Find a Mentor / One to One Learning Swap

learning swap mentorship

It’s always difficult to learn something new, but wouldn’t it be cool if you had someone who could help you one-to-one?

And what if it was totally free

Let’s face it one-to-one tuition and mentorship is USUALLY pretty expensive, but what if we all helped each other by swapping our skills?

FILL IN THE LEARNING SWAP FORM HERE

For Example – I am learning to program Ruby on Rails and would love to have a Mentor I could go to when I am really stuck. Well, I would be happy to help them learn design or even do some design work in return.

You could swap

  • Business start up help for Photoshop work
  • Help with drawings of your invention for Marketing Help
  • Spanish conversation practice for Maths help
  • Design Mentoring for Guitar Mentoring

You get the gist – you swap some of your time/expertise for the other persons.

Interested?

FILL IN THE LEARNING SWAP/ FIND A MENTOR FORM HERE and if there are enough people interested I will put together a mailing list with what everyone is looking for. and see how we can help each other.

PS. Please share the link with your friends, the more people interested the more chance of getting a good match.

www.docs.google.com/forms/d/1o-Bg6UNcyBEhYDBCPejwOhE1zeSFhYiyDNiEyMFUyj8/viewform

 

Learn to Create a Startup Business or Product – Free and Cheap Online Classes

I just wanted to let you know about a few free and inexpensive classes which might be of interest to anyone wanting to start a business or create a product on a shoestring budget. I am not sure how long the free courses with remain free, so sign up if you are interested quickly (I have).

Running Lean: Raise Your Odds of Building a Successful Product – Free

lean start up class

“The class is designed for entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs looking to launch a startup idea or bring a new product to market. It will show you how to get starting by first capturing your initial vision (or Plan A) and then how to bullet-proof this vision and begin the process of stress-testing your business model.”

Find out more about the free class and enrol on Skillshare.com

Minimum Viable Product: Launch Your Startup Idea for Less than $1,000 – Free

This class is taught by the creator of Skillshare

Minimum viable product skillshare class

“Clearly communicate your startup idea in one sentence Identify the holes in your startup idea and the top 2-3 solutions to plug them Create an action plan with your first five (5) action steps towards validating your startup idea for less than $1,000 Choose one key metric you’ll use to measure success”

Find out more about the free class and enrol on Skillshare.com

Start a profitable business without needing a tech co-founder – $25 (but save $10 with my link below)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwbtSPQ8jAY

This class is taught by Noah Kagon who has worked for Mint, Facebook and now owns Appsumo. He has ery simple ways of testing ideas.

“What you’ll learn in this course: How to validate your business ideas and determine if its worth pursuing and  how to find your first customer”

Find out more about the free class and enrol on Skillshare.com (please note this link gets you a discount of $10 and I will also get a $10 credit)

Manufacturing: Design, Source and Manufacture Your Product Idea – $25 (but save $10 with my link below)

product development and manufacture

I have no experience of this class,  but it looks like it could be useful for anyone wanting to get a product manufactured

“You’ll finish knowing how to design, source, and manufacture your product in a step-by-step process. You’ll learn basic manufacturing “speak”, prepare for “sticky spots” like vetting factories and ensuring quality control, and hear from a range of guest experts in this field. You’ll also have access to Vendor and Supplier referrals from myself and my team. You’ll walk away with your very own Production Plan that you can use to take your idea from concept to finished product.”

Find out more about the free class and enrol on Skillshare.com (please note this link gets you a discount of $10 and I will also get a $10 credit)

 

 

 

Interview with Adrian Hayward Inventor of Pick Tack for Guitar Players

An inventor interview with Adrian Hayward, who invented the Pick Tack – a guitarist pick holder with a twist. Make sure you check out his Kickstarter Campaign

Pick Tack Inventor

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?

Adrian: I am currently living in Minehead, Somerset UK and I conceived my first invention at 12 years old. I sought advice from a few people and even went to a business advisor a while later, but didn’t have the tools to proceed. A few years later I saw that my idea was on the market but someone else had got there first! I was gutted that I hadn’t been able to do anything with it but it gave me confidence that my idea had been a winner.

