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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 Amused and Bemused

Season 2 - Waht's Criteria?

You mentioned in discussing the possibility of a Season 2 that the network needs to see how it goes.

What would have to happend for there to be a season 2 or not happen?

Are there any quantitative criteria that will be applied?

Thanks,

Amused and Bemused

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

doug-- you spoke movingly

doug-- you spoke movingly about your young daugher at one point, when you gave your vote to a non-invention-- the paper lady. how did you daughter feel to see you leering at the naked stirpper? i've seen the segment both times that it ran and if i were you i would be ashamed to come home. well>

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Quick responses

- I am an inventor, and have a great idea, but do not know how to bring it to market. Should I audition for the show, or are there better ways to brig it to market.

It's your choice. Being on a reality TV show is a risk. There are clearly better ways to go then being one of thousands. I would suggest going to your local library and getting some books.

- You mentioned in SF, the show will not impress REAL inventors. Why is this? There is also the History channels invention series, but they seem to focus more on engineering and scientific inventions that everyday tv people would not understand.

It's REALITY TV -- that means the most important thing is entertainment. it's not about the cool stuff that get's engineers, entrepeneurs and inventors excited about.

- What Inventions are you allowed to say you had a part in, that ALL housholds own and love..you can name the 15+ if you wish.

That's not the way my contracts read with the mega corporations.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

SOMEONE HAS RIPPED OFF MY INVENTION. NOW WHAT?

Ok... so I have an invention. And a rocksolid patent. Yet someone either on purpose, or by mistake, is selling my exact same idea on the internet. And probably in stores. Now what?

I could sue them. But that costs money. Which I don't have enough of. And I heard it could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Should I approach them to license my idea?

And all that said, what would stop any manufacturer from ripping off something they saw on the show? If it's not yet patented and on the air, then the inventor loses all rights to the invention. Correct?

Apr 23, 2006
by BobLoveland

Posted questions in wrong place - Repost

Good Evening Doug, Thanks for coming.
Submitted by BobLoveland on Sun, 2006-04-23 17:04.

Love the show, and looking forward to Season II. (Hint hint)

I'm curious about the entry process of the show. Did you and the other judges have to screen ALL the entries or was there a process to help weed out any of the absolutely absurd products, or were there multiple panels of judges and your team had the final say so?

Any idea of how many entries there were in the competition?

Did you see anything that didnt make it as an entry that you thought.. Hmm I want one of those..

Finally, if it were your decision to make, would you allow previous participants to re-enter into the competition for season 2 if there was one?

For example, if someone's prototype had some problems and didn't win.. What if between seasons the issues were resolved. Do you think that participant should be granted a second chance?
=================================================================================

Pricing, is there a magic formula?
Submitted by BobLoveland on Sun, 2006-04-23 18:09.

Any input on the pricing process of a product? Is there a magic formula that seems to work?

For example, I see that Mark Martinez sells his invention on SackMaster2000.com for $49.95. Do you find that products are just given one of those magic $?.95 price amounts or is there typically a formula based on profit percentages, or is it just whatever the market will bear?

Take for example, the cute little restroom door clip, it seems something like that would be most likely $2.95, $3.95 or $4.95. Are we as a bunch of consumers just brainwashed into those amounts and the pricing is randomly picked or is it something else?
===============================================================================
Product Name confilicts
Submitted by BobLoveland on Sun, 2006-04-23 18:20.

I'm curious, I was just searching on the net for Inbrella just to see what would come up, and found that there is a company using the Inbrella name on a product or service already. See www.inbrella.com
Does this mean that the inbrella product name would be off limits for Sheryl to use and would need to come up with another name, or is it possible to still use a product name already in use?

=================================================================================

Thanks,
Sorry if I posted twice in same place

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

niche vs lasting. Did the

niche vs lasting.
Did the shows have a criteria on the "lasting" product? many of the things seemed like lava lamps, hot for a few years, then dead the rest. an opnion?

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

My daughter and the bow

The daughter I spoke of is 17 now. Regarding the bow -- as I recall Peter and I laughed through most of it - especially at Mary Lou's reaction. I have no control of the edit - what I'm looking at is not necessarily what you think I'm looking at -- it could be from any time that day.

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

10 MINUTE CURTAIN CALL - AND A BIG THANK YOU TO DOUG!

Hey guys, Doug's going to have to go real soon. So I just wanted to thank him, and all of you, for making this a huge success. I'll touch base again after Doug is gone. But WAY TO GO DOUG!

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Sunday Nights with Doug

Hey, I think you should do a series here ...Sunday nights with Doug.

Frankly, I have found the discussion here tonight more entertaining and interesting that all of the episodes of the show combined.

I wish you woul ask the producers of the show to have more respect for the viewers. We are not all a bunch of dummies looking for a cheap laugh.

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Quick responses inside

Good Evening Doug, Thanks for coming.
Submitted by BobLoveland on Sun, 2006-04-23 17:04.

Love the show, and looking forward to Season II. (Hint hint)

I'm curious about the entry process of the show. Did you and the other judges have to screen ALL the entries or was there a process to help weed out any of the absolutely absurd products, or were there multiple panels of judges and your team had the final say so?

NO THE PRODUCERS LOOKED AT MANY -- THEN WE SAW THE SECOND ROUND

Any idea of how many entries there were in the competition?

Thousands -- I've heard lots of numbers from 4,000 to 15,000

Did you see anything that didnt make it as an entry that you thought.. Hmm I want one of those..

