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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:

Micheal Markowitz (from Shouldveaskedme.blogspot.com) wrote "So in the first hour of American Inventor, the finalists were told to put aside their inventions and talk about their passion. In the second hour, they were told to put aside their inventions and tearfully talk about their passion. Apparently, there is a direct tears-to-ingenuity ratio. I guess Thomas Edison was one big crybaby." "That woman judge, Mary Lou, is an example of the total Oprah-fication of America. I have been doing a lot of research for the "Boob Job" project, and I will tell you that the woman who created the bra for women with breast implants would make a FORTUNE if it's for real. But her blue-nosed sensibilities kicked in, and she refused to listen. Similarly, I'll bet even that one-knot lingerie would make more money than the fakokta maxi-pad-in-a-wig that Sinead is pitching."

Canimakemoneyonline.com wrote: Many of the people auditioning for the show have given up a lot for their invention. They have spent tons of money, sold their house, etc. Which is ok up to a point. Certainly persistence is extremely important in achieving success. But…

Quite a few of them have mentioned giving up their family, getting a divorce, losing their spouses, children, friends, etc. for their “dream”. Quite frankly that is going too far. When you give up your marriage, your children, your relationships, you are making a HUGE mistake. You might make a great invention that way. And maybe you will make millions. But then who will you have to share the joy with?

Deliriumsbones wrote: You know why American Inventor doesn't promise all the giggles of American Idol? Because it's not funny. In fact, it's deeply, deeply depressing. I've only seen an episode or two, but the problem is even when there is a horrible invention you'd normally laugh at, there is a very real person, who believes in it so absolutely they've ruin themselves financially, even personally, into the ground. One of our own posters Simmsays wrote in the comments here: "The very embodiment of a good inventor is someone who is ingenious and creative. Someone who can take very little and make it into something special. A good inventor is not someone who end up damaging his life, his job, his family, and losing his house to waste money for an invetion. I am appalled at the way they require inventors to cry and demean themselves. The ones smart enough not to suffer (other than the car seat guy) did not get through. Its transparantly maudlin and manipulative and that's why people are not watching the show."

What do you think? Has the show been fair to inventors and to the invention process? Have the producers done a good job with the show?

Comments
Apr 18, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

wrong message

I think HSN's Made in America was far superior. ABC's version is like a trashy Jerry Springer circus. It IS depressing watching all the derision and dejection the judges cause. It's like they are attacking the very things driving innovation. Sure it's uplifting seeing folks being encouraged and commended, that's fun tv. But (and this is not sour grapes folks) this show's modus operandi gets downright creepy in it's search for the ultimate letdown complete with full closeup and whacky music. It's building on sorrow with minmal pay off for a minmal number of people, and not very entertaining.

I'm not speaking for myself because I've moved on (sob-sob), but some people are not very resilient at this point in their lives, especially after putting EVERYTHING on the line. The show is reckless in it's encouragement of such bad behavior. No stupid toilet brush is worth losing everything over just to have the honor of making MLBoo-Hoo cry.

Here's what ABC should've wrote in it's open casting call:

"Gather round folks! Watch in fear as the Egghead makes people cry with his superior intellect and brilliant industry savvy and vision. Cry along with our very own Lady with Wet Eyes as she unearths your deepest passions. Cower in fear as the newest UK Royal Transplant rips the beating hearts from unsuspecting mover-and-shaker Donald Trump wannabes. See the Tough Guy with the bleeding heart. Come one. Come all! Oh,and bring your best sob story."

I think this show is a bad example of what this genre can be.

Apr 18, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

Gather round folks! Watch in

Gather round folks! Watch in fear as the Egghead makes people cry with his superior intellect and brilliant industry savvy and vision. Cry along with our very own Lady with Wet Eyes as she unearths your deepest passions. Cower in fear as the newest UK Royal Transplant rips the beating hearts from unsuspecting mover-and-shaker Donald Trump wannabes. See the Tough Guy with the bleeding heart. Come one. Come all! Oh,and bring your best sob story."

This is a brilliant summation of the story. So true it makes me want to cry. Thanks for saying it so well for all of us.