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?

pick tack diagramAdrian: Pick Tack is a simple pick holder with a twist. As well as storing 3 picks, like many conventional holders, it has a putty pad that enables you to stick and retrieve your plectrum quickly and easily when you’re playing. Many people seem to invent by problem-solving. I have always found the ideas come to me without any obvious thought process, effort or build up. That may not seem like helpful information but I have found that my best ideas come when I get out of the way of them and allow them to surface.

The idea of Pick Tack came in the way I’ve just described: I have been playing guitar for over 25 years. My unique playing style requires that I constantly change between pick and finger methods.

When I invented Pick Tack, I was performing professionally around my area of the South West and I found that I was always mislaying my pick between songs or sets. I would balance it on the music stand, balance it on the guitar or even hold it between my teeth. The last option, although more effective than the other two, only worked if I wasn’t singing. I’ve seen many guitarists struggle with this same issue.

After looking at the problems and solutions from many different angles, I came up with a solution that solved all of my requirements and Pick Tack was born, or at least I had found a substance that solved the problem. It would be a while before it became Pick Tack as it is today.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTA1VZvW_8M

Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?

Adrian: From the age of about 14 until late 2012 (22 years later), I had all but forgotten about inventing. Initially, the idea was purely a personal solution and it didn’t dawn on me that it was a marketable idea.

At that point I had been trying various kinds of self-employed work because I knew I didn’t want a regular job. I had very little work coming in and wasn’t satisfied with any that I did have. I was spending every day on the internet looking for jobs and work-at-home opportunities. An idea came to me to look up courses on inventing and I came across InventRight and looked into what they had to offer. It only took me a few hours to realise that their course was exactly what I needed so I scraped the money together for the first instalment and signed up.

With the InventRight course you get personal mentoring from one of the two co-founders and I soon had my first Skype call with my mentor. I discussed some of the ideas that I had and he advised that I go for something simple to start off with. I chose what would later become known as Pick Tack and began to work through the 10 steps laid out in the course.

pick tack invention for guitars

Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?

Adrian: I was invited to a wedding and on the way up, my friend asked me what I’d been up to. I told them about the course and shared a couple of my ideas with them. They informed me that I would be sharing a room where we were staying with a guy who was a 3D designer. That night, we stayed up for hours discussing my ideas and he said he’d be up for helping to design what was still just a concept in my mind. After a few weeks we had 3 designs and I had picked one to use as the centrepiece for a sell sheet to give to companies to promote my idea. Using the CAD file, the designer was able to create a rough prototype so we could shoot a video for promotion.

Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?

Adrian: My mentor advised me to patent the idea just before approaching companies. I had decided I would go for the US market, partly because InventRight is based there and so I thought I’d take advantage of the expertise and having an avenue in. This meant I was able to utilise their provisional patent option, which allows you to file a claim in plain English rather than legal speak. I used a book called Patent Pending in 24 hours by Richard Stim, Attorney. It gave me all the info I needed to put together a document that I was confident had covered all the necessary information and requirements.

Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?

Adrian: InventRight is setup to help people take their idea to market through licensing to companies, so that was always my intention. I was looking for a way to free me up to concentrate on my music career without the music bearing all the pressure of providing my entire income. I had been approaching manufacturers for a few months in the music industry and had been finding it hard to even get to the right people. I had some encouraging responses from some very reputable companies, but none that wanted to include Pick Tack in their retail line.

I came to a point where I felt that I needed to consider other ways of taking Pick Tack to market. I got in touch with an old contact who has been a successful entrepreneur for many years. He got back to me within a few hours and we talked things through, and as a result I decided to venture Pick Tack as a business. From then on, the whole dynamic changed for the better.

Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?

Adrian: My friend, who I just referred to, is already connected with a manufacturer that he has used for a while so I was able to make use of an already existing arrangement. We decided it would be a great idea to launch the project on Kickstarter and it has just gone live today at the time of writing. Kickstarter is an amazing platform for raising the initial capital needed to get things off the ground. It also proves that there is a market for whatever you’re funding and helps to create a fan base. I have put some of my own money in as well but have tried to keep that to a minimum, as nothing is guaranteed when it comes to business. It is possible to keep running costs very low if you are resourceful and it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality.

Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?

Adrian: As I’ve just mentioned, Kickstarter is an amazing place to host your product and has a great following, but this on its own is not enough. You need to find a way to get people to the site to look at it. The number one way I have chosen to promote is through social media, especially Facebook. I made a list of relevant people that I thought would be interested in Pick Tack or willing to help spread the word. I then contacted them all one by one to tell them about the launch. This way I hoped it would have a personal feel, rather than just me spamming them to get likes or money.

