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Has anyone had an invention that they took from idea to production to sales?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by loclhero, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. loclhero

    loclhero Supreme Member

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    So my wife came up with what I think is an amazing idea for a tool related to cutlery. Without getting into the function or purpose, I can say that as I see it, it would be a molded piece of plastic. There would have to be various sizes, maybe 3 - 8 inches in length so there would have to be various molds made. The concept is simple but functional and would be an amazing tool for anyone who uses cutlery while preparing food.

    Are there any BH'ers who have taken an idea like this from concept to production to sales? Any thoughts on the expenses of creating molds etc?
     
  2. Beingakrant

    Beingakrant BANNED BANNED

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    I am no expert in this field, but from what I read in your OP, I certainly feel that it is a great idea. I also concur that it appears to be an immensely helpful tool.

    Cheers :)
     
  3. loclhero

    loclhero Supreme Member

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    Thanks. I think the process will be complicated. Creating prototypes etc. And there would obviously be some capital risk but it's doable.
     
  4. oblivion19

    oblivion19 Senior Member

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    I have no idea about this. But, I love watching Shark Tank and it made many people millionaires. From the show, what I could gather is
    -Get a patent
    -Get some amount produced locally
    -Do a test run locally and get sales.
    -Get a quote on the costs if the manufacturing is shifted overseas
    -Go to chain stores and show them the track record and get a deal

    So, this may be downright stupid and I'm hoping this makes sense.
     
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  5. WizGizmo

    WizGizmo Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Hi localhero:

    For several years, I was a freelance inventor/product designer in
    both the novelty confection business and the humorous adult
    novelty business (Spencer Gifts kind of stuff). I also worked
    in-house with a novelty manufacturer so I learned quite a bit.
    My ideas were sold for outright cash or leased in some cases.
    I did not get into manufacturing or marketing a product, but
    from the time I spent in-house, I recall that molds were often
    ordered in Taiwan. The price was inexpensive and the quality
    was good. Therefore, you might want to do some research to
    find plastic injection molding companies in Taiwan.

    Best of luck! :)

    "Wiz"
     
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  6. travisle

    travisle Junior Member

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    I think you may be looking for an industrial designer. This will be the person to design your product and make a working model. You can find a few of these people on freelancer, odesk etc. Or search for some on google.

    Once you have that, what many people are doing nowadays, and what I believe is the future of many products, is getting your models made on a 3d printer. If you don't know what these are, look it up, they are awesome. You can even find a ton that you could buy on kickstarter. But if you don't want to buy your own you could order some of your model from sites like these

    http://www.shapeways.com/
    http://i.materialise.com/

    Or find other means of doing this.

    Now in pretty much 2 steps you will have models of your product, and depending on what exactly it does, you could even have working prototypes by doing this.

    With this done you could get a patent, and start selling your products. If you want to get real serious about keeping production costs down, than you can order your own 3D printer and start manufacturing them yourself.

    Hope this helps
     
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  7. Mrnewbie

    Mrnewbie Regular Member Premium Member

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    A co worker is trying to do the same thing but in another area. I think what is vastly important is do not and i mean do not let the patent go as I have seen to many times the process takes a great amount of time and boom, the patent is over and some company just makes it their own. Make sure you keep it in house and have a lawyer present when they do all types of work along with signing consent forms of non disclosure as they might be working on your patent or product in Taiwan but also building their own on the side. Good luck Loclhero
     
  8. bigg_capp

    bigg_capp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I actually have a lot of experience in this area. I work for a large company that brings new products to market all the time.

    A few things to watch out for. Wizgizmo is correct, molds and molding is very cheap in Taiwan and China. In fact I'm leaving for China on Tuesday to work with some infant care suppliers that we just awarded business to. However, in the initial stages the protection of your idea is more important then saving money on molds and there is no hesitation to copy and mass produce your idea in China. That is a serious threat, not to be taken lightly. Even with a patent, they can flood the market and be hard to sue.

    I would file for a provisional patent which doesn't cost as much as a full blown patent, and it gives you the "patent" pending protection while you are in development. I would seek the phone consul of an attorney to get a quote and some more professional advice in that regard. I would then download an NDA (Non disclosure agreement) get it signed by some local mold makers and get some quotes.

    Then I would sell them online. Set up some good keywords and generate some sales. Use that money for a full patent, then go big.

    I explain to my wife all the time, that it takes a lot of time and labor for some ideas but if they are not profitable then its not worth it.

    If you watch Shark Tank you can see some people have been working on ideas for years, selling $150K a year of their product and only profiting $40 grand....and then they take still have to pay themselves a salary. When that happens, I kindly lean over to my wife and tell her that all those video games you think I'm playing when I'm internet marketing is making more money then that great idea on Shark Tank.

    I tell that little story to say - put a rough business plan together before you do anything. If you make these widgets, and they sell for $4.99 a piece, and cost $.50 to make, and you have to sell them to walmart for $1.50 then you are making $1.00 off of each one. If you sold 60,000 widgets you would be making 60 grand a year. Is it worth it. How many widgets can you sell? How big is the market? How many similar products like that are sold a year. Use conservative numbers and see if the juice is worth the squeeze.

    Run some back of the envelope number to see what it looks like. I kill a lot of great ideas like that. It doesn't mean the idea is bad, it just means that it's not profitable.

    Good Luck
    -Capp
     
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  9. gypsyr0ad

    gypsyr0ad Regular Member

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    I say go for it, if can afford to have the mold made, you'll be a rich man if it works. :D

    My first ever job was working as a material handler/mold setter/break giver/press runner and everything else in plastics, man those die makers took a year or better to craft those molds, its a painful process ;)

    Lmfao, they made a two handed night stick that flopped, took 11 months from what I was told.
    and fk, those molds are heavy.
     
  10. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I've heard a few references to this lately in the mass media. Since we are talking about the costs involved in industrial plastic mold work, this link may be interesting:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_printing

    OP you might find someone with one of these 3d mold machines to make a few prototypes for testing purposes for a very low price.