It's a good read and has great tips, so I won't try to rehash it...
Product launch checklist: How to furnish your trade show booth on a shoestring budget
The International Toy & Game Inventor and Industry Conference known as T&GCon, has an informative but thrifty po$ting on their "Business of Play" blog from Michelle Spelman. She has some great tips for potential booth dwellers when hitting the road with a new exciting product to attend trade shows. It's all about getting the most bang for your buck, and not breaking the bank....core principles I have instilled in my business over the years for both myself and for my clients.
It's a good read and has great tips, so I won't try to rehash it...
Product launch checklist: How to furnish your trade show booth on a shoestring budget
With summertime now in full gear, here are a few hot links to make your grilla a little more thrilla!
Comedian Tom Green is quietly and humbly doing some great interviews on his self titled show Tom Green Live airing on AXStv (formerly HDNet). He asks some good open ended questions, and then gets out of the way to allow his guests to talk about how they made it in their respective careers. The format and look is similar to the old Tom Snyder show, except features callers Skyping live into the show with questions for his guests. The couch dwellers of late include Stacy Keach, Dana Carvey and Buzz Aldrin (together on same show) and Adam Carolla, who came to talk about his new book "President Me", his Man Show inspired swill called Mangria and his early career days begrudgingly slogging a hammer and pencil working as a carpenter. For his comedy and take on inventing, read the cover article on Adam in the vaults of Inventor's Digest (Sept. 2010).
Guitar Center Sessions: ("featured band name here") is another great AXStv show, with brit Nic Harcourt handling the rock star intimate style interviews. The show features older and now wiser bands that made it, but are maybe now in their twilight years...bands such as Blondie, Social Distortion and The Cult. The show rocks back and forth between the Q and A with band members and live performances in the Guitar Center Showroom...the format leaves the viewer wanting more, especially for bands they've religiously followed...
Inventors have a kinship with other artists such as actors, musicians and comedians...as they all must pay their dues with rejection and failure in cultivating their own body of work that will hopefully provide a lasting and sustainable career...
Sometimes the grill produces the best of food...but sometimes there can be some bad links...either something gets undercooked, it sits too long cold, or falls into the charcoal and gets burnt...here are a couple "bad" links, which I don't recommend:
Netflix quietly unveiled a new logo last month...They inversed their once classic red background to the red lettering of the company name, sans black border..and substituted a bland whitish background, leaving a incredibly boring and bland logo to make their brand less noticeable in a marketplace needing to be noticed...look for the classic logo to hopefully return after tepid consumer liking.
InventHelp, (aka ISC, Invention Submission Corporation, INPEX, Intromark Inc, Inventtech, Technosystems Consolidated Corp, Western Invention Submission) has enlisted former professional boxer George Foreman to be their tv spokesman. InventHelp's website proclaims that they provide "invention assistance services for inventors". But anyone in the business knows that this company preys on people's desires to make an idea a reality, whether it has merit or not. Successes on their webpage include the Ear Visor..a product that solves a problem for probably one person in the world, the person who invented it. Inventhelp has learned to do a delicate dance by downplaying customer successes on print and tv advertising (they are honest here!) and actively resolving the high number of complaints by the Better Business Bureau in order to keep a respectable rating...Prudent prospective customers should Google the words "Inventhelp" and "complaints" and read what comes up to decide if it is a company they wish to do business with.
I had a lot of respect for George, from his early boxing days, to his second career hit with the George Foreman grill. But he sadly succumbed to the evil of easy endorsement $$, I'm sure to further secure his retirement and the future of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He has always been a humble man with a good heart, but now his credibility is being negatively diluted by being associated with a company that is known for providing questionable services. Customers can pay thousands of dollars in fees for Inventhelp's self serving "Basic Information Package" report, patent referrals, and helping the inventor to find a licensee or manufacturer or marketer for their product. Now George is acting as the inventor-predator...his ad tagline is a sure tipoff to their weak professional services "I can't guarantee a company will be interested in your idea, but every inventor deserves the opportunity to step in to the ring and take their best shot". My advice to novice inventors out there...Step into the ring on your own! And don't enlist the inventor-predator type services of this company!
**clicking on any links above that do not go to the respective website, i.e. bad links, may have been done on purpose by the editor ;)
"The more I practice the luckier I get."
"Winning isn't everything, but wanting it is."
"The road to success is always under construction."