I will be contacting bloggers and music publications as well, to try and widen my reach but these are secondary methods.

Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?

Adrian: Although Pick Tack has not made it to market yet, there have been some difficult obstacles to overcome so far. When you work with others, you are often restricted to their timetables and ways of doing things. I am referring to the big companies that I approached over the last few months. They take their time about everything and they have their way of doing things. This can be very frustrating when you want to move things along.

I have struggled a great deal with maintaining belief and enthusiasm in what I’m doing during the long period of waiting for ‘a break’. I think time can be one of the biggest killers of dreams!

The most difficult obstacle for me to overcome was one that I believe nearly everybody faces who has not been taught the best ways to take something from concept to market. It is not a science but a learning experience and I cannot imagine that I would be where I am without input from people who have already been down the kind of paths I’m now taking. The biggest help for me along the way has been a course that guides you through proven steps to take and a mentor who has the experience to navigate through the twists and turns that are brand new to me but that he’s seen many times before. I can’t recommend enough finding someone who can help in this way!

Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?

Adrian: From the point of conception until now and reaching Kickstarter, it has been about 10 months and providing the Kickstarter project is successful, it should only be about 2 or 3 more to market. I have loved nearly every minute of it and don’t really view it as ‘work’, although I have worked incredibly hard throughout this time on this and other projects, some days working as much as 18 hours. I mention this because I always believed that business ventures were the easy way out and I never believed the veterans when they said how hard it can be. I genuinely thought that my journey would be different but it has been long and hard (as well as incredibly enjoyable).

Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?

Adrian: As I have said, I had a proven method to follow so that eliminated a lot of the mistakes I would have otherwise encountered. The only thing that I would probably do differently is to spend less time trying to perfect everything. It’s in my nature to do so, as with a lot of inventors, but it doesn’t make enough of a difference to warrant the time it takes.
I have ended up venturing the idea, so have been able to retain a lot of the ideas I came up with. If I had ended up licensing, it it’s possible that the manufacturer would have changed a great deal of stuff I’d agonised over. Not only would this have wasted some precious time but it would have been harder in the long run to let go of control when it came to a licensing deal.

Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?

Adrian: Don’t give up. You never know when a breakthrough’s going to come. Actually, it often seems to come just after you had the chance to give up but didn’t take it. Find a mentor or anyone wiser who is further along the journey than yourself. Learn how to learn. The internet is full of amazing advice but there’s so much of it and at first you have no way of measuring its accuracy or validity. The more you learn, the more efficient you become and the faster you can find out what you need to know. Create space to be creative and learn to feed yourself with the best ideas and information for you, so that inventing is just a natural by-product.

Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?

The best place at the moment is the Kickstarter site. It has everything anyone could want to know about the story behind the idea, the benefits it brings and the way to get one if you want one.

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/PickTackClassic, Twitter – https://twitter.com/PickTack

 

 

 

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Free Online Course to Learn to Develop Innovative Ideas for New Companies

I just found out about a new FREE online course which is supposed to teach you how to develop new ideas

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEJZdizgP1k

From the website:

“Explore how to identify and develop great ideas into great companies. Learn how to identify opportunities based on real customer needs. Develop solid business models. Create successful companies.”

The course is self paced but starts May 20th 2013 (6 weeks long)

find out more at www.coursera.org

Found via: Inventors Society of Florida Newsletter

 

Interview with George Wood the Inventor of FREEZE N GO

George Inventor Freeze N GoIn this inventor interview George Wood explains how he took a problem that was bothering him, (not being able to keep a drink cool at night) and created his FREEZE N GO invention to solve it.

Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?

George: George Wood, FREEZE N GO freezengo.com

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?

George: I’m located in Jensen Beach, Florida. My background is in sales, 25 years in the hardware industry and 10 in ceramic/porcelain flooring distribution.

Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?

