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New Patented Member

Postby Helmet » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:46 am

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Hello All,

I don't know why I haven't searched for an inventor website before, but I am glad I finally have and I am happy to have found this site.

Twelve years ago I got an idea for an automotive aftermarket product. I spent a few years refining prototypes and mulling over whether I had a viable product idea or not. The idea never went away and I decided it was time to get serious. I made the decision to go all the way with it. But I needed help.

So, I went to work for a very wealthy inventor/entrepreneur as his personal/corporate assistant. I learned an incredible amount while working for him but I kept my idea to myself for quite a while. I have a great amount of respect for him and I loved my job and I didn't want him to think that I was using him to get my idea to market. Finally, I showed him my invention. To say the least, he was very excited about it. He immediately got on the phone with his contacts in the automotive industries and asked them to meet in his office at 8 a.m. the next day. We met and they told my boss we had a winner and my boss gave the 'Go.'

That was five years and $600,000 ago. We had a website, CAD designer, manufacturer, mold maker, packaging and patent pending all within a year and a half. Then the problems started. Our product pushed the envelope on current manufacturing and material processes which caused delay after delay and on more than a few occasions, threatened the project altogether.

I (we) received the patent two years ago. People ask me all the time, "Aren't you excited?" I tell them I am but I'm really not. This has been an incredibly long and torturous process and has been extremely taxing on me mentally. From the day we received the 'Go' to this very day, I still have the occasional pain in my gut when I think that something is going to go wrong and that this time, it will be the end of it. I have been stressed out more and worked harder on this than anything I have ever done in my life. It has been no 'overnight success' for me. No 'walk into a company with an idea and walk out a millionaire.' I think people need to know what they are in for when the want to be an inventor. I don't think most people have the first clue. I know I didn't.

Now, enough with the whining. I AM a patented inventor, which is cool. And I DO have a product coming out in early 2010 which is incredible. I could potentially make more money from this product than I thought I would ever make in my life. But you know what I look forward to the most? I look forward to sitting back and basking in the pride I will have for myself that I truly deserve because I...NEVER...QUIT. NOT ONCE. I had an idea, I committed to it, I worked all the ass that I have on it and g-damn it, I GOT IT DONE!! For this one instance in my life, I am a winner. No one can ever take that away from me and that feels pretty good.

I am going to take the retail cost of my product, taxes included, and put it in an envelope in my glove box. The first time I see someone with my product in their vehicle I am going to walk over to them and hand them the envelope, tell them that I invented that product and thank them for purchasing it. THAT, is going to be a great day.

Helmet

Re: New Patented Member

Postby Scrupulous » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:58 am

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Great story, Helmet.

Thank you for that, and welcome to i-Spot!

Re: New Patented Member

Postby inventor-x » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:46 pm

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Hi Helmet

Congratulations 8)

Years ago patents where respected & meant something but today everyone is afraid of legal action getting sued :cry:

Being an Inventor is the most difficult job in the world because the majority of the Inventors have something personally Invested at stake besides money called (pride) 8)

The reaction from people when you tell them that your an Inventor is priceless curiosity thinking that somehow you are different 8) :lol:

I wish you the best 8)

Re: New Patented Member

Postby veritasforge » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:34 am

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That IS an excellent story and I am sure it will be worth it to you to see everything come together. I for one am interested in seeing what your product is after a story like that! If you have a website please let me know what it is!

Most inventors would not even try if they knew how hard it can be, in that sense it is good that they don't know otherwise we would likely be in the stone age still! ;) There is real value in knowing what you know and helping other inventors get to market, that is what I do everyday and I love it!

Thanks again for that and welcome.

Best,
Gordon Crum
President
Veritas Forge
http://www.veritasforge.com
262-308-8547
Product Design and Development

Re: New Patented Member

Postby rather-be-golfing » Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:44 am

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Helmet,

Thank you for the story! I'm amazed that you were able to keep it that short! I hope that your work and comittment is rewarded on schedule. It sounds like you have paid your dues and then some.
I don't want to hijack your thread but you opened a wound!

I could write for hours about the emotional side of inventing. Your dreams.....your future....your finances...and your relationships all riding on something that fights you every step of the way.