Apr 18, 2006
by bygeorge (not verified)

not so funny

the show is funny because it is a big joke, Simon said in a news paper artical that the show was not going to be a serious show, I guess I should have taken that into concideration when I did my audition and made an ass out of my self, maybe I would have made it to the next round, I was too serious about my invention because something that could possibly save a life is not a funny thing, and I didn't give up everything I own to do it, or alienated everyone I know to continue in my quest to get it manufactured, I don't think I will try again if there's another season, because the show is too degrading to the people who get to the next rounds, I just don't think I could cry that much, I don't have a sob story to tell.

Apr 18, 2006
by pattycake (not verified)

commentary indeed

This is the last time I will ever watch this show. What an abomination!

Why did we have to see the ricdiculous inventions that were turned down for the first half hour? They could have taken that time to let the final 24 have their15 seconds of fame. How about the take a seat and the hunting tower.?

I also have to say that the one invention that could help everyone was rejected with only a few clips. The Solar Polar Rock and Roller. This invention could help everyone in the world. Solar energy is the way to go. This product had it all except for a crying inventor who didn't seem to have a bad life.

I thought the guy was classy not to sell out and sob. IMO the only person who had a right to get teary eyed was the car seat guy. It is not the natural order of things to lose a child before yourself.

The rest of the crying babies were all crying about their bad choices. Unemployed, Foreclosed upon, kidney give ups, broke. I may be heartless but what the hell does that have to do with the next great american product?

Every one of those final 12 were a hard luck crying mess. Is this what America has come to? Where the losers ,YES, losers are held in high esteem for contributing just a little bit.

Mediocrity is the bane of our society.

The bike is dangerous and not good for children. But he is an inventor.

The Niya doll is not even unique or new. Dora the Explorer, Chatty Kathy!

The pad is usefull for some but I don't even see the major need for it.

The pool noodle guy, oh come on!! I have never played football and the majority of people in the United States have never played competitive football. Where is the market but that man "Didn't Care" about his house or his 5 kids or forclosure or losing his job…PLEASE!

The bathroom door hook!! China is so laughing at us right now. The next big thing is the bathroom door lock?

The easy Ex thing is downright unrightable. I am not going to take my weights on vacations with me are you going to pay an extra price for this to be flown to Hawaii? But he cried 24/7 and gave a true salute!! Make me gag!

The umbrella is available right now at Sharper Image.

The toner belt I just don't what to say about that one! And so on and so on.

IS THIS THE BEST AMERICA HAS TO OFFER?

No,
it is the best that American Inventor has to offer. . , a bunch of crying hard luck cases who have mediocre ideas at best.

Apr 18, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

"Mediocrity is the ban or

"Mediocrity is the ban or our society"

That is so true, there is the acceptance of mediocirtity as you don't want anyone to feel bad or feel left out. Everything is ok, and its never your fault.

Well, if you're in foreclosure, you made bad financial decisions. You did it and you should fix it, not me, not you momman and not the government.

It makes me sick.

Apr 18, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

Laughter, the best medicine

I used that bit of humor at the end so I wouldn't sound too serious because watching this show, it seems to me that, the gag is the letdown. The hook, the payoff, the cheapshot, call it what you want but I once thought (naively) that the goal was to find great products but instead, it seems to me, the goal is to dish out the most tears and unnecessary ridicule. My friends and family think the show is stupid if they watch it at all.

Maybe the best thing about American Idol is that it is live. Inventor is canned slapstick... in my most humblest of opinions. Don't get me wrong, I am greatful for the potential attention and wish all the particiapants the best of luck, but there's something that just doesn't feel right about how many people have been treated for the sake of a stupid joke. I hope everyone bounces back on their feet. (has the BulletBall table been returned yet? it's really bothering me) It's sad they didn't try to make it a more serious show.

On a lighter note, Bygeorge, when I click on your name it takes me to an AOL news page. What is your invention?

Apr 18, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

"norm" said over at

"norm" said over at Should'veaskedme:

"I thought they'd bring in some marketing people or industry representitives to go over the shortcomings of the inventions and see who could apply the criticism and move toward that next level.
I guess that would unfairly penalize the inventions that are already fully realized, but they needed something."

