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Got An Invention? You Too Can Be Scammed!

  1. May 5, 2004 #1
    I always thought those TV adds offering "help" to inventors were fishy:


    MSNBC - Got an invention? You, too, can be scammed
    Address:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4863987/
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2004 #2

    Evo

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    There go my dreams for Evo's heated toilet seat. I would have been rich. :frown:
     
  4. May 6, 2004 #3

    jimmy p

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    Most things like that on TV are a scam... I cant believe TV could lie to us..

    "double your IQ or no money back!!!" there is alway some sucker who thinks 'yeah, i guess that sounds good' (usually said in a hillybilly/moronic accent)
     
  5. May 7, 2004 #4

    Math Is Hard

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    so much for my wicker blender and inflatable dartboard
    *sigh*
     
  6. May 7, 2004 #5
    My market research team has determined that these ideas are WINNERS! All both of you need to do is PM me with your credit card information. A mere $5000.00 per invention for our extensive development and manufacturing startups and both of you will be able to retire on the royalties in 6 - 8 months!!!
     
  7. May 8, 2004 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    Hi, my name is Ivan and I am a recovering inventor.

    (crowd chimes in) Hi Ivan!

    I have been invention free (tears well up in eyes) for ten years.

    (crowd applauds)

    I was once stuck in the morass of invention, day after day, with no way out. While a complete invention addict I had managed to invent [either on paper or up to a prototype or two]:

    The smart air conditioning system in 1978 (now used in energy efficient homes)

    “Sound cancellation” headphones and mufflers in 1980 (Bose headphones and Saturn exhaust systems)

    Pause live TV” in 1981 [now available in TiVo]

    automatic leveling systems for mobile CAT scans in 1982, now used on high end motor homes and at airports

    I had exclusive marketing rights outside of the US for a new camping product desired by the Russian army…got screwed on that one in 1994

    I did manage to get one product off the ground. Ten years later the sole survivor still sits in the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry [OMSI], with something like 2 or 3 million participants by now. OMSI had intended to market the device – an energy education thingy - and according to their numbers, over the next ten years I stood a good chance of making a small fortune. On the scheduled delivery day for the first unit, a 500 year flood did 6 million dollars in damage to OMSI. My marketing budget and about 4000 hours of work went right into the Pacific Ocean. Eventually the Museum recovered, but I could not afford to wait. I had bet everything on OMSI and we were out of money. The temporary, low end jobs that I worked to help support the effort brought in little income. As for the invention, in total I made about 50 cents an hour for two years of worth of work.

    I can’t even imagine how many bad ideas I have had; that I considered and then dismissed for one reason or another.

    The first problem is that most people don’t understand where the wheels hit the road. Generally speaking, it is not the product that matters, it is the marketing and manufacturing. Frankly, really great ideas are a dime a dozen. Also, technology typically drives the economic feasibility of high tech products. Large companies often sit on new product concepts for years, just waiting for the idea to become affordable. This is the case with the “pause live TV concept”. This was doable in 1980 but it was not affordable. No doubt many companies had realized this long before I started on the idea.

    Here is the most significant lesson in all of this from my point of view. I used to run with a sort of nutty, techno-renegade – he was very instrumental in the Biosphere Project…if that helps to give you some perspective. Since, unfortunately I got to know him too well, I will refer to him as I see him - I will call him Mr. Pseudo. One day Mr. Pseudo had a friend drop by who happened to be the founder and president of The Inventors Workshop – a well known group [advertising] that I had considered joining back in 1980. Note that I didn’t join. Anyway, he was telling me about all of the virtues of this invention support systems, this family of inventors, and that I would benefit greatly by joining. They had been around for over 25 years at that time. I asked how many successful inventors they had produced. Guess what the answer was? ZERO!
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2004
  8. May 9, 2004 #7

    Math Is Hard

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    sorry, Zoob. I already sunk all my money into a mousetrap invention this guy in Texas came up with.
     
  9. May 22, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    I just saw another hit and miss.

    About eight years ago I came up the idea of a toy telephone that allows family members, say distance relatives or a travelling parent, to record messages for the kids that can be played back on command. For example, say ten, ten second messages could be saved in a standard voice chip. Yesterday I saw that this idea is selling in the form of toy bears that talk.

    When I investigated marketing this idea, I could have done so, I know of an investor who would have footed the bill, [he also helped finance the drive through divorce industry] but I would have had to risk everything I own, and probably everything I ever will own, all years in advance, with no gauranteed customers. The toy industry, as it turns out, is no place for kids or sissies.
     
  10. May 22, 2004 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    OMG! They're still trying to sell it!

    I have gone through about three or four directors of marketing since the flood. The last time they called, again promising to pick up the ball and re-ignite the market for this thing, I finally realized that under no circumstances will I get back into "The Energy Bike" business. I basically told them to do whatever they want. By now everyone has stolen all of the good and unique ideas that we had. OMSI is still limping along with an ad.

    http://www.omsi.edu/store/exhibitsales/unit.cfm?Title=Energy Bike

    Watch, they probably started selling the darn thing right after I bailed.
     
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