In this inventor interview Jim Tryfon talks about creating his invention the Zeus Multi Tool which includes many DIY tools all in one.
Tara: What is Your name, invention name and website URL?
Jim: My name is Jim Tryfon and my invention is the Zeus Multi-Tool. www.zeusmultitool.com
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
Jim: I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia where I live. Inventing has been in my veins you could say, with my dad and I building what I thought was a first at the time – a three wheeled billy cart with pedals I called the ‘ambulance’, when I was 11.
My folks certainly gave me good grounding and encouraged me to follow my passion. I got a solid education and worked my way up in the corporate arena yet something was missing. Building business units does not allow you the creativity inventing does, and why I feel I have now come back to my creative roots.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
Jim: The Zeus Multi-tool was born from an idea to equip the average urbanite and outdoor enthusiast with a tough tool that’s compact, yet extremely functional. It’s flexible enough for all those home and office DIY jobs, while tough enough for the avid camper, snowboarder or fisherman. It includes a flip screwdriver with 16 bits, triple function pliers, knife & saw, flip hammer, detachable spirit level and LED light housed in a small unit – 46mm (height) x 40mm (width) x 130mm (length).
Last year, I underwent back surgery – spinal fusion for a desiccated disc. This was a good opportunity to re-evaluate where I was in my life and how the idea behind the Zeus Multi-Tool came about.
Essentially, I could no longer work my office job, and so I moved out of the apartment I was renting and moved in with my sister. As, part of the packing process, a mate and I wanted to disassemble some IKEA type furniture and put it in storage, yet I quickly found I didn’t have the right tools. By the same token, I wanted to make some changes to the room I occupied in my sister’s place; a lock on the door and hang some artwork.
When I had a screwdriver, I needed an allen key. When I had an allen key and screwdriver, I also needed a hammer. When I had a hammer…well I’m sure you get the picture…
That’s when I came up with the idea for a handy single unit that could house multiple functions and the idea behind the Zeus Multi-Tool was born.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
Jim: I sketched the idea on paper and then engaged a local company who engineered it into computer aided line diagrams and 3D rendering designs. To be on the safe side, I downloaded a confidentiality agreement from the internet and had them sign it.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?
Jim: Well, once the designs were completed, the company fabricated a number of prototypes – first with plastic, then with metal. I am I now trying to raise funds via a crowdfunding campaign to commercialise the invention including moulding, tooling and a first production.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
Jim: Yes, I secured a US Provisional patent & Australian provisional patent via the online patent process of the respective agencies websites. My brother-in-law is a lawyer so I sought his help with this as well.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
Jim: am very proud of the Zeus Multi-Tool’s development to date and committed to seeing it through to its first production run and beyond. What initially started as a sketch, evolved into a concept and now a fully functional prototype. I may look at licensing down the track once in production.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
Jim: The same company I used for the designs has a sister company that does their manufacturing. To date, the entire project has been self-funded including CAD designs, prototypes and patents.
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
Jim: I’m finding this out now but I think having a website and using social media helps along with traditional face-to-face meetings now that I have a working prototype.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
Jim: Well it hasn’t been brought to market yet, but the most difficult element to date is the lack of sufficient funding to move forward.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
Jim: Well to get to the stage I am at now with a fully functional prototype has taken around 1 year. As I have funded it entirely myself, it has been a rather slow process.
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
Jim: I am pretty happy with what I have done to date and can’t say I have any major regrets. If I had to do it all again, I would look at getting partner on board from the start to share the development costs.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
Jim: Stay true to your idea despite what others may say. Everyone will have an opinion and so don’t get too hung up on that. Read, read and read some more so you can to do as much as you can yourself. There are some great free information resources on the internet, particularly around DIY patenting.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
Jim: They can visit the Zeus Multi-Tool website at www.zeusmultitool.com I also invite them to have a look at the crowdfunding campaign and share feedback.
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