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Advice for Inventors

IdeaWatch 2.0: Money Waiting for an Idea


Is your next great idea all dressed up with nowhere to go? Business plan in hand but no money in your pocket to get it off the ground? Now imagine the opposite problem...tons of money in hand but no one to turn your idea into reality. Ahhhh...the problems of a venture capitalist. Business 2.0 magazine is helping to bridge the gap between startups and investors by presenting 20 real-life ideas that venture capitalists are just itching to fund...to the tune of $100 million. read more »

What I Learned From...300


(c) Warner Bros.(c) Warner Bros.THIS IS SPARTA! If those three words haven't echoed through your family room over the last few weeks, you haven't been watching much TV. "300" is tops at the box office, with the highest March opening for a film ever. And while the movie itself, with its hyper-stylized violence and groteque baddies, may not be your cup of tea, within the movie is a message about being true to your vision and values, and not letting those be corrupted, no matter how great the reward...an important lesson for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for their big break. So strap on that leather loincloth and grab your shield. In this latest installment of "What I Learned From..." we're going to Thermopylae. read more »

TIPS For The TEAS Plus Trademark Application!


Yes, I know, "There's no such thing as the perfect trademark search." That's the favorite caveat of every searcher and trademark attorney (just in case they flub-up). But you and/or your professional search team have done the most thorough trademark search you could do... The time has come. File that trademark application!

I hope that the actual filing will not be anticlimactic for you, because the Trademark Office has made applying so easy with the new TEAS Plus application.

Still, I have a few tips to make it even smoother.... read more »

Community WiFi : IdeaWatch 2.0


What's the worst part of relying on WiFi to run your business? The unpredictability! Many stores and restaurants advertise as being WiFi-ready, but you never know until you show up whether or not it actually works the way you need it to, or worse, whether or not you have to pay! Enter FON, a Spanish company backed by the likes of Skype and Google to develop a community-based WiFi network that literally spans the globe. And with limited penetration in the U.S., FON presents a unique opportunity for enterprising minds looking to make a little money on the explosion of wireless connectivity. read more »

If You Think A Trademark Search Is Easy, You're Not Doing It Right!


The innocents do a Google or Yahoo search for their trademarks. Then they visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office, enter their favorite trademark in the blank box and no results are returned. Hurrah! Voila! This clever, creative, boss, rad, cool, hot trademark is all mine!

 

Little do they know... read more »

Need Great Market Research on the Cheap?


Need a better way to do market research?

Patrick Misterovich, our Guest Blogger, is a stay-at-home dad to three young boys and spare-time entrepreneur. He created the PEZ MP3 Player and
helped create the Helmet MP3 Player. His one-man company is Lincoln West
Studio
, LLC. He wanted to share some helpful tips with the inventors and entreprenuers at AmericanInventorSpot.com.

Here's his article
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How do you know your great idea is really great? read more »

The Brutal Truth About the Invention Process - Part III


Have an invention idea? Need help and advice about your invention?

Ed Zimmer has written what I think is one of the best articles on the web for inventors, "New Product Licensing" on his helpful website The Entrepreneurs Network.

We published Part I and Part II earlier this week. Here's Part III of his article: read more »

The Brutal Truth About the Invention Process - Part II


Have an invention idea? Need help and advice about your invention?

Ed Zimmer has written what I think is one of the best articles on the web for inventors, "New Product Licensing" on his helpful website The Entrepreneurs Network.

Yesterday, we had Part I. Here's Part II of his article: read more »

The Brutal Truth About the Invention Process


Have an invention idea? Need help and advice about your invention?

Ed Zimmer has written what I think is one of the best articles on the web for inventors, "New Product Licensing" on his helpful website The Entrepreneurs Network.

I thought is was one of the best distillations of the challenges of the invention process and it offers priceless advice for inventors. Here's Part I of his article:

* * * * *

You have a new product idea that you believe would sell very well were it only available on the market -- but you don't have the time or resources to "venture" the product, i.e., to manufacture it (or have it contract-manufactured) and sell it yourself. What now? read more »

Realistically, the best advice you could be given is to forget the idea -- and get on with your life.

What I Learned From...Letters from Iwo Jima


So you finally make it to the big presentation. That big sales call. Or you find yourself standing before a panel of judges in a contest. What do you do? How should you approach the situation? How do you get inside their heads? How do you convince them that your idea has value? Let's see what a recent film about one of the deadliest and most depressing battles of WWII has to say about the issue.
read more »

Four Things You Need to Know About Manufacturing in Asia


Thinking about manufacturing your product overseas?

Today, Asia is a hot topic amongst small businesses and inventors who want to benefit from the cost-savings there. If you are taking a product to market that will compete against products that have been on the market for some time, you might have no choice but to begin manufacturing overseas. Whatever your impetus, it's a topic that's worth becoming familiar with when you assess manufacturing options for your product. read more »

Reverse Product Placement : IdeaWatch 2.0:


Any marketer can get a product placement into a movie, TV show, or video game. But if you're really clever, you'll do just the opposite...find ways to turn fictional products into real ones. In this post we look at the new product development strategy called "reverse placement".
read more »

10 Top Tips For Branding Your Invention


I wanted to name my massage tools "Knuckles" because they are based on shiatsu massage, often accomplished with the knuckles of a massage practitioner's hands. But the word "knuckles" looked funny to me. When I transcribed "knuckles" more phonetically, the brand perked up! "Nukkles" said "fun," and "feel good," and it was zippy, and yes, it said the product feels like knuckles! read more »

Here are 10 tips to help you reach the perfect brand name for your new invention!

What I Learned From...V for Vendetta


I'm a big believer that what you find to be true in one area of life often has far-reaching implications for other areas of your life. So I'm starting this series on little nuggets of truth, advice or experience that I come across that are relevant to the world of inventing, small business and entrepreneurship and that I hope will give all of you who have joined me in this often crazy, unpredictable and dangerously fun world something to think about. And what better way to start than with a little anarchy...
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Inventor Partnerships Can Be Made In Heaven (Sometimes)


Inventors need partners highly skilled in their fields, but flexible in their approach. Good listeners. Adventurers. Partners who create a plan for the product, not squeeze a product into a plan.
read more »