April, 2006

Wade Sun's 13 Rules of Invention Success - Part 4

Wade Sun is the inventor of the Disc Eraser™. He has written an article for AmericanInventorSpot.com readers as a guest blogger to share the lessons he learned as he went through the process of developing his invention.

Over the past week, we published the first three parts of his four part series on his 13 Rules of Invention Success. Here is Part 4 of his 4 part series:

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An Inventor's Toolkit: What Every Inventor Needs

We asked Carl, our terrific guest blogger from Inventive Rants to write about some of the critical elements to success in inventing. This week, he chose to write on the Inventor's Toolkit as his special posting for American Inventor Spot readers.

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When I invented my product, I read every book I could find on success, invention and making money. Looking back, I don't think that any one book put it all together for me, but here is a list of things that did help me.

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Wade Sun's 13 Rules of Invention Success - Part 3

Wade Sun is the inventor of the Disc Eraser™. He has written an article for AmericanInventorSpot.com
AmericanInventorSpot.com readers as a guest blogger.

Yesterday, we published Part 1 and 2 of a 4 part series on his 13 Rules of Invention Success. Here is Part 3 of 4:

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Do You Need an Engineer for Your Prototype?

Guest blogger William Colbath continues his helpful series on Prototyping for AmericanInventorSpot.com with the following article: * * * * * Hi all. Who do you think will be the last one standing on American Inventor when the dust finely clears? I am rooting for the baby carrier. But I have a very personal reason. This last week, my great granddaughter Audry died of sudden infant death syndrome. She was only 24 days old. read more »

Wade Sun's 13 Rules of Invention Success - Part 2

American Inventor Show Contestant Wade Sun is the inventor of the Disc Eraser™. He has written an article for AmericanInventorSpot.com AmericanInventorSpot.com readers as a guest blogger. Yesterday, we published Part 1 of a 4 part series on his 13 Rules of Invention Success. Here is Part 2 of 4: * * * * * * I wanted to design a prototype with a sliding fixture that would safely enclose the scarifier and permit sliding across the CD surface. I also needed a baseplate that would securely hold the CD in a precise position relative to the slider. As an inventor, the easiest and quickest way to make a prototype is to use or modify existing parts. read more »

American Inventor Show- Episode 107 Recap - Group 2 Semi-Finalist Cutdowns. The Winner Is...

FYI – MR. ANNOUNCER GUY STATES…THEY WENT TO 7 CITIES, saw 10,127 INVENTIONS, of which 223 were for toilet products.

Tonight it’s MARY LOU QUINLAN who decides who moves to the FINAL 4.

Here’s how the show sets up the inventors – total reality show BS” “A prison guard, an unemployed mother, and a teenage immigrant all compete for 50 thousand dollars.

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Wade Sun's 13 Rules of Invention Success - Part 1

Wade Sun is the inventor of the Disc Eraser™. I have been reading his comments here at AmericanInventorSpot.com for some time and I thought he had some great advice to share with fellow inventors. So I contacted him about two weeks ago to see if he would be interested in being a guest blogger and writing an article to share what he had learned going through the invention process.

Luckily, he said yes. When we discussed ideas for article topic, he suggested an article illustrating how he brings his invention to a finished prototype with a plastics molding kit and a little creativity. He could use it as a vehicle to share his 13 rules of invention success.

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You Heard It Here First: Safuto - Pure Flush Can NOT be the American Inventor (or can he?)

Ok - I know I sound a little indecisive but I've got some facts and they just don't add up. I originally came to the conclusion that Safuto can not win the American Inventor title but Thinkoutsidethecircle thinks my original draft was a little too decisive. So let me tell you the facts and my conclusion. Let me know if you agree or not.

FACT 1: The INPEX Press Release

I just got this Press Release off of The Invention/New Product Exposition (INPEX) website.

California "American Inventor" Million Dollar Contender to Exhibit the "Pureflush" Toilet Seat at America's Largest Invention Show. read more »

Lawsuit Filed in Connection with American Inventor Show

Well, I guess more litigation related to the American Inventor show was inevitable. Thanks to reader who made us aware of this (we have not yet verified its accuracy or veracity):
TEQUESTA, FL, April 26, 2006 – A formal complaint has been issued to ABC television network stating the judges of the show “The American Inventor” have wrongfully selected one of the participants for the final 12, allowing the contestant to misrepresent himself as the originator of a concept called the Tonerbelt that has already been developed and has been on store shelves since 1995, including Target and QVC, under the name of Powerbelt®. read more »

American Inventor Episode 7 Airs Thursday, April 27th at 9:00PM (ET) - Who's Going to be Watching?