I agree and that is one of the things I thought was an interesting addition to HSN's Made in America. That show challenged each team's creativity while providing them with industry specific professionals, not a pack of poseurs. One team even had their interchangeable shoes ompletely redesigned by a shoemaker. That's entertainment!

Apr 19, 2006
by Wade Sun (not verified)

Wade's excerpt. (Inventor of the Disc Eraser)

Here is an excerpt from my Invention/Prototyping Guide-13 Steps to Successful Inventing. It will be posted soon (in all its full glory) on this website, so look for it!

Inventing is about trial and error, perseverance, learning, and thinking out of the box. Get help from others, read books and educate yourself, learn from others’ experiences, attend inventors goup meetings. When you fail, don’t give up. Move onto something else, don’t get bogged down. You have to focus on your best ideas. I’ve focused the last 2 years on my Disc Eraser with only 2 other projects on the side. Very few American Inventors have gone from conception to manufacture to market in 2 years’ time, by doing it alone, and spending less than 10% of my engineer’s yearly salary. I’m probably the most efficient do-it-yourself American Inventor, and I would rather serve as a role model than win that million dollar prize. Those finalists definitely need it more than I do! RULE#12 DON’T SPEND MORE THAN 20% OF YOUR INCOME ON INVENTING. It saddened me to see the American Inventors who sold everything, are in debt, jeopardize their health/family, or quit their jobs to pursue their ‘dream’. It is evident that spending money on inventing can be an addiction, just like gambling, and I’m glad the show points this out to people. I pray this article saves you a lot of time and money. This is the way that it should be for successful inventing, to manage cost. My dad has been my invention coach since I was young, always reminding me to keep things simple and easy, and has helped in all my inventions. He was a small time inventor, and so was my grandfather. I’ve learned much from failures and shortcomings in the past. Projects that had to stop for one reason or another, you have to let go of them. I wouldn’t spend over 5 years banking on one invention. Your time and resources are limited, but your mind and your ideas are not, so move on! Holding onto a losing invention is like a bad investment…you have to know when to get out early. I am glad I moved on to eventually invent the Disc EraserTM. RULE#13 MOVE ON, AND EVENTUALLY YOU WILL HAVE A WINNER! I hope you remember “lucky” Rule#13, use it, and good luck to all my friends, all you inventors out there! I hope you enjoyed this. I will probably go on to write a book, with other chapters covering what I didn’t discuss here. What did you get out of it? Feel free to email me, I’d like to hear from you.

RULE#1: INVENT FOR THE MARKETPLACE
RULE#2: BE AN EXPERT IN YOUR FIELD OF INVENTION
RULE#3: BE OBSERVANT
RULE#4: BE THOROUGH
RULE#5 RESEARCH BEFORE APPLYING FOR A PATENT
RULE#6 BE RESOURCEFUL
RULE#7 KEEP YOUR FIRST PROTOTYPE SIMPLE
RULE#8 KEEP YOUR DESIGNS SIMPLE
RULE#9 BE EFFICIENT
RULE#10 BE OPEN-MINDED AND CREATIVE
RULE#11 MANUFACTURE IF YOU CAN
RULE#12 DON’T SPEND MORE THAN 20% OF YOUR INCOME ON INVENTING
RULE#13 (Lucky)MOVE ON, AND EVENTUALLY YOU WILL HAVE A WINNER!

Apr 19, 2006
by Wade Sun (not verified)

Wade's excerpt. (Inventor of the Disc Eraser)

Here is an excerpt from my Invention/Prototyping Guide-13 Steps to Successful Inventing. It will be posted soon (in all its full glory) on this website, so look for it!

