I'm very proud to have one of my inventions makings its U.S. debut here at Toy Fair 2016, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this very morning here in the Big Apple! Come out to see the cool new outdoor toy in its native blister packaging, as well as running around in its birthday suit, at the Alex Brands booth, #2203. Come out to see it!
As product becomes available click here to purchase!
Per the product description on the Alex Brands website:
POOF Fling Flyer lets you launch a missile from the palm of your hand! Just grip the handle of the launcher, load the foam rocket onto it, fling and release. Find a unique flinging style; overhand, underhand, or even from under your leg! The patented projectile also makes a whistling sound if it’s traveling fast enough, and the launcher has a wrist strap so it’s easy to keep with you.
Recommended for children 5 years of age and older.
Includes a foam missile, launcher handle and wrist strap
Flyer whistles as it soars long distances
Also check out the nice article published a few days ago on the online edition, Business Section of the Idaho Statesman on the link below. A slightly streamlined version hit the print version of the Idaho Statesman, yesterday, Feb 12, and can be found on Page 4 in the Local Section!
Furby creator part of Boise inventor team behind new toy
I do my best to keep on top of new inventor/invention type shows but this one somehow slipped through the, um, cracks. The CW, the channel you seem to get most oft when pulling in free digital signals, has a brand newish show called "Hatched" (first airing Oct 3rd, 2015...sorry!). The show is one of many that make up their "One Magnificent Morning" lineup.
We've seen the format before, just different experts and different channels. This time, the cast includes the pretty female financial expert, Nicole Lapin, the elder statesman and investor, Joe Kincaid, and the retail expert, Freddy Cameron, who round out the trio hosting the show and judging the contestants. If the judges like the product, the pitchers get advice and help, and possibly some $$$ to move the product forward.
The shows are targeted mainly to family audiences and the website for One Magnificent Morning states that the show Hatched has a focus on "teens, moms and minority owners" and gives them an opportunity of a lifetime if the judges on the show like their product...I guess it's not P.C. to have an entrepreneurial focus on babies, the elderly, dads, or non-minority owners. ;)
If it passes muster from the show's judges/hosts/investors, it moves forward as part of Hatched Business Solutions (Everyday Edison's Commercialization Dept. ring a bell?)
Check out the next episode of Hatched (where Nickelodeon meets Shark Tank) on:
Saturday, January 30, 2016 - Season 1, Episode 11
AquaHeat - Two moms pitch an on-the-go bottle warmer.
Time: 11:30am (check local listing, your time may vary)
Channel: The CW
Editors Note: This weekend's new episode featuring the product Aquaheat seems very similar to the product Magic Cook featured on Shark Tank, which was intended for multi-use heating (campers, hikers, school, travel, ocean, picnic, emergency, etc). The Magic Cook used Quicklime as a heat source, but I can't seem to find the information on the heat source concoction for Aquaheat, which is made in S. Korea....is that where Magic Cook is manufactured too? Anyone?
I'm starting the new year (Welcome 2016!) with a twist on my Innospirational Words blog segment...I'll take famous sayings from visionaries of the past and mash them with my own ideas to make them applicable to entreprenuers and inventors needing inspiration in today's modern times...
The first snow of the year can come in without notice, silently falling to the ground whilst you unknowingly sleep. In the morning, the beautiful white snow blankets the earth and trees and its a signal a new season has finally arrived. This Saturday, a similar event happened...Kellen Moore, a four year NFL player, who had never played in a regular season game, came onto the field in the 2nd quarter of the Cowboys Jets game, and took his first snap as an NFL quarterback.. With that snap, and the ensuing play, the monkey was finally off his back. This monkey is the one that every wanna be analyst and naysayer kept saying about his four year stint in the NFL "He has never played in a regular season game."
Although I am not a true Cowboys fan, I have quietly been pulling for Moore to get a chance to play since he went to the NFL to pursue his dreams of being a quarterback. His first stop was in Detroit, where he sat alongside Dan Orlovsky, as they battled for bench position behind Mathew Stafford. With three years as Stafford's understudy, the Lions finally let Moore go to find a better pasture, where he was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys in early September. Once in the lone star state, his heel step went like this: practice squad, active roster, waived, practice squad and activated again. With some musical chairs going on at QB, I knew there could be a chance to for Moore to maybe get a chance to play this year. The Cowboys knew back up Brandon Weeden was not the QB of their future and the poker players in the Cowboys home office placed their chips on purchasing Matt Cassel. Jerry Jones and company were hoping he could get them back on track and with some wins per chance, maybe still make the playoffs.
