FlexScreen is the world’s ﬁrst and only ﬂexible window screen.
Windows are integral to any building, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. They provide natural light, ventilation, and a view of the outside world. The window industry has a long history, dating back to ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Rome. Modern windows are manufactured using various materials, including wood, aluminum, and, of course, glass.
While windows have existed for a long time now, there have been little to no changes in terms of their usability and durability. The complex nature of traditional window screens, their lack of durability, and the overwhelming replacement costs have always put customers in a worrisome situation. However, FlexScreen is now on a mission to solve these issues with its innovative, flexible window solutions. Joe Altieri, CEO of FlexScreen, was with the CEOViews team to share how they are revolutionizing this particular segment.
Inception and mission
During his 20 years in the window industry, Joe dealt with countless and constant complaints from customers, some of the country’s largest window manufacturers. The inherent problems with old-style window screens cause extreme frustration. Conventional screen technology is over 100 years old and hasn’t really changed at all in that time. He knew that there had to be a better way and was just crazy enough to believe that he could find it. So he went to the garage to experiment with different frame materials and designs.
Speaking about how he got this idea about the flexible window, Joe said, “My biggest inspiration and “aha moment” came one night while putting away my daughter’s princess pop-up tent. It occurred to me that I might be able to make a window screen with similar properties that could solve all the things everyone hates about old-style window screens.”
From inventing a product in the garage to appearing in front of 30+ million people on Shark Tank, FlexScreen’s journey has been an incredible roller coaster ride of ups, downs, risks, and uncertainty. No one can tell you just how difficult owning and running a business can be. Joe knew it would be hard but he had no idea how hard or how persistent he would need to be and how much sacrifice it would take.
What makes FlexScreen stand out?
FelxScreen is the world’s first and only flexible window screen. Their frame is made of high-carbon, oil-tempered spring steel coated in PVC. The mesh is heat welded to the frame, so there is no spline, aluminum frame, or attachment hardware. No other window screen in the world flexes into the window frame, where it virtually disappears and is held by tension alone. Unlike old-style window screens, our screens install and removed in mere seconds, are nearly indestructible, and need no color matching. There is nothing like FlexScreen.
One of the ways they’ve managed to increase customer confidence is with the “Buy Now, Measure Later” system. Because every FlexScreen is custom-made to the customer’s exact window dimensions, precise measurements are critical. All FlexScreens – all sizes – are one price. The customer simply enters an order for the number of screens they want, then they send them a free patented FlexTenna™ measuring tool and provide online measuring resources. Once they’re sure they’ve got it right, they head to the measuring site, enter their order number, and input all of their window measurements. Once they have this information, their custom screens go into production and are delivered to their home in about 10-15 business days.
Folks at FlexScreen don’t believe in resting on their successes, and they are always looking to im- prove, innovate, and expand.
The “slow yes” was the biggest challenge FlexScreen had to face. They had tons of excitement around the product and lots of “we want that!” affirmations from industry professionals who saw the prototype, so they moved ahead and built custom machinery and large-capacity manufacturing plants based on initial reaction and positive affirmation. But they overestimated how quickly people would come on board and underestimated their industry’s tendency to move slowly and resist change.
FlexScreen ended up with lots of big bills, very few orders, and a fair amount of anxiety. As it turns out, trying to change an industry using 100-year-old technology is a bit like turning the Titanic around. Adversity is always an opportunity to grow, innovate, and differentiate. So they kept pushing forward and decided to market the products directly to homeowners. The industry might be slow to change, but Joe was betting that homeowners would see the value and love their screens.
The window industry was mainly brick-and-mortar and didn’t focus heavily on e-commerce pre-pandemic. Now building products you would typically have to purchase in-store are becoming available online, and companies are having to place a much heavier focus on their online presence. Joe believes the companies that dedicate attention to digital marketing, creating a hipper, younger brand in a fairly tired space, and taking advantage of every opportunity to grab attention will be the ones that prosper the most going forward.
Folks at FlexScreen don’t believe in resting on their successes, and they are always looking to improve, innovate, and expand. They recently opened their 7th manufacturing location, and now, with their manufacturing licensing option, there is no limit to their reach.