Danny Johananoff’s Journey with ADDVISOR

Danny Johananoff.

In a world where innovation is driven by personal experiences and the desire to overcome everyday challenges, Danny Johananoff’s story is nothing short of inspiring. He is the founder of ADDVISOR – a multi-directional auxiliary sun visor, which attaches to a vehicle’s built-in visor with Velcro strap.

Exeleon Magazine had the privilege of sitting down with Danny to discuss his journey from personal frustration to innovation and entrepreneurship. We delved into the pain point that fueled his drive to develop an affordable sun glare solution and the hurdles he faced in bringing ADDVISOR into a crowded market.

What according to you makes one a successful leader? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

I believe that a prerequisite for being a successful leader is the ability to define a clear objective and to wholeheartedly believe in it. Beyond that, a successful leader envisions a better future and empowers their team to try and achieve it. I firmly believe in assembling a team of experts who are more knowledgeable and experienced in their respective fields than I am. This fosters an innovative and respectful environment.

I closely monitor the activities of each team member, intervening where necessary. I carefully listen and gather ideas and suggestions to make informed decisions. Transparency is paramount, which is why I encourage open communication and value each team member’s input. I am committed to providing mentorship and recognizing each team member’s strengths, motivating them to bring their best to the table. These principles are integral to my approach and guide me in all my work.

Talk to us about your growing up years. What is your earliest memory as an entrepreneur that you can remember?

At around the age of 10, I discovered “entrepreneurship.” I became the photographer for my class, printing and developing images using a light box and distributing them among my classmates. In 1960, at age 11, I won a prize for an original photo by using slow shutter speed. Remember: at that time there were only analog cameras.

A passion for innovation drove me to collect (hoard!) gadgets and appreciate the ingenuity behind these creations. It was a thrill to purchase and make my small contribution to the people behind these innovations.

I recognized that simple tasks left me uninspired, while challenges ignited my interest. This led me to spend 37 years managing projects in the logistics and transportation sector. That included building and managing chemical tankers and introducing new possibilities for transportation of goods from the ex-Soviet Union into western ports after the communist regime collapsed in 1989.

In my present photography endeavors, I’ve noticed that many other photographers are joining my reviving of blurred and abstract style of image capturing. It is not a popular or an easy method of photography, but I like to think that I may have made some impact in this part of the industry.

I found that operating out of strong conviction makes it easier for one to become a leader.


What was the pain point that led you to research and innovate an affordable sun glare solution?

The ADDVISOR idea came from my personal frustration with blinding sun glare while driving. My sensitive eyes, coupled with my struggle with glaucoma, made this issue particularly pressing. Existing solutions only partially addressed the problem, leaving side window glare unattended. This jeopardized both my visibility and safety. The constant maneuvering of the car visor from side to side became increasingly annoying.

I experimented with various methods to block side window glare, but they hindered my ability to roll the window down. This dilemma propelled me to create a solution that tackled front and side window glare simultaneously, leading to the birth of the ADDVISOR. My ultimate goal was to make driving a calmer, safer and more comfortable experience for all. It sure does for me!

What were the challenges you had to face to start ADDVISOR and bring it into this crowded market?

The journey to bring The ADDVISOR to market was fraught with challenges.

The first was in development. It took us over five years to overcome the significant obstacle of developing a near universal solution: designing a product that seamlessly fit various car models and different drivers. Initial prototypes attached to existing car visors, but after rigorous testing, this approach proved inadequate. The breakthrough came through collaboration with additional engineering experts, when I realized that an independent, standalone visor was the answer.

The next challenge came in manufacturing. There are always decisions to be made when making a “thing,” but I decided long ago that when I put my name on something, I would not compromise on quality. Sourcing high-quality materials and ensuring consistent quality in production and assembly at a viable cost presented further complexities.

Particular challenges arise when launching a unique, new product. People are not actively seeking it, and many who see it do not recognize the innovation at first glance. The product adoption curve happens when you are trying to spark the “aha moment,” when people realize that you are doing something different to create outsized improvements. The ADDVISOR transcends the category of conventional visor extenders, requiring recognition of the difference from known products.

A few luxury cars come with two visors, but the feature is not well known enough for broad recognition.

My partner, Greg Tucker, had experience in these last two areas. Together, with unwavering dedication, perseverance, and a focus on The ADDVISOR’s life-changing value, we are overcoming these challenges.

Talk to us about the company’s “Two Direction Sun Protection™” promise. How is it disrupting the market?

Our “Two Direction Sun Protection™” promise addresses a critical gap in the market. While conventional visors address sun glare from the front, they overlook side window glare. The ADDVISOR revolutionizes this approach by offering a comprehensive solution that covers both the front and side windows simultaneously. This innovative leap ensures heightened driver safety and comfort. Our promise is to redefine sun glare reduction, setting a new standard for driving visibility.

We also found that adding The ADDVISOR to the passenger side of a vehicle is helpful in protecting passengers, as well.

Looking ahead, what are you most excited about with ADDVISOR? What is your vision going forward?

The prospect of The ADDVISOR profoundly impacting drivers worldwide excites me immensely. I envision The ADDVISOR becoming as indispensable as seat belts – available in every car instead of a luxury for the few. As we refine our patented product and broaden our reach, my vision is to eradicate sun glare-related accidents; there are almost 9,000 every year in the US.

My strategies for realizing this vision include evolving our technology, forging new partnerships and nurturing an innovative culture. I am resolute in my belief that The ADDVISOR will bring about positive change, contributing to safer roads for all.

At SmartAdditions, The ADDVISOR’s parent company, we are working on other new products. Our vision is to look at the daily problems people face and devise new and better solutions by seeing them from a different perspective. We want to build smart, elegant, and effective additions to people’s lives and wellbeing.

My journey with The ADDVISOR encapsulates a passion for innovation, a commitment to addressing real-world challenges and an unwavering dedication to enhancing the driving experience for everyone.

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