In this inventor interview David Sykes talks about his invention the Multitask Joist Hanger
Tara: What is your name, invention name and website URL?
David: David Sykes – Multitask Joist Hanger – www.new-inventions.co.uk
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about where you are based, your background experience how you first started inventing?
David: I am based in Aylesbury – Buckinghamshire – England
Today I am a retired ‘OAP’ who requires funding for the Invention and create a ‘BRAND NAME’ for the product
Life began as a bonded apprentice to the motor trade as a Coach Builder & more, when I completed my apprenticeship I changed careers for one of Public Service and was very much focused on problem solving on every aspect life could bring with it in the Human sense. This provided an opportunity as the years rolled by to use my skills and experiences in focusing and challenging my knowledge into Disruptive technology – Doing things differently and to improve on the present at the time – Never to accept it cannot be done that way or this, push the boundaries to its limit for change and never take no for an answer. Be a free thinker without handicaps or devils advocates tripping you up as to what your passions and dreams are made of and to find that extra mile to bring too fruition and the reality of seeing your achievements come to life for the benefits of others.
Tara: Please could you tell me a little bit about your invention, what it is, and how you came up with the idea?
David: The multitask Joist Hanger was designed to incorporate those who lack the skills and knowledge of Construction, whether it be for DIY use in building Sheds, Bases, Workshops & Decking. The building industry clearly does not like change and very much sits on protectionism and cartels as by rule of thumb.
The lay person, the public in general would not normally consider using single joist hangers as such products are confined to the building industry. Therefore, my product opens up a greater market where those who are able and capable of using a lightweight product that once used forms a very solid construction, where timber joists are supported and cradled and not just timber to timber fixing. In today’s markets the public have greater use of garden sheds and workshops for business and pleasure. Of course floors and roofs require strengthened support and to be easily constructed without specialist skills my product achieves that for the lay person. Furthermore, unlike single hangers, my product can be recycled many times over to be cost effective for the user.
To provide a quality product that caters more for the user in being lightweight and an adaptable product in building a quality product of their own albeit, a shed or workshop etc that affords their own dreams in shape, design and use.
Tara: What were the first steps you took after having your idea?
David: Two o/clock one morning (7 yrs ago) the hanger concept along with three other ideas plagued my sleep until I decided to use the Computer and start off loading my thoughts and ideas and this I did, So hours later I had knocked into shape 4 new inventions. The hanger project came first and is and always been my main choice to continually pursue until fruition (meaning that I was able to obtain a British Patent)I had many comments about it could not be done, how can you etc, well the proof of the pudding is in the eating – I own today the Patent on the invention.
Tara: Did you get presentation drawing sheets produced or make a prototype of your invention, how did you go about this?
David: I approached a professional in mechanical engineering who was able to draw up a series of not to scale drawings, this allowed me to adapt further a number of ideas and then onto the first of the prototypes, the final moment came when I was able to use for the very first time the product. Once satisfied I had more manufactured for home use and to create decking walkways around my garden and office as seen in the pictures shown on the website.
Tara: Did you try and patent or protect your idea in any way and how did you go about it?
David: From start to finish (Grant of Patent) has took seven years (7 yrs) of my life, I suppose it’s about living the dream against adversity and those who tried to disrupt or slow me down. Although, none of this would have been possible without finding and engaging with a Patent Attorney who had the same beliefs and energy to make it all happen for me. Working as a team effort to consider every possible eventuality as to the workings of the Hanger and includes a Patent application that remains very comprehensive and includes other inventions within the Patent.
Tara: Did you always intend manufacturing your invention yourself or did you look into licensing the idea?
David: I am by circumstance a serial inventor who specialises in disruptive technologies. How my thinking works and where the ideas come from I have decided not to challenge or analysis my thoughts. Others have tried, so the bigger challenge is with so many ideas and projects do I want to manage and market one Invention or do I consider alternatives by Partner Investing, Joint Ventures, and Collaboration or to license on the Invention for royalty payments. To this end I am still very open-minded as to what best suits my situation and to consider any commercial interests in sharing equity and this remains THE CASE TODAY – I AM OPEN TO OFFERS.
