Log in   •   Sign up   •   Subscribe  feed icon

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

doughallphotoQUESTION: 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?

DOUG: They do and many have been removed – however it’s also part of the “real world” that many people believe they’ve invented something when in truth it’s fundamentally the same. Besides it’s good entertainment.

COMMENT: Doug, as a viewer I am *so* tired of hearing the inventors talk about how much time and money they put into their invention, as if nobody else has ever put all their time and money into something. If this show is to go another season, less melodrama and more of the science (CSI-type angle). I hate to say it, but I cringe every time they go in for a closeup on Mary Lou as she tears up (oh, pleeeeease). I know you're not the producer, but could you pass this along?

DOUG: I so agree with you. As I said – It’s NOT American Sob Story. If you’re frustrated imagine what it’s like to spend 12 hours a day for 10 days – hearing story after story -- it’s enough to make me vomit! COMMENT: Production-wise, one of the best shots in the show was when you went back and encouraged the boy inventor who chose the wrong invention to present. DOUG: It was a very honest moment. I almost insisted that they not film it. I was afraid what it would look like. But in the end it came out very real. By the way – Kyle is really an awesome kid. I so hope to see him next year. I’ve sent him my books and some audio CD’s from my radio show.

COMMENT: I'm following the show and from my observation Doug Hall has The germ filtering toilets seat couple (FlushPure or Pureflush), The spherical baby seat man and the door clip woman. Sounds like such a broad range of ideas. Why these three???


DOUG: I selected these three because all three solve REAL problems. The problems vary from small problems that happen frequently (Sharon’s Door Clip) to the infrequent but BIG problem (Januse’s Baby Seat) to the in between – Joe & Jenny’s toilet seat. I have given all three my word that I will.

COMMENT: why do the judges keep asking what the market potential is for the receiver's training pole? The market is huge--any parent who wants their kid to get outside, try football, maybe find out they can succeed at it.

DOUG: The reason is because amazingly we have criteria that we’re supposed to be judging on – and one of the criteria is “Mass Market Consumer Product.” Needless to say each judge considers this differently. In my mind the priority is 1: Does it solve a real problem (make the world better) , 2) Uniqueness of the invention (it can’t be “just like), 3) Mass Market potential and 4) That the invention can be manufactured and sold at a reasonable price for that invention. NOTE: A great “sob story” is NOT on my list.

QUESTION: The Invention or Inventor. Honestly what is more important? I use thousands of great inventions on a daily basis and don't know nor care who invented them. They work and that's the bottom line.

DOUG: I agree totally. The measure of a great “inventor” can be seen in their invention. Those who have the courage to be bold and brave with their inventions are the great inventors in my opinion.

COMMENT : I look forward to Sunday night. I'm sure Doug will have some good insight as to the future of American Inventor. Marc Griffin
The "BulletBall Guy"

DOUG: Marc, my vote on BulletBall was one of the toughest of the competition for me. As the NEW YORKERS to my left (Mary Lou and Ed) were pounding on you – I so wanted to vote yes – just to annoy them and to defend you. In the end – I voted no because I thought to myself what it would be like to try and sell Bullet Ball to Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley --- I could see that set of “judges” saying no to the game – because of cost and size for the table (they like things that go into a box) – and because of the one dimensional nature of the game play (they like multi-levels). NOTE: I’m not saying they would be right – just that that’s what I anticipate I would hear based on my experience. I wish you the very best of luck with the game. I so hope you show that we were “idiots” for voting you down.

QUESTION: Shouldn't focus groups be of target consumers? Who were the consulting companies? Are they all in one production & marketing houses? Don't they have sales prices in mind, and isn't the focus group a good time to propose that?

DOUG: Yes target consumers would make more sense. The firms are primarily industrial design firms. I was able to get my contestants to use some other specialists – can’t say any more till the show airs.

QUESTION: I know it wasn't Doug's call, but why did "Time Out Tot" get cut while "Naia" is still going?

DOUG: You had to BRING THAT UP. I’m still ANGRY ABOUT IT. You’d have to ask the Red Head!

QUESTION: If the show comes back, any hope of format changes?