Episode 7 has a format similar to last week's episode (episode 6). Mary Lou is this week's judge and there are three new inventors from the top 12.

This is ABC's Press Release:

"Episode 107" - This week on "American Inventor" we will focus on three semi-finalists to see how they use the $50,000 they've been given to finalize their invention. Mary Lou Boo HooQuinlan, one of our expert judges, will mentor
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Spend Less Time Cleaning: Hotspotmama's Favorite Products

I was never a neat person before I had kids but for some reason now I am obsessed with it. Not that you could tell if you walk in my house. But that's not my fault. I blame my two boys. Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. That's what I do. I can have a room completely clean and they could destroy it in less than 10 minutes. I guess you could say they have a gift.

Does anyone else have a child that just loves arts and crafts? I just can not keep up with my older son’s demand for it. I also can not keep up with the clean up. I have red acrylic paint stuck in the grout of my kitchen floor.

I recently started buying disposible plastic tablecloths (I know its not environmentally friendly) to cover the
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12 Wacky Products to Light Up Your Life

I concede that decor and decoration is a very personal matter. Everyone has different tastes and preferences. It's true that people tend to find different things interesting.

But there is a fine line where something turns from interesting and unusual to wacky and just plain weird.

Here are my picks for the top twelve wackiest products that people use to light up their homes and their lives. Do you think these are wacky or wondrous?

Exploring New Markets for Your Invention

We asked Carl, our terrific guest blogger from Inventive Rants to write about some of the critical elements to success in inventing. Today, he chose to write on the importance of exploring new markets for your invention as this week's special posting for American Inventor Spot readers.

* * * *

It may seem obvious to most, but inventors tend to have blinders on when it comes to markets. I was guilty of this error, and I now know how to avoid this mistake in the future.

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DOUG HALL BLOGGED LIVE- Hi folks -- I've answered some of the questions posted to get things going... - Doug Hall

QUESTION: What's to keep others from stealing the inventions we see on the show? Or more precisely, how much exactly must a similar idea differ for a mega-company to get their own patent on it?
DOUG: Sadly, many of the inventors don’t have an invention that is protectable. Hopefully those that do have filed a utility patent.

QUESTION: Why doesn't the show screen inventors before they come before the judges so they don't waste your time with products that already exist?

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ONLY 12 REMAIN - tonight

ED EVANTELISTA IS THE MAIN JUDGE. He decides the fate of…

MARK Martinez - Sackmaster 2000 (now the Sacmaster)
SHERYL McDonald - The Un-brella (now the In-brella)
ERIC Thompson - Receiver's Training Pole (now the Catch)

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We at AmericanInventorSpot are proud to tell you that Doug Hall has volunteered to host a live blog, this Sunday night from 9:30 until 10:30 or longer, depending on interest. He will be responding to YOUR questions.

He's going to be honest, straight forward, and is willing to do a no holds barred commentary. He will answer whatever he can, without breaking any of the obvious contracts he has signed being a judge on the show. So... don't expect him to give away the ending. read more »

Good Communication is Critical in Building a Prototype

Guest blogger William Colbath continues his series on Prototyping with the following article:

Hi all!

How bout the American Inventor show? They are down to the final twelve and firmly into my territory PROTOTYPING! For me it couldn't be more exciting. This may not seem to exciting to some ofyou, but to the contestants it could mean the difference between winning or not!
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Inventor Contestants to Be Split Up Among Judges

Thanks to Chris from Spider Stick - Invention Gallery for this posting:

The 12 contestants are divided up between the judges.

American Inventor: The Top Twelve - Details Released April 19, 2006

On Thursday, April 13, the top 12 semifinalists were revealed and were given $50,000 each to further develop their products. In the upcoming weeks, we will focus on one of our expert judges to see how they mentor their three semifinalists and guide them through the process of working with product designers, packaging companies, marketing executives and product testing.
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Are the American Inventor Final 12 Products Already on the Market?

Some of our visitors are perplexed about the fact that a couple of the “inventions” showcased on American Inventor show in the Top 12 Finalist already exist. The already existing products break down into two categories: (1) the actual inventor on American Idol is already selling the item and (2) another person is already selling a product very similar to the one on American Inventor.

I didn’t understand how this was happening either so I tried to find out how existing products could end up in the Final 12. read more »

Is the American Inventor Show a Disappointment?

