Gregg and Andy discuss how they worked together to create their product, Spring, how the team was formed, and what they’re looking forward to at Nationals.
How did you hear about the Make48 competition and why did you decide to pursue it?
Gregg: Drew approached us about doing this and I instantly said yes. It was a chance to build...but more importantly it was a chance to spend time with a group of people I deeply love and care about. I have to say, I honestly didn't even know what I was signing up for....I just knew I wanted to do it. Easily one of the best decisions I've made in a long time.
Your team worked together very well and you got to work on your prototype fairly quickly. How was your team able to come up with the winning idea for the Eli Lilly Challenge?
Gregg: I think we worked so well together because it's what we do. We are a family of educators....but most importantly we work very similarly. I can't say that there is some magical secret...but we just have a good flow because we do this with each other every day.
For the prototype we started off the way that we teach our students to come up with their prototypes. We just brainstormed every idea we could for the first five or so minutes and whittled them down until we found something that bubbled to the top. Truth be told...I hated the idea.
I kept pushing and pushing against it, which made the rest of the team kind of have to sell me on it. It wasn't even until we were well into the build that I bought it. But that's the trick though....I trust the people I work with enough that, a) it doesn't have to be my idea that's the best because with that type of love and respect, that ego flies out the window.....and most importantly I trust these people implicitly. And b) If they think an idea is good, even if I don't like it...I have to trust that they know something I don't know. They were right. I was wrong. I still think whatever idea I had was a good one...but theirs was better and I'm very thankful that I trusted their judgment to push their idea.
Andy: Part of our brainstorming process really focuses on the sheer number of ideas we can produce. With this mindset, silly or "bad" ideas still get written down and presented. We are going for volume. These ideas inspire other ideas, or at least a laugh, so they all serve a purpose. All judgment is saved for later.
When we narrowed it down, there were other ideas we liked, but the parameters of the competition helped limit us to what was doable in the time-frame and to keep it as simple as possible while still being creative. Our winning idea seemed silly at first to ALL of us, but it was also fun. We like fun.
I was grateful that Gregg initially opposed the idea, because it made me think deeper about it. In the end, it was an idea I didn't want to let go of. Gregg trusted us, and we all jumped in 100%.
What were your team strengths and how did you know which team member was doing what?
Gregg: I think it's safe to say that going in we knew that Andy and I would probably be the builders, that Drew was going to be the big picture/pitch/end product salesman and that Amanda was going to be the subject matter expert as a school nurse.
It was a really easy place to be and just trust that we were all good at our job. Overall, our biggest strength...and possible weakness was that we followed the plan we teach our students to follow. For us, how well we did in this competition was going to prove just how well what we teach our students to do works. It wasn't so much a competition between us and the other teams, as much as it was how well we would do....a competition against ourselves. Thankfully, it worked out for us against some really, really good teams.
Andy: In addition to what Gregg said, I would add that I don't think Amanda entirely knew what her role was going to be. I think this puts her in a "how can I help?" mindset, which was so great to have. It really freed me and Gregg up to focus on other tasks with her willing to jump in and do whatever, get materials, or offer a second opinion. She was so much more than just her medical experience.
Also, Drew's hidden talent is leveraging other people's talents. He took full advantage of the experts in the room, either for their skills or just their feedback. We will miss not having him at the national competition, as he is expecting a new baby.
We can’t wait to see your team at the Nationals. What are you most looking forward to?
Andy: Definitely being surrounded by other people creating. It's such a great atmosphere to be around.
Gregg: For me the thing that I'm most looking forward to is seeing the Make48 friends I made here in Indy, your staff and crew is amazing and I loved the energy you all bring to everything. Also, really looking forward to some Kansas BBQ....even if Courtney won't eat it.