Interview with Inventor Jim Tryfon Creator of the Zeus Multi Tool

In this inventor interview Jim Tryfon talks about creating his invention the Zeus Multi Tool which includes many DIY tools all in one.

Inventor Jim

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?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgepS9wMb7w

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.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-zeus-multi-tool/x/3868130

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.
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-zeus-multi-tool/x/3868130

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

Finding an Invention Partner

jigsaw

I don’t know about you, but as a creative I have always thought it would be great to have a partner to work on ideas with. The only problem is finding the right person to work with.

I have tried partnering up on ideas which was fun and a friend even recently asked me to do the same thing. The trouble is our skills don’t really complement one another – we both like doing the same bits of the process. We like the ideas, the design, but neither of us are good at the selling part.

Have you experienced the same thing?

I emailed Andrew Krauss, from InventRight to ask him if he would consider adding a section to the Inventright forum for finding an invention partner and he emailed me back with his advice.

His advice was good and I suggested he should make it into a blog post, he said he was thinking the same thing.

In the blog post he talks about finding someone with different skills to yourself and also about how to test a potential invention partner before you work with them.

You can find Andrew’s full advice for finding an invention partner here http://inventornotes.com/2012/10/20/inventor-partnerships-sweet-dream-or-nightmare/

PS. Ideas person, with graphic design skills SEEKS ideas person with strong sales skills and tons of focus for invention partnership.

Stephen Key Invention Licensing Seminar in Belfast November 13th 2012

Stephen Key InventorStephen Key, inventor and author of One Simple Idea will be part of a Licensing Seminar to be held in Belfast on Tuesday 13th November

Cost £50 +VAT (which includes lunch and a copy of Stephen’s Book).

If you want to learn more about licensing your ideas you can find out more at:

http://www.eventfulreg.com/index.php/investni/stephen-key

Stephen Key Licensing Seminar

Tuesday 13 November 2012, 09:00 → 17:00
Riddel Hall, Stranmillis Road, Belfast

New Book One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs by Stephen Key Coming Soon

One Simple Idea by Stephen KeyIf you have read my blog before you may be aware that I am a big fan of Stephen Key’s method of licensing ideas without spending much money. Stephen Key’s previous book “One Simple Idea” is one of my favourites on invention and licensing so I was excited when Stephen emailed me to say he has a new book coming out soon. This time still called “One Simple Idea” but aimed at “Startups and Entrepreneurs“. The book will be out on November 5th from Amazon and Barnes and Noble and I am very keen to get reading. Stephen has also volunteered to do a Skype interview when I have read the book.

You also can get special bonuses ordering the book through the Inventright website

One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs

A brief Synopsis from One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs from the notes Stephen sent me

One Simple Idea for Startups and Entrepreneurs, helps people understand how to kick fear to the curb and start a business. There are four major things to do to be able to make a dream become a reality.

Keep it simple

If you focus on simple ideas, it can help you face your fear and overcome anxiety. It isn’t necessary to reinvent the wheel to start a business.

Ways of testing an idea

It may seem like a huge undertaking to try and test a simple product, but there are easy ways to do this to help shove the anxiety of starting a business aside.

How to plan

The best way to plan your business is to do the math. The bottom line is, at the end of the day, can you put money in your pocket?

Keeping it going

This is one of the most daunting things to consider when starting a small business.

Everybody has an idea. The idea of starting a business is frightening, but these things helped me understand how to take away the risk, and find the courage to jump off the ledge.

Interview with Bryce Taylor who Invented the Halo Trainer

Bruce Inventor of Halo TrainerIn this inventor interview Bryce Taylor tells the story of how he invented and developed the Halo Trainer, a piece of exercise equipment that can fit over a stability exercise ball to create hundreds of exercise options.

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

Bryce: Bryce Taylor, Halo Trainer, halotrainer.com

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

Bryce: Practicing physical therapist in Indianapolis, outpatient ortho/sports medicine background, part time athlete, and former personal trainer, always wanted to invent since middle school. I’ve had many ideas along the way such as swiveling car seats to improve transfer into the car for aging adults or disabled. I have never sought funding for intellectual property until this recent project.

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

Bryce: I was creating new core stabiization methods with the stability ball and realized that it needed handles to control the ball better. The Halo Trainer is an ergonomic friction-fitting apparatus that fits over a stablity ball to create hundreds of new or modified exercises to help people improve core strength and flexibility.

Halo Trainer Fitness equipment invention

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

Bryce: I couldn’t stop thinking of the idea of handlebars for a stability ball once the idea came to mind. I then took my idea to a local manufacturer to discuss next steps.

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

Bryce: The inital drawings were nothing like the final product. The concept was molded in my mind and finally it required wire to create a 3-D representation of the prototype. The wire was then replicated by bending soft copper tubing in real size. From that copper tubing prototype, a CAD drawing was constructed by a word-of-mouth referral.

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

Bryce: I immediately sought legal council to protect the idea. I hired a local firm and discussed the idea with a patent attorney. Later came trademark protection.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFR3O985RWI

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

Bryce: I initially thought licensing the idea would be best for my lifestyle and family but then took it on with the expectation that this can grow slowly with low pressure. That’s not realistic by the way!

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

Bryce: I had a referral for a manufacturer. Investors were needed for the project to get to market. I found people were asking to invest because they liked the product so much.

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

Bryce: I haven’t found the best way yet. It takes a lot of time and money to promote a product. I have built a website that is currently being redeveloped and optimized.  I feel that the internet is where many curious onlookers will stumble upon my product but the site just hasn’t been optimal for attracting new clients.  I have attended a couple industry tradeshows where the networking has been great but the return on the investment isn’t always quite there.  I am considering online sales promotions through social media.

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

Bryce: Manufacturing mishaps. The product design and development went so smoothly until conversion to mass manufacturing.  We had to decline the first imported container because the product was not to the same standards as the previous reviewed samples.  It’s all fixed now though.

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

Bryce: 2.5 years

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

Bryce: Absolutely!  There are too many to list here.  Let’s just say that we grow wiser with years.

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

Bryce: First consider if there is a true need for the invention in the marketplace, determine the target market, and ask many questions.

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

Bryce: www.halotrainer.com

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