George: It is a personal beverage cooler that when frozen, will keep your beverage cold for over 12 hours indoors. For over 40 years I have gone to bed with a cold drink only to wake up in the middle of the night and it was warm, no way to keep it cold. When I was cleaning out the freezer one day, I accidently left a freeze gel pack on the counter overnight. When I went to move it the next day, it was still cold. I went to Walmarts and purchased four additional but smaller freeze gel packs. I then went home and duct taped them together around a bottle of water. I then put the duct taped freeze gel packs in the freezer overnight. The next day, I removed the unit and put a bottle of water in it and a thermometer in the bottle of water, it stayed at 38 degrees all day long, thus the FREEZE N GO was born. I used it for a week next to my bed, it worked great but needed something to insulate and reduce the condensation. I ended up making a 5mm neoprene sleeve to wrap around the FREEZE N GO to insulate and reduce condensation. The insulation sleeve also makes a great “billboard” to advertise on.

Invention prototype

Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?

George: After using the duct taped unit for a week and liking it so well, I proceeded in making a smaller unit out of cardboard to see what it would look like. I then researched it on the Internet to see if there was anything like it on the market. Not finding anything, a patent attorney was hired to do a patent search. The search came back clear in about six weeks, I then applied for a utility patent which was granted in less than 120 days.

Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?

George: After receiving the patent, I contacted a plastic injection manufacturer with my cardboard prototype to design it in detail on their 3-d cad computer. After being satisfied with the final design, a plastic injection mold was made to produce the FREEZE N GO.

Keep drinks cold invention

Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?

George: As stated, the FREEZE N GO is patented and trademarked.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5orQhPqobyE

Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?

George: Didn’t really want to get involved with the manufacturing of it but had to see if it actually worked as intended. Now that we know that it works, would love an opportunity to license it to an existing manufacturer that can market it throughout the world. Because of the “Mass Appeal” the FREEZE N GO has, I have had request for distribution from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico and Russia. In fact, Russia did a story on the FREEZE N GO in their publication titled “Top 1000 Marketing Ideas of the World”.

Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?

George: I knew that there would be a number of issues to be resolved during the manufacturing process. If it was made in China, I would not have been able to be involved in correcting the issues we were presented with. I wanted a manufacturer that was located close to resolve issues as they came up. I probably took over thirty trips (twenty miles away) to my selected manufacturer to resolve various issues. A majority of the funding came from a personal friend and former employer.

NOTE: For years we have gone to Las Vegas yearly to have a good time. I always complained while in the hotel room that I could not keep my drink cold all night. I told him if I could ever invent something that could, I’d be rich. Well I invented it, but sure haven’t gotten rich yet!!!!

Freeze N Go Invention advert

Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?

George: The best way would be television and the most expensive. Social media including Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube would be good if I would learn more about it. I’m currently selling the FREEZE N GO’s on my web site at www.freezengo.com, Jamin’ Jensen, a street type table top shin dig in my home town of Jensen Beach on Thursday nights, a couple local golf courses, local Ace Hardware Stores and word of mouth. Approximately 2,000 have been sold since production.

Probably the best way to promote and market the FREEZE N GO is with the insulation sleeve that comes with it. The sleeve makes an excellent four sided “Billboard” to promote or license a wide range of businesses, schools. Hotels, restaurants, fund raisers and casinos to name a few. In fact, we have a pending order for 1800 units from a casino located in Washington State and a watch maker located in Miami for a promotion this summer.

Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?

George: I would have to say the issues we have had with the plastic cracking after multiple freeze thaw cycles. We ended up using a resin instead of a plastic, a more expensive product.

Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?

George: It took a little over two years, nearly eight months to get the mold made and delivered.

Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?

George: Several things, would design a multiple mold to produce two or four units at a time and automate filling and sealing via sonic weld.

Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?

George: Don’t give up and make sure that you have the financial resources to reach your goal.

 Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?

George:  www.freezengo.com, FREEZENGO Facebook and a number of articles on the Internet.

Are you an inventor or invention expert with an interesting story or advice to share? Please get in touch via the contact form or email tara (at) ideasuploaded (dot) com

Inventor Portraits – Video Inventor Interviews

If you have read this blog before you may well know that it features inventor interviews – now about 100 in total. I came across another blog that has inventor interview that I thought might interest you. These video interviews are beautifully shot, they look like something you would see on TV. You can check them out at http://www.davidfriedmanphoto.com/blog/inventors/ or watch a few of them below.

Inventor Portrait: Steven Sasson

Inventor Portrait: Ralph Baer

Inventor Portrait: Tami Galt

http://www.davidfriedmanphoto.com/blog/inventors/