Bosch Tools Innovator Series: Phil Green – Tool Inventor

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How to take a tool idea to market

Tool inventor Phil Green discusses how he got inspired to go from contractor to tool marketer.As contractors, most of us have toyed with the idea of being a tool inventor.  Whether it’s a jig that speeds up cutting or a tool invention that aids in productivity, we have all “invented” something that we find useful on the job.

In this first of a series of videos dedicated to Tool Innovators, we celebrate tradespeople who have taken their game to the next level by transforming an idea into a saleable product.  While this is the dream of a tool inventor, in practice it is a much more complicated journey than most would expect it to be.  In order to actually get an idea to a prototype to a product that someone will actually buy in a store involves multiple steps (and sometimes mis-steps) to bring it to a reality.

Phil Green’s Tool Inventor Story

Phil Green is a Chicago, IL based tile contractor who for over 30 years has served his customers by

Tool inventor Phil Green's Back Butter Buddy

The Back Butter Buddy

staying on the cutting edge of the tile and floor coatings industry.  In that time Phil has come up with several ideas that he has turned into tools that he uses to boost productivity and increase the professionalism of his work.  Phil didn’t start off as a tool inventor.  But over the years, as he saw how useful some of the tools he invented to help him in his daily tile work, came to realize that others in his industry might also benefit from using his inventions.

Phil started out with a simple design.  Nothing complicated but served a useful purpose and solved a problem.  In the case of his Back Butter Buddy product, it was to aid in back buttering large tile pieces which can be unwieldy when trying to back butter.  His Edge Strip Kit product, which creates a barrier for self-leveling floor coatings, was born out of the necessity for installers to create a clean edge when pouring liquid coatings.  Both products started out as simple ideas that solved perennial issues that tile installers face every day on the job.

Edge Strip Kits

Edge Strip Kits

In this 3 part interview, we discuss where the inspiration comes from to be a tool inventor, as well as how that gets translated into bringing a new tool idea to market.  Phil goes in-dpeth on what the steps are when you want to take an idea from concept to completion and what some of the challenges are when it comes to getting the tool produced and then marketed to a target audience.

If you have ever had an idea of your own that you think others in your trade could find useful (and in the process making you money) then you will want to watch Phil’s Innovator Series interviews and see if being a tool inventor is in your DNA.

Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 1

Phil Green discusses how he was inspired to become a tool inventor and how other contractors can get into the game.

Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 2

Phil Green delves into how to take a concept from idea to marketable product.

Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 3

Phil Green, tool inventor and remodelling contractor shows off his two latest products, the Back Butter Buddy and his Edge Strip Kits.

Have an interesting Innovator story?  If so we want to hear from you.   Send us a note and let us know why we should feature your story in the Bosch Innovator Series.

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BeThePro.com is a construction industry information source for professionals working in the North American market. It provides access to how-to, best practices and best new materials details from experts in a variety of disciplines. The site is sponsored by leading construction manufacturers

8 comments on “Bosch Tools Innovator Series: Phil Green – Tool Inventor

  1. Phil Green

    Thank-you Jim for doing this interview with me. It was fun and hopefully, informative to the listeners. Thanks for letting me promote the Back Butter Buddy as well and let me remind everyone that it is one of the tools available through this site in the rewards program. – Phil

  2. Brian

    Great product you came up with , I have done tiles as you have illustrated in your video, I think I will be getting one of your back butter buddies soon, Thank you for the time and I love the new foam stick pad for the self levelling .

  3. robotmaster5379

    Nice interview, really gives a good look at the topic! I would be interested to see more interviews with these individual inventors, obviously ones working at a large tool company have an advantage already

  4. BeThePro Staff Post author

    Thanks. We are hoping to do more interviews with inventors and innovators. BeThePro celebrates the creativity and ingenuity that contractors exhibit everyday. We hope that our Innovator Series of videos will help budding inventors to get the right mindset to launch their own products and innovations.


  5. Phil Green

    I too appreciate the comments here. I’m sorry that I have not checked in to often. Please let me know if you have ANY questions that I might be able to answer for you…. -Phil

  6. Dan wall

    I made my own backbutter lazy susan years ago, but the bottom is the bottom 4″ of a 5 gallon pail. So u can mount it on the bottom of any 5 gallon pail and it sits taller than the bucket of thinset beside it. I skinned the top with scrap ditra,or better yet a thick rubber skin.

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