The first advice given to a new writer is "Write what you know." It should, as well, be the advice given to a new inventor: Invent what you know.
That's exactly what Lisa and Colin King, the jigsaw-crazy couple from Lincolnshire Fens, UK, did when they began creating products for their favorite hobby, jigsaw puzzles.
It started five years ago, when the couple first developed the Jigsort, a jigsaw puzzle case that separates, holds, and carries parts of the puzzles that have been put together, and parts that have just been separated, by color or by object, for example. The pieces that are usually spread out all over a dining room table, with portions just barely separated, can be contained in the Jigsort without glue!
Soon after the Jigsort, the King's company, Jigthings, came out with Jigboard, where you can place your puzzle and carry it around from table to desk to bed to knee, if you must, so you can continue putting your puzzle together while others do their thing.
Then came Jigsafe, nesting boxes that keep your puzzle pieces safe and visible...
... and the Jigframe that doesn't use glue either!
And then came the Jigtable, that can function as a dedicated puzzle table as well as a one-person portable dining table, reading
table, computer table and just about any other functional table that needs wheels and several angle settings from the base.
Lisa and Colin King didn't invent their products in the dark; they knew their field and still did market research and made improvements on the jigsaw accessories available at the time. You can tell that by their product descriptions in which the inventors detail the differences between their products and others on the market. And they answer the question all inventors must ask themselves: Why is my invention not just different, but better?
The Jigthings website is simple and clean, with short demo videos for all products. All videos and still images are accessible to bloggers, like me, so Jigthings can take advantage of free publicity, without putting writers through the hassle of special requests for information or visual images.
Jigsthings' commerce easily adapts to both U.K. and American commerce. Its formula can easily be applied to every country in the world.
The Kings have not created rocket science. They are inventor-entrepreneurs who successfully followed some very basic rules in product development:
- They invented what they know;
- They created products that they and others need; products that are superior to their competitors, and they very simply explain why they are superior;
- They found a niche that would be a continuous market for their products; and
- They make it easy for customers to purchase, pay for, and receive their products.
The King's story is a roadmap for other inventor-entrepreneurs to follow - minus the blood, sweat, and tears. You won't escape them, as much as you try, but the Kings provide a blueprint: take it seriously and to the bank.