With less than eight months left on his ten year long Comedy Central stint, and Dave's Late Show seat being vacated for him just around the corner, Stephen talks about some of America's most beloved inventions: Thomas Edison's little known English muffin innovation, the neck fanny pack, three legged pantyhose, and Amazon's recent patent for 'Photography Against a White Background'...Looks like I may be infringing with my website and all marketing materials used in the past...I'd better watch out for the patent trolls! Hold on, my doorbell just rang, and I see a drone waiting at my door trying to deliver me some sort of papers....Curse you, Jeff Bezos!
See Stephen further explain the Gerbil Shirt, "...which innovatively combines a shirt, a gerbil habitat and being alone for the rest of your life..."
For further reading, check out the Pet Display Clothing Patent on Google Patents:US 5901666 A :D
"My personal philosophy is not to undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible."
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun
I can't help but think of the main chorus for Fun's 2012 anthem, We Are Young, regarding Ann Makosinski's (fifteen years young!) invention. She's from Victoria, B.C...I'll let her explain to you about the body heat powered flashlight she has been working on:
The product's innovation has a nice 'wow' factor, especially in a day and age where consumers are battery weary and quick to embrace new innovations that are eco-friendly and globally sustainable...The only small complaint i have, is in the video, she should have shot it at night time and outside, to demonstrate the model in use with a larger difference in ambient temperature and her hand's body heat, which would have demoed her prototype shining a brighter LED light...then she wouldn't have to apologize to the Youtube viewers for it not working as well as she says it can...Otherwise, a job very well done!
Inventing involves a lot of problem solving...It usually means creating something new where there is none. But now, since there is none, the pieces of the puzzle need to be put back together to figure out what happened. In this new post, I'm going to go out on a major limb and tell you what I think happened to the (most likely doomed) Malaysia Flight 370 this past week.
It is based solely on hearing various news reports of the ongoing mystery and some minor additional investigative information I found on the internet. I am only writing this in the hopes that it may help solve the mystery of a missing plane and its occupants, so that their loved ones, friends and family may find some peace in this horrendous tragedy.
Here is what I think happened:
A. The plane was either hit with catastrophic "clear air turbulence" or a bomb from a terrorist. Both of these scenarios would be enough to break the plane apart or break a part off of the plane. It would be enough to knock out all the backup electrical and mechanical pieces in place, that normally help sustain the plane in the air long enough for the pilots to keep control of it and bring the plane and its passengers safely to land. Both scenarios could be catastrophic enough to instantly not allow the pilots to radio for help and to shut down the transponder, ending any chance of telling others via radar where the plane or pieces of the plane were headed.
B. The initial clues of the flight path are shown in the video below...You can see where the plane is headed in a north easterly direction, before radar communication eerily ends. I watched the video online, which was shot onto a mobile phone, and at the end, the plane looks like it turns slightly to the right....my guess is it was the first hint of stronger crosswind...If you watch the video, it looks like it is not moving forward as fast as before....like it is struggling against a severe crosswind...immediately after, it drops off radar for good.
Below is a real example of a major crosswind landing with extreme turbulence from a storm. My guess is that the Malaysian Flight 370 pilots tried to compensate for the sudden clear air turbulence, and maybe tried to fly in a similar fashion, before part of the fuselage, wing or tail broke off (this plane had a tip broken in an on ground accident earlier, obviously repaired, but maybe structurally weakened).
C. Malaysian military released information that something was picked up heading almost in a u-turn from where the plane was last radar recorded. My guess, and yeah, this is a single wild-assed guess (no better or worse than any of the guesses from armchair aviation experts) is that an extreme jet stream, the "clear air turbulence" mentioned above, after catastrophically marring the plane, carried a piece of the plane 200 kilometers, about 125 miles, in the direction of the raging jet stream before it fell innocently into the waters of the Mallaca Straights.Less than a year ago, in May 2013, Singapore Airlines hit some similar clear air turbulence in close vicinity to the Malaysia 370 flight but was heading northwest. My guess is that the topography of Vietnam and the surrounding land mass causes some very infrequent, but rolling and unpredictably fast moving jet streams...and in this case maybe enough to wallop the Malaysian plane, and wound its structural integrity enough so that its flight was unrecoverable.