DOUG: I’m hopeful. ABC and Freemantle appear to be open to suggestions for improvement. I’ve got a list of things that I’m working on.

Comments
Apr 23, 2006
by Aries

Appreciate the honesty

I really appreciate your honesty on the show. I feel like some of the other judges are being fake just because they are on tv. You must have a tough skin to take all the punches people are throwing you. Just wanted to let you know that there are people who appreciate the honesty.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

The Paper Lady

40 minutes for the paper sheets lady? Yikes!

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Pricing, manufacturing, feasibility

Sadly -- none of the other judges (except Peter on profit margin) -- has a lot of interest in -- manufacturing, engineering, feasibility.

As Ed said "that's stuff to figure out later" -- in my experience you need to Get It Right the First time -- there are somethings that are just impossible.

Regarding the Drink Plate -- he listened and in show 5 came back with a new design that was cheaper -- sadly i was not allowed to ask questions -- and his pitch didn't do it.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

BOOM OR BUST SECTION OF THIS SITE HAS...

...the PureFlush thing in the lead, with the carseat in close second. And a bunch of things, one of which is the bathroom lock in third place. These are real votes from real people out there in cyberland. All three of these inventions you have to judge on.

Are you worried that you may be forced to eliminate at least one of the best inventions on the show?

And... without giving anything away, have some of the products that didn't make it through to the final round (since taping is already mostly done) get picked up for licensing from Freemantle under the original contract that all contestants signed?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

40 Minutes YES

That's why Peter says in the clip do we have time for this -- and looks at his watch. That said -- she was hilarious -- and it was late, late at night when she came in -- so she really got me laughing with her.

Apr 23, 2006
by Pat Rock (not verified)

Thank you

Doug, You have no idea how much I appreciate your
comment. I know I can speak for Matt in saying
the same for him. We feel that perhaps we were
robbed because we were not "reality tv" material,
but are proud to say we didn't compromise our
integrity.

By the way, save your receipt, we'll get you a
Take-A-Seat as soon as they are in production.

All the best, Pat

Apr 23, 2006
by Aries

Corporate Inventing

I can't imagine its a subject you major in in college (like Business). How do you get started in it if you are brilliant at it (if I don't mind saying so myself)?

Apr 23, 2006
by Samma

I was just going to say that

I was just going to say that I thought some of the inventions kicked off were way better than the final 12. They WERE robbed!! You are so tight.

Why do you think it happened. Is it the storyline and drama more important than the invention.

Could a great idea, but no sob story, have gotten into the Final 12?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

My 3 Wonderful People

Boom or Bust -- I didn't know that the three were at the top. I will tell you that I am very excited about the show to come. It will be interesting to see your reaction. I was forced to make a decision....and it was 2:00 in the AM that I delivered it. In my case was very fortunate all 3 were very viable -- and any of them could have been selected. I'm not going to give away what happened.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

q's, from other post.not sure if you got.

1. What changes would you make for AI2.
2. What were your favorite ideas from the entire show. top 5.
3. Did those 5 make it to the top 4?
4. What have you gained/learned from being on this show?
5. What happened to your AI radio series on your website?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Corporate Inventing

In my case I've always worked for myself - except for 10 years at Procter & Gamble. I went straight into the brand management (marketing) department from Chemical Engineering. It helped me understand how they business folks think -- about brands, investments, risk and most importantly RESEARCH.

Apr 23, 2006
by Amarsir

Recepticle bowl

Did the singers (Evan and Jaron) ever come back with a prototype of their bowl? Seemed like a bit of a producer's publicity stunt for the first ep, and then when we never saw them again...

Apr 23, 2006
by Maineiac (not verified)

Inventor Resources on AI Web Site?

Doug,

I understand why the show focuses on the emotional rather than the intellectual side of inventing. Human conflict and drama is much more entertaining than watching someone spend hours researching market trends, conduct a patent search, draft a business plan, meet with a patent attorney, etc.

What I don't understand is why ABC and the producers did not use the AI web site to educate inventors about the inventing process and direct them to places where they can find more information... for example, inventor organizations, small business development agencies and public libraries. Surely, ABC could have put up a few links to the SBA, USPTO, etc.

