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Postby bottleslingguy » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:54 pm

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Hey Road,

Please don't take this as fighting, I'm just raising a counterpoint and not necessarilly trying to prove you wrong, but maybe TJ is past a tipping point and needs to move on. Let's put this website to work.

We've all been there, let's just give him what he's asking for. I'm not into (that doesn't mean everybody else has to be) saying to him, "Dude, you've got a lot to learn. You are sooo far behind (I don't think he is at all). Everybody is going to rip you off. You need Gurus to guide you and show you how it's done. Your journey begins now and it is a long road."

:?:

Why can't we just tell him right now? If he has the money to get some sort of professional protoypes made or CAD images of the important aspects of his invention. I don't get why it's helping him to be told he might as well just give up. If someone here knows someone who will do some contractual work for him, that would be a big help. Maybe TJ would be willing to do a quid pro quo type thing? You know, like give someone a percentage? It doesn't have to be a huge percentage, but if someone else here believes he has a good idea, they could do some work for him and in return make some sort of unconventional deal. They could work on it as a team- who knows, it could be a boon to the contract litigation field.

I guess there just aren't enough people at this website who wish to join in and help each other. They don't realize they may get just the help THEY need in return.

TJ does have something of value- a completed utility patent. Copycats will have to start from scratch and who knows if they'll be successful? If anything, copycats show it is marketable. There really is enough money in the US economy to make everyone happy. If he gets airtime on season 2 and exposes his product here, he may be attractive enough to be picked up by someone willing to put up the moolah to manufacture and distribute, pitching to a retailer like Loews or HomeDepot wouldn't be a bad idea either. He may just catch the eye of Stanley or some other existing company ready to incorporate his patent.

He's got nothing to lose if he continues the way he is now (as am I).

Postby Road Show » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:36 am

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Bottlesling,

I don't take your position as argumentative at all, just misinformed. The website I linked to in my post is for "The Entrepreneur's Network". It is packed with so much useful information that is designed to help inventors and entrepreneurs make some of the difficult decisions regarding moving forward with their ideas that it really matters little at what point you are in the process. If you haven't visited the site, I would highly recommend it.

Again, the link is www.tenonline.com .

TJ admits he isn't sure what to do next. TJ admits that he hasn't even approached potential distributors and manufacturers who might be interested in his invention. Just because he didn't do this first, doesn't mean he should continue on ignoring this until he's completed his prototype.

I once heard a story of how monkey's are caught in the jungle by simply inserting an oblong stone into a hollowed out coconut shell through a hole big enough for the monkey's hand to fit, but too small for the monkey to remove its hand while clenching the stone inside the coconut. The monkey, believing that it is holding something of value, refuses to drop the stone so that it can remove its hand and easily escape the would be captors, and instead is captured. Many inventors spend money needlessly on patent searches, patents, and prototypes, before they even know that they have anything of value. A great idea is one thing, a marketable product is entirely different. I can tell that TJ has a few unanswered question, and I know this because anyone who has done a marketability analysis usually learns what next steps lay ahead. They also receive valuable feedback which allows them to write claims that are difficult or impossible to design around.

Just go to the website and see what's there. I guarantee you that it's the best information available in one place on the web, or your money back. :D

RSG

Postby bottleslingguy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:14 am

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Road said, "... Just because he didn't do this first, doesn't mean he should continue on ignoring this until he's completed his prototype."

You're absolutely right, he's got a lot to do and should be multitasking right now :x .

I wasn't saying he should ignore anything, (Ed Zimmer is out to make money off the "Littleguys") but the information I found at the site was the same old regurgitated (that's not an insult to you or anyone) stuff I've heard for years. That sales pitch is there to scare you into thinking there are all these steps you've missed, so you'd better run to an expert. He'll actually be paying someone to waste his time at this point.

Why can't this website just answer his questions as he asks them? We don't know his budget, so let's assume it's zero. Let's not tell him he's got to get in line or anything like that, it's unproductive. If anything I think this could be like some sort of wiki where it could take on a life of it's own. Like some self-perpetuating invention laboratory. I said before, THIS is the only place people should need to come for help in the innovation process. Why can't WE be TJ's Ed Zimmer?

I guess the problem so far is the amount of exposure. Not only for the inventors but also the website. You can't tell me (not meaning actually YOU Road) this isn't a marketable product with potentially great profit/success. Like the Bathroom Survival Kit this invention should be on the shelves five minutes ago.