Tara: How did you go about finding a suitable manufacturer for your invention and did you self fund this?
David: I spent 5 years researching and browsing the internet for a British Company able to produce my Prototypes. The task was very frustrating as clearly this would not have been a problem in my younger years as Britain had the skills and opportunities to produce anything one required. I had been quoted a price of £16.000 to £30.000 for tooling requirements in order to produce my product. I knew this was not the case that somewhere I would find a company and indeed a company virtually on my own doorstep and able to manufacture and produce volume at an affordable price to trade on for profit and allows for big margins across the board.
Tara: What have you found are the best ways of promoting your invention?
David: At the moment ‘NONE’ although, the shopping channels would be idea and would keep advertising to a very minimal cost overall as television exposure would provide a greater market than using numerous sources and obviously the financial implications would be far greater than I would want at this stage of the product. Again I have found a greater interest through word and mouth as peoples common sense values are soon realised as the product is very visual and unlike the single hanger products. One pair of my products provides an Instant, Fast fixing solution in minutes, this could be a shed base 10 ft X 10 ft, where as the single hanger requires much more time in fixing, spacing out and leveling off.
Tara: What were the most difficult elements of bringing your invention to market?
David: Funding today is my greatest challenge in knowing how this product would change people’s lives. The Building Hanger for new build dwellings (requires certification) would take more than a week off the build in time and labour. What I have achieved overall has been self funded by myself and as an ‘OAP’ much of what I have available has gone towards the Invention and protecting my Patents as I have Patent Protection in Europe, Canada and USA and of course this is a very expensive exercise but is vital and essential in order to succeed.
Tara: How long has it taken from your initial idea to taking it to market?
David: 7 years, although, once again Funding is the most difficult as any lone and independent Inventor in Britain will tell you that the Business, Innovation & Skills Department (British Government) very much ignores the difficulties that we as individuals experience as we have no backup services like Corporations and Universities our lives are very much governed by those closest to us or we go with cap in hand and just hope that we will be recognised. The lone Inventor does not have a national body to represent them, so being very much a one man or women band is and will always be time consuming in search of being accepted and where this will bring the funding opportunities one hopes for to bring the Invention to market
Tara: Is there anything you learned developing your invention that you would now do differently if you had to do it all again?
David: Consultants, the market is littered with consultants and all sing from the same song sheet. They all appear to have the answers as to how you should be approaching the markets and how you should be running your business. But then I prefer Action to words, so be careful and not put your hand in your pocket and throw good money after bad. At times I have wondered as to how many have swallowed and digested the same dictionary, very flowering statements by most but little mention of your product(s) The paranoia that surrounds business plans is so comical and at times very scientific (if you let them) mind boggling performances and should be awarded Oscars for their efforts. There are very good people out there but you need to research before committing one’s self, services are free, but be wise in your choice. My main argument is simple if such people were that wise with business, then surely they ought to be multi-millionaires enjoying retirement, but my experience overall is the laziness of the individual, had a big lunch, eyes fluttering and you are talking to a person in a suit, why should they get their hands dirty when they have you hook line and sinker.
Tara: What advice would you give any aspiring inventor with an idea?
David: Do as much prior research as one can possibly do – Does your Invention solve a problem – Is it better than what is sold on the market or is your idea the first of a new generation of undiscovered products. Use the Patent Office and British Library for free advice and research. Keep a tight rein on your confidentiality and to engage ones thinking to establish ‘Proof of Concept’. When satisfied source out a reputable Patent Attorney who shows a true interest rather than just another customer coming through the door, you need a friend and confidante one who you can relate too as a working team and consider the overall costs involved and how you can cover such immediate costs before you apply for a Patent Application – Never be rushed, be patient and be confident with your endeavours overall.
Tara: Where can people find out more about you your invention?
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