One of our viewers Janice asked me if I would post this article for her. I thought it was a very interesting read and so I decided to share it with you.
When I think about what truly distinguished America from other countries, I think about the fact that we have been a country profoundly blessed by innovation. read more »

Look Out Australian Idol

Although there is some talk among the critics in the United States about the disappointing performance of the American Inventor Show, the concept for the show is causing bidding wars in other media markets. According to theage.com.au, Australians are going to have their own version of the American Inventor show, and the networks paid dearly for it.

Geeks bearing gifts

Forget Big Brother. Television's next reality hit is likely to star amateur inventors hoping to change the world. ...

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Thoughtful Commentary about American Inventor Show

I've been looking around the web curious to see what people are thinking about the show. I was wondering if our viewers had similar opinions to other everyday viewers out in the blogosphere. Here are some of the better comments I have seen that I thought you may enjoy reading:
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American Inventor Episode 6 airs Thursday, April 20, at 9pm (8 central). Who's going to be watching?

ABC's press release:

"Episode 106" - This week on "American Inventor" we will focus on three semi-finalists to see how they use the $50,000 they've been given to finalize their invention. Ed Evangelista, one of our expert judges, will mentor three inventors and guide them through the process of working with product designers, packaging companies, marketing executives and product testing. read more »

Wackiest Products for Your Dog

It is clear, we are a nation of extreme wealth. Otherwise, we would not lavish the type of dollars we do to keep our dogs "happy". At times, I think dog owners are simply crazy, not just crazy about their dogs...just crazy, cuckoo, wacko - as in not quite in touch with reality. I may be wrong. But then, could you please explain to me these wacky products for your dog:

Marketing the Invention, Marketing Yourself

We asked Carl, our terrific guest blogger from Inventive Rants to address the issue of marketing once you have a patented invention as a special posting for American Inventor Spot readers. Here it is:


An invention can come to you in minutes, yet it has no value until someone decides to part with their hard earned money to buy it. Marketing is 99% of invention success. read more »

American Inventor Show - Episode 5 - Recap of Second Hour: From 24 to 12 Finalists

In this episode, the judges are going to narrow down the 24 contestants down to 12. I’m expecting a lot of tears because the judges say the next presentation is about speaking from the heart. They need to show why the inventors need the $50,000 to move forward.

Here's the final 24: read more »

American Inventor Show - Episode 5 - Recap of the First Hour : Narrowed Down from 50 to 24

The show is two hours tonight. The 50 inventors that moved forward from the first round are narrowed down to 24 in the first hour and then to 12 in the second hour. If my count is correct, we’ve seen 32 of the 50 (although there are some that we don’t know very much about).

Here’s a recap of the first hour (50 to 24): read more »

Children and Safety Products: Hot Spot Mama's Recommendations

One thing all parents have in common is that we are all concerned about the safety of our kids. That's why there was so much excitement around the round baby car seat featured on last week's episode of American Inventor. So I decided to do a posting about two other creative products that may help in protecting our kids. The first one is a child safety alarm. I've got two young boys so this one is of particular interest to me.

Safety 1st makes the In-Reach Child Tracking System. It can monitor how far your child goes in any location; the mall, the park or even your own backyard.
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American Inventor Episode 5 Airs Thursday, April 13, at 8pm (7 central) - Two Hour Special. Who's Going to be Watching?

Please note the earlier start time for American Inventor - 8pm (7pm central). The episode is going to be two hours long.


Attention Mom-preneurs – The Martha Stewart Show is looking for woman inventors

Here's an opportunity for all you female inventors that want to be a guest on the Martha Show. I think it will be a great opportunity.

Here's the deal:

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French Fried Wacky Products


I love french fries. Love love love them!

It's pretty safe to say that we are a nation obsessed with thses lovely little morsels of hot crispy salty yum. read more »

Getting Your Prototypes Done: Typical Terms of a Prototyping Relationship

Hi all!

So now that you have drawn up your plans for your totally cool invention, perhaps some plans for your voice activated rotary easy chair mounted beer can dispenser that chills the can, opens it and puts it in your hand. (Wow, it just dawned on me that this would be a great invention as I would surely buy one.) You have talked to experts in the field, done a patent search, done your market research. And now you have to commit to a prototyper to help you build your prototype. What to do now?

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Is this a Doll You Identify With?

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I think the reason the Naya doll went to the next round of the AI TV show is because the judges thought that little girls can identify with the doll.