Sure there are millions of people with potentially good ideas (some not so good) who not only need to be protected but mentored in a way in order to guide them and give them a heads ups at each step according to their own abilities. It's like an adaptabilty program for those with special needs. Each individual may need more of something than something else. nLet's not put someone through the entire gamut if they don't need to be. This website can make that possible, in close to realtime, without having to start from scratch every time or reinvent the wheel. Sure Ed's is a link of information but in the end they ask you for the moolah ($) :twisted: (I love writing moolah) :D

Sure you have to learn a ton of stuff ranging from the insides of your invention to the way things work in the real world. Ed's site had topics with no context, there is a page for companies who do licensing and there are none... :?: I don't get it. This website should eventually be able to do that and for FREE. Let's stop harping on the scary stuff, take each situation as it is ( at what point of development/$resources the person asking for help is in) and try to help.

"I can tell that TJ has a few unanswered question,..."

Ya think? :lol:

"...I know this because anyone who has done a marketability analysis usually learns what next steps lay ahead. They also receive valuable feedback which allows them to write claims that are difficult or impossible to design around."

How would you ever know at any point in time whether something can or can't be designed around? can't they get valuable feedback right here right now? What if tomorrow someone called TJ and said, "I was reading about your invention at that grassroots inventor's website and saw your patent. I'd like to work with you, I think it has huge potential."?

"Just go to the website and see what's there."

Road, really and don't get mad at me for disagreeing with this. Ed's is the same as all the others. TJ can ask questions directly to eventually all the knowledgeable people in the various fields right here. He has to call Ed, make dates for phonecalls, play phone tag, read brochures inviting him to some 9-step program and take up a lot of his time. Hopefully he is reading not only our discussion but scouring this website while getting his proto/s ready for the video. He doesn't need to pay for a history lesson on how things used to be done.

"I guarantee you that it's the best information available in one place on the web, or your money back."

You must be joking and forgot to use the "I'm just kidding" emoticon.

Postby Road Show » Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:40 am

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Bottlesling,

First of all, when Ed Zimmer WAS working...yes, BSG, he is retired...he was in the public relations business NOT the "scam the inventor" business. He heavily favors bootstrap venturing, and what he has done is created a website to help...not to "trap"...inventors and entrepreneurs. I emailed him a couple times trying to get him to mentor me. "Not interested," he says,"too old, and also retired." I'm sorry you feel his website is of little use. Enough about Ed.

As to TJ's invention, I've already created (in my mind) a competing product, which is easier to manufacture, easier to use, and less likely to malfunction or break. If I were in the industrial safety industry, I would look at TJ's patent and say to myself, "There's got to be an easier way to create a product that addresses this need." So now I have a product that does not infringe on TJ's patent, can be marketed as the "Cool Alternative" to TJ's invention, and I don't have to pay TJ's royalty; PLUS, I already have distribution. So the first thing I do is gather as many end users into focus groups as possible. I will show them TJ's invention, then show them mine. I will have the person running the focus groups use varying "angles of persuasion" so that I know how to align my marketing based on the results of the focus groups. I will try to make my glasses look as "Oakley" as possible, and paint TJ's glasses as being the "Old Gramma" style. I will win by sheer willpower and marketing savvy. Failure is not an option.

You can live in this little cloister of inventors, gingerly licking each other's wounds, and deluding yourself into believing the world is going to behave differently toward YOUR invention...OR, you can pull off the rose colored glasses and realize that it truly is a dog eat dog world out there.

BTW, my design for TJ's glasses may not be as complicated, or even patentable, but it IS easier to make, and does not infringe. Is it as eloquent a solution as TJ's? In terms of it's simplicity, yes. Now, am I going to run out and file for a patent? Hell no! If I really wanted to move my idea forward, I would make a quick, bench-top prototype, and take it around to industrial safety folks willing to sign my NDA to gage a response and gather information about the size of the potential market (real numbers...not just "it's huge and getting huger"), the ability to penetrate the market, and the obstacles to getting the product into the market. It is a long process for any product, and I just don't have a passion for ear plugs.

BTW, the comment "or your money back" was indeed meant as a joke since the trip to Ed Zimmer's website is free.