The two that I mentioned previously and the Tank Go Cart - it was way cool.

Finally, if it were your decision to make, would you allow previous participants to re-enter into the competition for season 2 if there was one?

YES -- and I beleive that will be possible -- but check the rules when they come out

For example, if someone's prototype had some problems and didn't win.. What if between seasons the issues were resolved. Do you think that participant should be granted a second chance?

If they want to wait for hours again.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks to Doug and to

Thanks to Doug and to American Inventor Spot. You guus are awesome!!

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Sunday Nights with Doug

My son just yelled down to me from upstairs -- Sunday Nights with Doug....hey how Boring would that be.

It's great having Teenagers - -they keep my honest.

For those that care we have a 15, 17 and 19 year old.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

that's a copout. i will bet

that's a copout. i will bet you 10 to 1-- my $10,000-- that you were leering the entire time. no guts, no class.

Apr 23, 2006
by Alexis

I'm a happily married woman

and if the naughty knot woman came out I would be leering too. Regardless of whether or not Doug was leering, its irrelevant.

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Copout

I'll take the bet.

That's easy money.

Where should I have them send the unedited tape.

You need to understand the absolute absurdity of the situation. It was pandemonium -- the censors went crazy behind the lady (in our eye sight) - Mary Lou went crazy -- Peter and I couldn't stop laughing.

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

We'd love too... but we'd simply be happy if Doug comes back.

Truth is, Doug, like all of us, is a very busy person. And we're very grateful that he's spent time with us this Sunday night. Who knows, maybe he'll be back. We know we'd especially love to see him after HIS episode airs with his cutdown. But if not, I know it was well worth it.

Having just gotten off the phone with him, I know his fingers must be tired. He's been typing non stop since 9:30. So again, thanks to Doug from AmericanInventorSpot.com

And we ask all of you, to please spread the word about this site if you like what we've tried to do here. Post clips from our content with links back. Email friends. Whatever. Right now, we're just trying to drive as much traffic to the site as possible so that we can keep this crazy little thing we started going.

Apr 23, 2006
by Michelle
Michelle's picture

Please Take A Look Around

Thanks to Doug for your generosity in spending some time with us on this site. You have been wonderful to do this.

For those who are coming to this site to converse with Doug, I urge you all to look around the site, especially at our Invention Gallery at all the interesting inventions featured on our site.

I know Doug is a real supporter of the individual inventor and has done this in part to help enahce the ability of the inventors featured on our site to help get their dreams to market.

Apr 23, 2006
by Doug Hall

Good Night

My fingers hurt.

Remember the words of Franklin -- Up Sluggard And Waste Not Life. In the Grave Will Be Sleeping Enough.

Good night

Doug

Apr 23, 2006
by Amarsir

Awesome blog

Thanks again Doug, you're the best.

Apr 23, 2006
by BobLoveland

Night Doug Thanks for visiting..

Come again soon..

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

This was really cool.

This was really cool. Thanks you guys.

Apr 23, 2006
by BobLoveland

Eureka Ranch

Was curious to know if they ever work on ideas or products of their own rather than just contract work for other companies..

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Thanks. This was really

Thanks. This was really great.

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

So... what do you guys think?

Here's my take. I'm blown away by how generous Doug was with his time to come here and do a live blog. Obviously, he's welcome here any time. As are any of the other judges, producers etc. You here that Mary Lou, Peter, Ed, Liz B., Simon C?

Just go to the contact us spot in the nav bar and you to can work the fingers out for an hour or so.

Again, thanks Doug.

Apr 23, 2006
by BobLoveland

So what do you guys think? - I loved it as well!

I loved the event as well. I only found out about AIs 2 days ago, and quickly signed up to join in on the event. Unfamiliar with the format, I found myself posting to the WRONG PLACE... ARRGH.. but then I wasnt the only one..

But had a blast... Still reading it all.

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

The guys here did an awesome

The guys here did an awesome job. Everyone should go click on some ads for them... its like applause, guys.

Well done. I just clicked on a few just for you. Thanks!!

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Clicks are applause? Well,

Clicks are applause? Well, I never thought of it that way. Hah!

Apr 23, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey Bob, how did you find

Hey Bob, how did you find the site? I can't beleive it took you so long to find it.

Personally, I think this site just blows away the competition. They have great content, both serious and funny, and they really care about the inventors here.

They asked folks to post on other sites, but I don't really go on other sites. Maybe I should just to get people here. People who don't come here and watch the show are seriously missing out.

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

HAVE YOU VOTED LATELY IN BOOM OR BUST?

If not, click here to vote on the top 12 inventions. Let's see how right the judges are at the end of the day.

BOOM or BUST

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

THANKS ANONYMOUS FOR THE PRAISE.

We're doing our best. And damn, that takes work. We haven't figured out the ad thing yet. In other words, how to make any significant money to pay for all the hosting fees etc. But I believe in good Karma. Like that show Ed. And as our site traffic increases... well, we'll just wait and see how it all works out.

So please, direct people here. Link to us on your blogs. Advertise here. And if you see links or ads on our site that interest you, feel free to click through. Applause are welcome. If you're looking for a wacky gift, find it through one of our links. It helps. If you see a book through our Amazon link that you like, buy it through that link. It helps. If you want to secure a web domain, do it through one of our links, like the godaddy one. It helps.

Thanks for listening. And thanks to all our loyal supporters. If you come across any interesting articles or content out their on the web, let us know by contacting us in the nav bar.

And as always, keep on inventing.