Read the below article, published today. It tries to explains the confusion around the supposed mid-air turnaround...at this point, no one has thought it could be a piece of the plane drifting like a feather in a raging jetstream from around 35,000 ft...they only surmise that it may have been the entire plane intact... (Click Here)
If you're an aviation expert, please let me know:
I'd love to hear what anyone thinks about my Malaysia Flight 370 theory...Hey, I could be wrong, but if I am, I'm just an inventor!!
3/16/2014 - Update
Four more days have passed now and it seems there are so many conflicting theories and information being released that they are no closer to figuring out what happened to the jet and its passangers than the first 24 hours after it disappeared.
I think the disaster and aviation investigators should work on the information they know about the plane and the last bits of information they have on it.. they have information that the Boeing jet climbed to 45,000 feet, an unapproved altitude...Instead of thinking that the pilot commandeered this, why don't they think about the physics involved that may have made the plane gain altitude possibly on its own...I heard one expert say that a jet on autopilot that was losing fuel would eventually gain altitude....so maybe a piece of the plane came off from a structural weakness due to some catastrophic 'clear air turbulence'...and the plane rose on autopilot to the insurmountable height, before being unable to climb any higher and then barrelling down to the next recorded altitude of 23,000 feet....and eventually crashing into the South China Sea.
Another clue that is being dismissed, is that there was some recorded seismic activity on the ocean floor near when the plane was last recorded and around the same time...Some expert said they didn't think it could be due to the plane crashing there. If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and sounds like a duck ...maybe it is a duck!
I think all the transponder information should be discounted, at least for now...Maybe a catastrophic event caused them to put out false information somehow. Does anyone truly believe the jet was hijacked or commandeered by a pilot(s) set on suicide, then flew the plane to unsafe heights, before settling back down to 23,000 feet and somewhere after making an extreme westward flight path, flying to low levels where it couldn't be detected by other radar before flying 5 to 7 more hours to some remote country, island or even Kalamazoo?
When a child goes missing, investigators always search the general area and an extended perimeter in the hopes of finding them...they don't put an all points bulletin to every city in the United States....So, the crash investigators should still look in the ocean area where the plane last had contact! It is possible the plane extremely disintegrated in the air or went into the ocean depths while leaving undetectable traces of debris on the buoyant waters above!
My last two cents on this: Use the submersible technology we currently have in the U.S to troll the South China sea looking for sonar images of bunches of objects or strange ocean shapes to possibly solve this this nearly 10 day aviation mystery...if not, this may be a two year or decade long one...Godspeed to all the passengers for the most timely determination for their family, friends and loved ones!
Editors note: I don't usually make posts about current events that are not related to inventing in some manner, this one is way outside my normal blog zone...It does involve in place technologies used for tracking and flying jets safely...I've just felt the need to vent my theories...in hopes that this story will come to some resolution for all.
Been off the blogosphere and grid for a bit on travels to NY for Toy Fair...Very cool show, in more ways than one. The town was beleaguered by cold weather, snow and resulting potholes. even the locals were tired of the seemingly endless Polar Vortex demonstrating its might every other day or so...I will be writing some new stuff soon...In the meantime, here's a little Batman toy that would make a great present for your little one around the tree this next year!
Seeing the Chicago Cubs announce today that they have a new mascot, shot me back through memory travel time to my elementary school, Happy Valley School in Lafayette, California...the year was 1973.
I was in fifth grade and our school had just told us we were getting a new school mascot from which we had none. We were now going to be the Happy Valley Hornets! Finally, we could have some school shirts or banners that had some coolness and for which we could have mean, mean pride!
In a few short weeks to follow, the administration would show us our new school logo. In leading up to the big reveal, I imagined the coolest, mean looking hornet waspish crazy insect with an insane looking stinger poised and bent, just looking for its next kill! And hornets didn't die, like their lame-o insect cousins the bees; word was out that hornets could sting people all day long and never die a death from injecting their victims with a combination load of venom and pain!
We had the Merriwood relays coming up, where only the finest track athletes in the area would sprint down never ending parallel lines to achieve athletic glory and attain a first place ribbon! Our competitors from neighboring elementary schools knees would begin to wobble and sweat would pore from their hairless armpits just looking at our new mean jerseys, meant to intimidate all before us: the opposing players, their parents, their kids, even the judges!
Mr Lilley, our principal, gathered us all in the main hall outside his office, where we were all gathered around to see the new mascot. I knew that because I went to the coolest school, that the adults running it had access to the best graphic designers and money would be no option for getting the perfect look of the mascot and its accompanying logo. There was a reason my parents toiled to live in this middle class town and I knew the property taxes they paid would have to have gone straight to the Cool Happy Valley Hornet Mascot and Logo Fund!