RSG

Postby TJSOLBERG » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:01 am

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Road, Bottlesling,

Wow! You guys are very interesting reads. I have been catching up on the post and I don't know where to start. You both have some very valid points and approaches to my search for an investor. As far as market analysis goes, I work in an industry that uses these devices and have done my own little analysis, not that I'm a professional marketer or anything, and everyone that has seen my "bench-top prototype" loves the idea. I also have an engineer that designed a new prototype for me and has sent me preliminary CAD files.

To quoate Road, "If I really wanted to move my idea forward, I would make a quick, bench-top prototype, and take it around to industrial safety folks willing to sign my NDA to gage a response", now this is something I can do and should have already done. Even though I don't have a spectacular prototype to show, my bench-top prototype completely gets the idea across and if someone is truly interested, they would say so.

Road, I will visit the website you listed and read what it has to say. I'll come back later today/tonight to write more. I do appreciate all the comments, both possitive and negative, from everyone. I'm here to learn and occasionally we all take one step forward and two steps back, but hopefully not to often. I'm just gathering information/feedback to help guide me to make the right decisions in moving forward.

Once again, all information and advise is very welcome. If anyone would care to speak to personally, contact me at 760-734-1458

Postby bottleslingguy » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:25 am

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I don't know Road, it sounds like I struck a nerve with you on this one and you're taking it personally. I guess you feel some strong allegience to Ed Zimmer and feel you have to defend him.

You said, "scam the inventor" and "trap" in quotation marks. Was that meant for me? I never said those things nor implied. Calling something "a sales pitch" does not necessarily imply you're trying to rip someone off. My point about Ed's website was that TJ needn't go there when he has us to help him. I am supporting THIS website, not Ed's, so maybe that's where you and I are at odds.

But alas, now it seems you are trying to get a free ride on TJ's hard work. So how's the brain exercise going? How did things work out in your mind with the technical glitches? How do you really know yours is "easier to maufacture, easier to use, and less likely to malfunction or break."?

"If I were in the industrial safety industry, I would look at TJ's patent and say to myself, "There's got to be an easier way to create a product that addresses this need."

But you are not and TJ's is already simple and easy to make. Maybe someone else really will get around his patent and maybe they won't. It's all a crapshoot up to this point anyway so what's he got to lose? Besides I don't think you've really looked at TJ's patent closely enough, he's got some pretty important aspects of the idea laid down right there for everyone to see. Why should a company or licensee start from scratch when they can just go from this point on and not worry about getting around the existing patent? But you're just talking hypotheticals right now, right? you're not really thinking of doing this, are you? If you are I guess we can stop our discussion because I am here to help TJ not steal any of his ideas. Have you checked out the other safety glasses/ear plug inventions cited in his patent? Does the one you've thought up look anything like the prior art? Better check.

"So now I have a product that does not infringe on TJ's patent, can be marketed as the "Cool Alternative" to TJ's invention, and I don't have to pay TJ's royalty; PLUS, I already have distribution."

TJ is not looking for what you are selling so please leave this discussion. This about helping people not ripping them off whether it's hypothetical or not. If you don't have anything constructive to give him please don't waste any more of our time on this topic. You're not helping.

"I will try to make my glasses look as "Oakley" as possible, and paint TJ's glasses as being the "Old Gramma" style. I will win by sheer willpower and marketing savvy. Failure is not an option."

There you go copying again (as "Oakley" as possible) AND stepping right over someone asking for help. You are definitely not helping him nor are you being constructive to this thread. I think unless you can offer something of more substance you should spend your time working out your plan to rip him off and leave us alone.

Any problems with anything I've said to you, please see the moderator as I'm finished with you on this one. We can play somewhere else and I won't hold a grudge, but please, refrain from using scare tactics and threats.

Postby Road Show » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:30 pm

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Bottlesling,

No, I'm not about to market a competing product to TJ's. In fact, I will contact him and give him the idea I have...which I don't believe is patentable, but as a product, it addresses the need simply, and economically.

My point is this: once we leave the cloister of this warm and safe inventor group, there is a real world out there waiting. In this world, there will be someone who takes the need that TJ has so openly identified by filing for and receiving a patent which is published for all to see, and this someone will design a different solution just as I have, but they will be in the industry and capable of capitalizing on the concept, so that the marketing they do will overshadow even a superior product.

You claim that you are here to help TJ and not rip him off? How so? By encouraging him to move in directions that may cost him valuable time and money? You may not profit personally from your advice, but someone will get TJ's money nonetheless, and if his direction ultimately leads nowhere, then how have you been of help. I would rather speak to him openly and candidly about how he can improve his chances of successfully launching a product, than to coddle him in the hopes that he will think I am a swell guy.