Thanks!

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

P&G

I know that the Ranch is here in Cincy, but did you base it here because P&G is here? Or was that a happy accident?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Quick responses

1. What changes would you make for AI2.

Sorry I can't answer yet -- until we get further - the one thing I can say is I want to work on the contract (I've said that publicly before)

2. What were your favorite ideas from the entire show. top 5.

Again -- can't say as it might influence votes to come

3. Did those 5 make it to the top 4?

I can say NO -- not all five

4. What have you gained/learned from being on this show?

Don't do Reality TV...just kidding. ..sort of....

5. What happened to your AI radio series on your website?

I've been crashed with doing real work. I'm working projects in the UK, Mexico and USA -- we didn't really plan for how much work this was going to take. That said -- I've gotten lots of e-mails about it and plan to record my comments on shows 3 to 6 tomorrow

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Cincinnati

My wife and I almost created the company in Boothbay Harbor Maine. However we had little kids at the time and travel was a lot easier from Cincinnati - even it Delta charges a fortune

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Pit Bowl

You had to bring that up -- it was such a hustle -- at one point when i challenged them - one of them winked at me. It only made me madder, when there were real inventors waiting

Apr 23, 2006
by Think Outside T...
Think Outside The Circle's picture

JUST WANTED TO SAY THANKS... TO DOUG... TO EVERYONE!

As of this minute we have nearly 1000 people on the site. Very cool.

See next page for continuing comments and questions...

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

What was the hardest

What was the hardest decision you ever had to make on the show?

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Will you come back here

Hi Doug:

I am really impressed that you are out here at American Inventor Spot with us fellow inventors. I think this iste has really been a gift for us inventors.

Will you be blogging here again? I can't believe they got you here.

I personally would love to hear your thoughts once your inventors have been up. Maybe come in the next night and talk about it in greater detail.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

cry?

Have you ever weeped pitching an idea, or do most inventors do this? Or is it just the format of the show that did this?

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Cincinnati

I usually fly out of Dayton. Air Tran seems to be a more cost effective way to go. But then you have to do the Orange Barrel Polka up I-75.

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Inventor Resources at AI site

The simple answer -- in my estimation is that no one had the time to do it.

It is true that the masses respond to the emotional stuff. It makes me gag at times. And any time I gag -- I get in trouble.

I'm very hopeful for next year -- to get more stuff up -- that's why we worked the doughall.com web site so quickly. We've taken over a million hits on it.

My staff is working on an audio case study archive from the radio show to put up that's easily searchable. This last friday we did Friday Freebies and answered calls from inventors -- those will be posted as well

Apr 23, 2006
by Amarsir

Hooray! More audio comments!

Just want you to know those are really appreciated, possibly better than the show itself.

For the final 12, did you each pick 3 (of the 24) or was it narrowed to 12 and then divided?

Apr 23, 2006
by Aries

Edible Snowglobes

How come the edible snowglobes didn't move forward?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

I did cry one time...

I've never cried pitching an invention.

I've never cried on the set.

I did cry one time -- when watching the "Mr. Know It All Segment" when the flag came up -- as I mentioned my forefather -- I laughed so hard I cried. As did my wife.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey Doug: I think this is

Hey Doug:

I think this is really nice of you. Are you going to come here again?
Are you now a "regular" guest blooger or was this a one time ting?

Had you seen this site before blogging tonight?

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey Doug: I think this is

Hey Doug:

I think this is really nice of you. Are you going to come here again?
Are you now a "regular" guest blooger or was this a one time ting?

Had you seen this site before blogging tonight?

Apr 23, 2006
by Aries

My 3 wonderful people

Did the judges get to pick which three people they wanted to guide/mentor? how did you get your three (which I think are also the best)?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Edible Snowglobes

This was bizarre -- she also had a cake kit that I actually liked better -- but what you saw was the SnowGlobes.

Why it didn't go forward...it's hard to say...can anyone guess what's in Peter, Ed and Mary Lou's head....

In my case I was looking for PROBLEMS -- and yes it's a problem getting a cake done so that it looks good. And she has an answer. I also think she'll have a good business. In my judgement -- others were stronger.