Inventing is about trial and error, perseverance, learning, and thinking out of the box. Get help from others, read books and educate yourself, learn from others’ experiences, attend inventors goup meetings. When you fail, don’t give up. Move onto something else, don’t get bogged down. You have to focus on your best ideas. I’ve focused the last 2 years on my Disc Eraser with only 2 other projects on the side. Very few American Inventors have gone from conception to manufacture to market in 2 years’ time, by doing it alone, and spending less than 10% of my engineer’s yearly salary. I’m probably the most efficient do-it-yourself American Inventor, and I would rather serve as a role model than win that million dollar prize. Those finalists definitely need it more than I do! RULE#12 DON’T SPEND MORE THAN 20% OF YOUR INCOME ON INVENTING. It saddened me to see the American Inventors who sold everything, are in debt, jeopardize their health/family, or quit their jobs to pursue their ‘dream’. It is evident that spending money on inventing can be an addiction, just like gambling, and I’m glad the show points this out to people. I pray this article saves you a lot of time and money. This is the way that it should be for successful inventing, to manage cost. My dad has been my invention coach since I was young, always reminding me to keep things simple and easy, and has helped in all my inventions. He was a small time inventor, and so was my grandfather. I’ve learned much from failures and shortcomings in the past. Projects that had to stop for one reason or another, you have to let go of them. I wouldn’t spend over 5 years banking on one invention. Your time and resources are limited, but your mind and your ideas are not, so move on! Holding onto a losing invention is like a bad investment…you have to know when to get out early. I am glad I moved on to eventually invent the Disc EraserTM. RULE#13 MOVE ON, AND EVENTUALLY YOU WILL HAVE A WINNER! I hope you remember “lucky” Rule#13, use it, and good luck to all my friends, all you inventors out there! I hope you enjoyed this. I will probably go on to write a book, with other chapters covering what I didn’t discuss here. What did you get out of it? Feel free to email me, I’d like to hear from you.

Apr 19, 2006
by Wade (not verified)

Sorry I posted 3 times!

I'm sorry I posted 3 times. I looked for my post at the top (can you re-arrange the most recent posts to be on the top?) so I mistakenly submitted it again, thinking it didn't go through. Sorry, I was just following my RULE#4: BE THOROUGH. :)

Apr 19, 2006
by bygeorge (not verified)

invention

bottleslingguy,I'm sorry but I can't say about my invention because I am in the prossess of trying to get it marketed, I will say that this thing could be used in just about every home, hotel, offices, and maybe even be incorperated into an automobile, sorry

Apr 19, 2006
by bottleslingguy
bottleslingguy's picture

????

It's not some kind of toilet, is it? :)

Apr 19, 2006
by bygeorge (not verified)

A Toilet????

No, guy, don't think a toilet could possibly save a life, unless you needed to heave something that you thought was going to kill you.haha, no it's not

Apr 20, 2006
by bygeorge (not verified)

#6

well, it's thursday, are we ready for another round of THE AMERICAN SOB STORY, the show is on tonight and yes I will tape it, I work nights, interested in seeing how $50,000 can be used to better a $30.00 football pole, or a $.79 door lock, the sad story here is the football guy spent that little amount of money but he still lost his home and family, the door lock womans husband better keep his job, she would have to sell about a billion of these before he could retire, the scoop guy better hope for more natural disasters or it will gather dust on the stores shelves, sweat pad lady would probably sell s lot of those out here in AZ. the bike kid, the cops are waiting for this one to come out, need to up their ticket quota, if it's still illegal to ride on handlebars, the excersize things my do well, someone is always wanting a mew way to stay fit,the um-brell, don't try to sell it in AZ, rained twice here in the last six months, but then again can be used for shade, the doll?, still not an invention, the word game, keep it in the kindergarden classes, kids today want vidio games where they can kill and mame, the toilet thingy, haven't seen much of that one, but we all know that everyone s%*$ stinks, then there's the car seat, if it will work with the added weight he's got a winner, we'll see tomorrow how things will tour out, hopefully I didn't offend anyone, just my thoughts.

Apr 20, 2006
by Anonymous (not verified)

When in doubt...cry, cry again

I agree that this show has too many sob stories. They can't all be true. I think everyone cried like a wimp because they where instructed to. The upbeat couple with the germ filtering toilet seat were the only people to deliver a presentation that spoke about a real invention and not a half assed re-invention with a sad back story. Loved it when he said he'd go to Mexico with the cash. Judges didn't like it but at least he's got a sense of humor. Maybe that's why they didn't show them as much as the cry babies.
I believe the only inventor on the show that has a real invention based on heartbreak is the car seat guy. Hope he moves on and takes the whole shi-bang.