I just remember an art stand holding up the covered logo...a thin sheet was covering the awesomeness that was just minutes away from being viewed. I could not stand the anticipation! Please, pull off that dreaded sheet that separated us from the glory years to come with our new found Hornet mascot and logo!
What happened next, was stunning to my brain and almost sent me into therapy at the tender age of 11...it all was surreal and happening in Super Slow Motion...kind of like watching This Week in Pro Football, where i got to painfully revisit Franco Harris' catch, after the football rebounded off of the poor shoulder of a coiled Pittsburg Steeler receiver due to having been hit from a classic Jack Tatum stinger, but thereafter still was able to run down the sideline acting like a selfish snob with the ball cradled like a baby in his arms into the end zone to beat my beloved Raiders in the AFC Championship even with the newly annointed King Quarterback, Ken Stabler, at the helm and unduly cheat them out of winning the playoff game. I know that was a run-on sentence, but that play was a run-on play.
Revealed on the art board and despise to my eyes, was a cutesy font with letters spelling "Happy Valley" that were arched over the ugliest thing I have ever seen. It was a cute Hornet! There was no mean grimace to be found on this insect. It was smiling at us all, almost inviting us to come over! I looked on the next most important thing, and it was not a long mean stinger in the shape of a jagged and rusty nail. It was short and rounded at the end, looking like the soft pedal of a flower!...and it was attached to the second ugliest thing I have ever seen...a cute insect bottom! It had a mark above it, to show it was wiggling in the wind and saying to us all, "hey, aren't I cute! I won't hurt you, let's play!"
Even Mr. Rogers and the creepos in his Neighborhood had more street cred than this piece of $#@^!&...I think it was the first time I ever swore, except it was just in my head and the profanities were just the thoughts screaming inside my head and were resonating back and forth in my skull, like a brain wobbling inside the same from a concussion...
FAST FORWARD, PRESENT DAY, JANUARY 14, 2014:
CHICAGO CUBS ANNOUNCE CLARK AS THEIR FIRST EVER NEW MASCOT (below)
Chicago Cubs Fans: I feel your pain! Hey, I know your city is a tough city and you have a lot of intercity problems, including youth-aged gangs and drive-by killings, which is nothing to take lightly. Your teams' mascot obviously doesn't have to be a proponent of guns or violence, but does it have to be marketed and cool to only people 4 years and younger?
It says they used focus groups that wanted a family friendly mascot , but I think either 1) the focus group was not focused enough or 2) they need a focus group to come up with the correct focus group
With the new year already upon us, I am throwing out some daunting statistics and other words of adversity spoken from some names you may recognize. This is for the people who choose to play in the unforgiving game of innovation. These people are not satisfied with the status quo. Some might find the odds of bringing their new product to market insurmountable and give up; for others, it will cause them to tighten their chin strap, roll up their sleeves yet again, and dig in their boots even deeper....
Are you, one of the few, prepared to roll the dice and go the distance?
"We test 100 products a year, shoot commercials for 10 and maybe one will be successful. And that one we bring to retail."
A.J. Khubani, CEO of Telebrands Corp (Electronic Retailer, Sept. 2012)
“I'm a risk taker. I get up in the morning knowing that I'm either going to have a spectacular win or loss that is going to be exciting. I prefer the former but either is more appealing than the warm death of mediocrity.”
Dean Kamen, Inventor of the Segway human transporter (April, 2007)
“At the end of the day, we might put 32 products into our line every year. This means that only one in every 100 ideas makes it into Hasbro’s product line annually. And we don’t succeed with everything we put out there. Out of 32, maybe 10 will be successful, meaning they last for a couple, maybe three years.”
Mike Hirtle, at the time head of global inventor relations and product acquisition for giant Hasbro Inc., said his company looked at about 3,200 toy and game ideas every year. (November, 2008)
"You need to be in denial or in ignorance about the huge challenges you face. You have to believe that it wouldn't be hard for you to succeed." "
Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple executive and now Silicon Valley venture capitalist (February 2009)
"A lot of people give up when the world seems to be against them, but that's the point when you should push a little harder. I use the analogy of running a race. It seems as though you can’t carry on, but if you just get through the pain barrier, you'll see the end and be okay. Often, just around the corner is where the solution will happen."
James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner (April, 2007)