I have slowly but surely realized the difference between inventors and 'regular' people and the problem is that 'regulars' cannot possibly imagine the mental side of this process.

I would like to say that the day that I decided to pursue an idea, my life changed forever but it was not really a choice. It is like saying that I have chosen to never smile again. For me it was a realization of what I had been searching for to feel fulfilled. Perhaps it is what I was 'meant' to do. Once you make that jump there is no going back.

The worst part is that you never know how far away from the finish line you are....or even if you will ever get there.

When I write my story....for therapy purposes rather than profit....I am going to call it "Winning the Lottery in Slow Motion'. You will find it in the phsycology section and it will be dedicated to people who choose to fight for their dreams against huge odds and resistance.

Your're right.....the money is secondary to your sanity.

RBG

Re: New Patented Member

Postby Michelle » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:50 pm

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Thanks so much for sharing your story.

It is very inspirational and exciting to read of stories like yours.

Michelle

Re: New Patented Member

Postby jtdybr » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:35 pm

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Hmmm, I wonder how typical this is. Is there anything you learned in your years of very hard work brining this invention to market? Tips? etc?

Thanks for sharing.

Re: New Patented Member

Postby Helmet » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:57 pm

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Posts: 14
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Thank you all for your responses! In response:

Scrupulous: I am glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the welcome!

Inventor-x: When asked what I do I haven't introduced myself as an inventor yet but I look forward to the day! When I have a product on the market and after I have made my first dollar I am going to be very proud to say I am inventor and see that expression on their face that you spoke of. Being an inventor definitely puts you on a different plane than those who "have an idea."

veritasforge: Thank you for your interest. I do have a website but for now I would rather not post it. Right now I would just like to just exchange ideas with other inventors and those who are trying. When the product hits the market I will be happy to share it with you all.

rather be golfing: You sound like a person who has had similar experiences. You couldn't be more dead on in that writing about my experiences is going to be therapeutic for me. I haven't shared my true feelings about what I am going through to anyone else. I am very fortunate to be in the position I am in and I have never felt comfortable complaining about the process I have gone through and the toll it has taken on me. Finding this site is very liberating for me because I feel like I can tell of my experiences in total truth and hopefully help some people along the way. Of course, down the road a little, I will hopefully be able to share the good experiences and the payoffs as well!

Michelle: Thank you and I hope that I can, in some small way, inspire others and help the members here in any way that I can!

jtdybr: I can't really say if my experience is typical or not. My partner (and former employer) is the only other inventor I know. I know he went through an enormous amount of difficulty getting his first idea to market and he is a much smarter man than I.

In the next couple of days I will post some tips that have helped me along the way. I am sure they have been discussed before but maybe I can offer something new.

Thanks again!

Helmet

Re: New Patented Member

Postby rather-be-golfing » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:25 pm

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Helmet,

Just checking in to see if things are on schedule. Do you have a better idea of when your product will be released yet?

I am currently having a difficult time getting my head wrapped around moving to the next level. I learned my lesson about getting overly excited prior to a written agreement but too far the other way is just as bad. What's it like when you move from 'IF' to 'WHEN'?

RBG

Re: New Patented Member

Postby Helmet » Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:11 pm

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We were told our release date would be March. It seems like we are going to be delayed again about a month so that is par for the course. Contractually we are due a $75k payment if the product is not on the market by June so that is a little comforting although I would much rather see the product on the shelves than receive the payment.

The first 'when' is when I decided that I had a very good idea and it was worth committing to. That was a very special, empowering time. i was motivated and excited and ready to take on the world.

There was a second 'when' and that was one of the most exciting, happy moments of my life. I can still remember sitting at that table with some automotive bigwigs and them saying to my boss, "You've got a winner," and then my boss (who is now my partner) looking at me and saying, "It's a go!" I still get a rush when I think about that moment.

But that moment was a loooonnnngg time ago. I am still diligent and patient because I have always believed and it will be the COMMITMENT that will get me to the next pivotal moment and that will be seeing my product on a shelf. That, my friend, will hopefully be the best moment by far.

"When," is really just the beginning. But it is a GREAT moment.
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