Food For Thought

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Food For Thought

The title of this article “Death of the Shadetree Mechanic” hit me like a baseball bat between the eyes. When I was growing up, the Can Do spirit of the WW2 generation was all around us.

Everybody, sometimes with the help of a more knowledgeable neighbor, did their own home repairs, decorating, renovations, car repairs, you name it. Then, as life got more complicated and technology evolved, you started to need special equipment as well as new knowledge to take advantage of it all.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still shade tree mechanics out there doing all sorts of things in their driveways, garages and on the road under a shade tree but what has this to do with inventing.

Think about it for a second. All the experiences of  Doing It Yourself (DIY) opens up the creative mind and it gives you the confidence that you can figure out how to get things done with what you have available. I think, we, as inventors need a little bit more of this in our lives so we can cobble together Frankenstein prototypes or even quality parts and not just leave it to the 3D printers of this New World. Here is a link to the article

This is a link to a video about IKEA closing their last manufacturing plant in the US . In the back ground it shows a really interesting process for forming wooden chairs. Ok, I know, most guys get off on cars, sports, maybe porn. I really Love manufacturing processes. Please don’t have me arrested.

However, getting back to prototypes, Smooth On is an incredible resource for the DYI prototyper. They sell all sorts of pourable plastics that can be used to make anything that you can imagine. They have a ton of educational videos. We are fortunate to have one of their  Reynolds Advanced Material stores right in Orlando. They are a treasure trove of stuff you won’t find anywhere else, with a knowledgeable staff to help you as well as live seminars and demonstrations to show you how to DIY. They’ve just added a new group of stores. Here is the press release.

Once you’ve developed a great prototype, what do you do with it? Use it to get public reaction to find out if anybody really wants it enough to buy it. Trade shows and EXPOs are great places for this and our friend David Wood from ICCF let us know that the big Maker Faire up in Orlando is coming on November 9th and 10th. You can find more information here and sign up.

Once you prove that you’ve got a winner, you are going to need to start banging on doors to get it licensed or get it into retail. Unfortunately, I’ve got some bad news for you, Industry Professionals usually consider inventors useless dreamers. So, not only do you need to prove the validity of your product but that you are a professional and an expert in that field. I know a lot of unsuccessful inventors who say that they can’t do this or don’t want to be bothered to do this.

Well … that’s why they are unsuccessful. Check out this 10 year old girls’ story. She turned her passion to save the honey bees into a lemonade product that has turned into a Multi Million Dollar Whole Foods deal.  There is a news video on her that shows just how much of a businesswoman she is … at 10 years old!

Karen Kilpatrick of Jazzwares a huge toy company right here in South Florida and Women In Toys (WIT) gave us a presentation just a few months ago. She told us of her involvement with a new product that she called Hair Bling. I just watched a members only webinar on the product and I was blown away.

Angie Cella, single mother of I believe 4 girls came up with the product now called the Blinger four years ago. It is a way to attach various charms, sparklely gems, etc., to a persons’ hair clothing or anything else for that matter. What impressed me the most, was that she attacked this like a real business. She had a serious attitude and failure was not an option. She and her family decided to sell there home to fund the venture.

She went through 3 or 4 prototypes before she got it down to a manufacture-able product, ran a successful kick started campaign and went to WIT Empowerment Day to pitch it to Wal-Mart.

She said she learned more in that one day then she did in the last 4 years. She also found Michael Rinzler of  Wicked Cool Toys who licensed the product. He redesigned it, promoted it and it became the hit of the New York Toy Show just a few months later. It is being sold on Amazon and in Target stores. Check it out here

I would strongly advise anyone working on something for the toy business to consider going to Empowerment Day which is right around the corner on October 1st. Here is a link to their website Only women can take advantage of the one on one sessions and pitch sessions but apparently, there are a lot of other events worth going to, while you are there.

Another event really worth going to is our next meeting on 8/10/19 at 1:00 pm at the civic center in Patch Reef Park in Boca Raton.

It will feature, Bruce Borenstein, author of “Don’t Be A Schmeckle” “A Road Warriors’ Perspective On Sales In The Fast Lane”. After 30+ years of a stellar career in sales and sale management, Bruce has become not only a true expert on the subject matter but an excellent teacher. He has a common sense approach to some very complicated issues that just makes everything seem so simple.

This man is a whirlwind of business knowledge that you Will need to succeed. So while you’re thinking about it, register now by going to

Doors open at 12:30. Why not come early enough to meet some new friends.

In keeping with our Better Than FREE policy. If you register on line and check your name off the list at the door before the meeting starts, you’ll get a ticket for a drawing where you could win a valuable prize.

Whoa, that was more like a holiday dinners’ worth of thoughts.

Hope Some Of It Was Useful For You,





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