Page 16 - Mississippi 811 issue 2
P. 16

      IThe Story Behi
By Roger Cox President ACTS Now, Inc.
n our world of paint, stakes and collection of flags. I watch him for a bit me, ‘Are you going to do this or am I flags, most of us have heard of and as he placed flags in the ground, I going to give this to someone else?’ FlagShooter. When you see asked him if there wasn’t a better way So, my wife and I prayed about it and someone using the FlagShooter, of doing that. It looked too much like a we made the decision to pursue this,
you think to yourself, “that’s pretty three handed job and very cumbersome. whatever this was. It has been good for
cool” and those who’ve used it, often talk about how much time they save at a locate site or even how much it saves their back.
I’m just a little different. The first time I ran across someone using the FlagShooter, I thought to myself, “Now who in the world came up with this idea and what were they smoking?” Turns out they weren’t smoking anything, but I did find out who invented the FlagShooter.
Paul Carrette, the inventor of the device, the flags it shoots and owner of the company sat down with me recently to tell his story. Let me share it with you.
What is your background? Paul responded, “I am a mechanical engineer by schooling. I was working in an industry that built industrial plants. Certainly nothing really associated with locating or flags in any way. I came home from work one day and saw a
guy getting out of his truck carrying a locating device, paint stick, paint and a
He said, ‘not that I know of.’ So, it just got me to thinking about the process he was having to go through and I simply couldn’t get it off my mind. I remember searching Google for best ways to place locate flags. You know it’s not all that unusual for innovation to take place outside of an industry. For some reason, I just couldn’t get it out of my head
and began to experiment with different ideas in my shop. Folks who know me very well, will tell you that when I see things happening, I routinely ask myself ‘why are they doing it that way and I wonder if there is a better way to do it?’”
Ok, now has this become an obsession and what are you going to do with
it if you figure it out? He continued, “Right! Some might call it an obsession but working with this project that is beginning to consume me, I was at a crossroad. Do I stay with my full-time job which has been very good to me,
or do I take a leap of faith to see where this idea will lead me? I was at the point where I felt like God was asking
me to remember that this was not my idea. I was just chosen to build it.”
You made the decision to pursue this new path. What did that look like? He chuckled and said, “A lot of late nights and a lot of thinking about the project and where do I go from here. You can imagine that when you’re inventing or doing something that’s never been done before, your mind doesn’t stop. It’s always fun but it’s always with you. I quit my job in 2008, so sometime in late 2008/early 2009 I created a prototype of the FlagShooter you see today. Finally, after crawling up a very steep learning curve, late one night about 2:00am, I shot two flags
in a row. It was exhilarating! I’d just done something that nobody had ever done before. I was so excited that I rushed into the house and woke up my wife and said, ‘Anita, can I show you something?’ She said yes and followed me into the backyard. I shot three
flags in a row and she said, ‘Oh honey! That’s great... Good night.’ And she went back to bed. Although, she headed back into the house that morning,
14 • Mississippi 811 2023, Issue 2

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