Well, here's a doll tries to represent a segment of our society that perhaps many of us can identify with. So is this product wacky or brilliant? Either way, it's going to be another fine addition to our
Wacky Products Gallery
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Everyone is Talking About the New Round Car Seat. What's Your Take?

It's amazing how many people have visited this site specifically because we had a photo of the round baby car seat. And the chatter about it is equally amazing. If you saw the show, you saw that it uses basic physics to work against the forces of a car accident. The baby seat rocks - helping protect the baby inside. Will it work? Who knows. But congrats to the judges for moving this one forward to see if this show can actually be used to "improve" a product concept. If this one can work... it could be huge.

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The Invention Timeline

Carl, our terrific guest blogger from Inventive Rants created a special posting for American Inventor Spot talking about the key timing issues related to the inventing
process. I think its an essential read for all inventors:

The Invention Timeline

Inventors want to know, how long does the process take? How long does it take from "Eureka" to "royalty check"? The short answer is that it will take anywhere from 1-4 years for an invention to earn money. The key to accelerating the process is networking. Every-time you bring a value-added participant into your venture, you increase the likelihood of moving forward.

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American Inventor Show - EPISODE 4 - RECAP: What Did You Think?

I am going to be filling in for Always Thinking (that’s what I call thinkoutsidethecirlce). He’s burning the midnight oil at work and can not escape his day (and sometimes night) job. So let’s get down to business.

Joey Magiapane, 67 - Truck Driver
Invention: Dial a Cup
It’s a multifaceted beverage system that makes coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and even soup. Has a rotating cylinder that turns to your favorite beverage. It has six permanent filters.

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All the Stuff Too Crazy for the American Inventor Show


I was having trouble sleeping last night struggling to come up with an amusing posting for you, as we all wait with bated breath for the new episode of American Inventor.

Finally, around 3 am, I had the idea that it would be fun to joke around at InventorSpot.com about the kind of products that clearly wouldn't make the show. read more »

Roo Poo and Other Wacky Products from Australia


Australia is a wonderfully country and Australians are great people. One of the things that I find most endearing about them is their terrific sense of humor.

In thinking about the Wacky Products Gallery that we at AmericanInventorSpot.com are building to entertain you (as well to make the point that alot of wacky ideas turn out to be very sucessful products), I decided to see what folks around the world thought were good products to sell. read more »

American Inventor Show Hurt By Competition

Yipes!! It seems like our TV show has been dramtically weakened by the competition. Will it be back or will ratings continue its slide?

Poof! 'American Inventor' up in smoke.

Returning 'CSI' blows a hole in ABC reality hit

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We're Almost Famous - We're in USAToday!

Thanks to the kindess of Glenn Hudson, an inventor featured in our Invention Gallery and the inventor of the Shoot and Star Rebounder, our website AmericanInventorSpot.com has a nice mention in the USA Today - Money section.

We owe Glenn alot of love for telling folks about the site and for sharing his new found fame with his fellow inventors in the Invention Gallery. We decided to say thank you to him by featuring his invention first on our gallery and showing off his video here (as soon as we can do it)...now isn't that alot of love?

If you need some good old loving folks, please help us promote the site and come share the love.

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A Norwegian engineer reinvented the way helicopters keep themselves stable. The result: create a radio-controlled craft that can take off from the palm of your hand

By Eric Adams

Helicopters are tricky beasts to keep aloft and stable. Full-size birds do it with skilled pilots, while most unmanned craft rely on gyroscopes and autopilot. But the 3.3-gram Picoflyer is too small for any such luxuries. Instead, Petter Muren, a Norwegian engineer who builds mini copters to fly indoors during long Scandinavian winters, reinvented the stability system.

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Inventor Survival - Incorporating the Concept of Survival Into the Process

Carl is the blogger for Inventive Rants.
He is a successful inventor who produced an enhancement for manufacturing semiconductor chips in the nanoparticle process. I don't even know what that means so I just figure he's brilliant!

He had a blog posting about inventing that we thought was terrific so we asked him if he would mind if we incorporated a copy of it here. He happily said yes. Even better, he agreed to be a guest blogger and will be writing a special article (maybe a few if we're lucky) for American Inventor Spot soon. In the meantime, here's the blog posting that we wished we had written:

Inventor Survival

The problem with most how-to books on inventing a new product is that they focus on the fundamentals too much. Let's say you invent the next great widget that will make a million dollars; how do you survive the process?

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