Do I have an issue with you personally, BSG? No, I don't. You seem to think you've got a handle on this inventing stuff, and throw out advice like you're an old hand at launching products. The fact is that you have merely created the best bottle sling possible, but the rest of the process is yet a mystery to you. You have shown that you are unwilling to avail yourself of the rather well regarded opinion of someone who could give you some difficult to hear, but possibly sound advice, because you really have become emotionally attached to your idea. Yes, I am speaking of Doug Hall. You make jokes of him to the point that you appear to all around to have an astounding inability to handle criticism. So my advice to you here, is to put up or (you know the rest). If my comments make your blood boil, and the andrenaline pushes you to actually get your bottle sling on the market finally, then I will be happy for you. I do not with you, nor TJ, any ill, but I will give you my honest opinion...withholding, of course, the sugar. So please, when I point to experienced experts in the field of inventing and marketing and entrepreneurship, do NOT step in and suggest that you have the knowledge and experience to supply the answers they seek. I know I don't.

Note to TJ: I would be happy to discuss my adaptation of your invention in the hopes that it will help you in your efforts. Please PM me, as I would rather end my further involvement in this thread.

RSG

Postby Michelle » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:38 pm

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Ok gentlemen,

You are both officially blocked from this thread.

Please no further posts on this from either of you.

I did not read the conversation carefully to see who started what but I know I don't like where this is going.

Could I ask the two of you to no longer direct comments on threads to each other?

Come on, already.

This is getting upsetting. :evil:

I WANT SUGAR!!!!!!

Postby Michelle » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:44 pm

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Just to make it clear, the website that Road Show recommended is packed with great information.

I do not think Ed is out there as a scam site trying to milk inventors out of their money. Bottle Sling, you are making accusations that are simply not true. Ed is retired and he VOLUNTEERS with SCORE to help ouf inventors, so enough mud on him, please. Road Show feels the need to defend him because it's unfair to accuse someone when its not true.

It's a competitor to our site in terms of information but we still recommend it as it has great advice for inventors.

Ed was even kind enough to have us republish one of their articles on our site, which I introduced at "Ed Zimmer has written what I think is one of the best articles on the web for inventors,"

The Brutal Truth About the Invention Process
http://inventorspot.com/truth_invention_process

They have terrific stuff and only shame keeps me from asking Ed if I can just take all their stuff to reprint on our site.
:lol:

That being said, I appreciate Bottle Slings efforts to keep our site at the center of resources and value to inventors. It's great that he is looking out for us.

So I can see both sides of what you two are saying and I decided it really does not matter this time who started the argument, so can you please both not get so much in a huff and just let each other aargue points without getting personal?

No more posting by either of you on this thread and if you engage each other in another thread, I will microscopically review that thread and kick whoever "started it" for a three month time out (which tracks exactly with the American Inventor show)..so behave, will ya?

Postby Average Inventor » Sun Jun 03, 2007 1:10 pm

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It's important to see different perspectives and create hypothetical scenerio's but I would argue that thier benift is most greatly appreciated before the patent protection is in place. Since the patent is completed I would say following up with learning how to best get your product to market is where TJ should be at and I feel Road Show's link to a helpful site that builds and even strengthens some of the info found here is a good thing. I firmly believe in teaching a person to fish rather then giving them fish. Even if you have people help you get things done it's inportant to know what they are doing and how it's done.

Waiting for financing or someone to swoop down and save you is not a very productive way to go about things. It's the lotto mentality that if you are lucky enough money will be given to you. I personally feel much better when I earn the money I recieve and never expect to recieve things for nothing.

Since TJ has a patent and some good claims on his invention I feel he should go to home depot and loews and write down every company that makes saftey glasses and everyone that makes earplugs. Then google all the companys who make those products. Find all the contact numbers for those companies and start working your way up to finding the right people to submit your patent to.

Search and see when the next hardware trade show is and get discounted booth through INPEX and exhibit your invention there. While your there make connections with the respective hardware companies that you have identified before that already make the 2 individual products your invention brings together and meet soe of the people who work for that company at thier booths. Find out who they would suggest you contact in thier company (it might be a different person than you were told when you cold called) and when the trade show is over contact all of the people you met and follow up on any leads.

Those are what I would do if I was TJ and I wanted to get some things done.
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