For Cassel, he had 7 games to state his case why he should be the starting QB in Dallas, and unfortunately, with a 1-5 record, the Gods of Starting QB's spoke, and deemed him unfit. With Romo hurt again after being rushed back to soon, the Cowboy (and Bronco Nation fans alike) were putting social media pressure to give Moore a look to see what he could do...we've all heard the armchair QB's and ESPN analysts say the same things over repeatedly..."Even though he was a high school standout, was the winningest QB in college football history (at 50-3) and Heisman trophy finalist, he's not tall enough or fast enough to play with the big boys..."
At age 26, Kellen reminds me a lot of my childhood football idol, Ken Stabler (R.I.P., July 2015!). I never hear any of the analysts talk about Stabler sitting on the bench in Oakland for almost 3 full years behind Daryle Lamonica. Although their off field demeanors are not similar, Stabler and Moore have a very similar style of play at QB..Stabler was a little bit taller at 6'3" but both were/are southpaws with a great sling style arm...great for quick screen passes, outs to the side and longer throws requiring timing and touch, not so much strength....
They also both played/play the best while staying in the pocket, relying on their front line to protect them from the big time wrestlers wanting to slam them to the canvas ringside...The Snakes' knees were nimble in college and the first few years in the NFL, but injuries inhibited him from doing much scrambling after that. Kellen will never be known for his running speed and that third down threat will not come from his possible run, but from a perfectly thrown pass in an amazingly small area to his right on stride catching receiver. (Lest it be reminded to the "analysts" about the current state of NFL QB Colin Kaepernick, who was an analysts dream, having arm strength, size and ability to run like a gazelle).
Stabler came off the the bench at age 26 (2 days shy of his 27 birthday, on Christmas) to replace the Raider's Daryle "The Mad Bomber" Lamonica in the "Immaculate Reception" playoff game against the Steelers in 1972. His exciting style of play showed through even though they took a loss on the heartbreaking catch and ensuing crazy run by Franco Harris. Stabler's cool, but deeply competitive play under pressure showed his coach (John Madden) and the powers that be (Al Davis) that he had what it took to take the Raiders to the next level....and the Snake took the opportunity and never looked back (Tony Romo, beware of the Lamonica analogy).
He has been waiting very patiently for this moment. I have a feeling, now that Kellen is finally getting the same opportunity, he will take this opportunity the same way as Kenny did..and never look back...
** Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett announced this morning that Kellen will be starting his NFL game this Sunday, week 16 against the Buffalo Bills
***12/24/2015 Read ex-BSU coach Pete's and present day BSU coach Harsin's comments on Kellen Moore's start this weekend here:
****1/11/2016 Read article here with Dallas Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones, where he says "unequivocally, yes" when asked if he thinks Kellen Moore is capable of being the backup quarterback to Tony Romo in the upcoming year
Editor's note: What does this have to do with inventing and new products? Inventor's need to overcome adversity with persistence and determination and use their competitive desire to succeed, much like the struggle of pro athletes trying to get playing time as a starting QB.
If you go to Wikipedia, and type the words mind's eye, you will get a definition of the same, where its states that human's have the "ability to visualize, i.e., to experience visual mental imagery...one's ability to "see" things with the mind." It goes on to expand on what it is, where it says that it is not fully understood...and then starts to get into terms like lateral geniculate nucleus, neocortex and neuroplasticiity....all subjects I didn't learn in Biology 101...
I suspect people like me, who rely on their creativity as part of their lively hood, have the ability to picture things in their mind better than others who don't. I can't speak for all inventors, artists, writers and the like. But I have always been able to mentally construct things in my brain. Imagine having brain CAD software, where you can construct things or figure out other ways to build something, all without lifting a finger, and just using the synapses located deep in your cerebellum.
Graphic designers do the same thing...they create something in their brain, and just use a computer and software to make it come to life...The lines of a logo don't seem cool enough, or maybe everything looks great but the color doesn't seem right? The designer just imagines the logo cooler looking or with the right color in their mind's eye, and then puts it into the computer software to bring it to life...that does the trick!
Writers weave the plot of their soon to be best-seller novel in their brain...Then, they construct carefully worded sentences to parlay their vision of the story to others...It may not come out perfect the first time, but through new drafts, reworked plots and further refinements (including opinions from their soul mate, family or even publisher), the story finally becomes final and is s ready for book binding or e-books...who can you attribute did the bulk of the work for the writer? The mind's eye, of course..
For inventors...if one iteration is built in the mind, but has a flaw? Try another avenue, maybe this iteration will solve the flaw in the previous. Need to solve a complex engineering problem for a never before made product (and soon to be invention)? Create different versions in your brain, all on the fly, using all the engineering and material tools you have available...the ones that you have been stashing away in your brain from the day you were born, waiting to use some rainy day.
Still can't figure out a difficult problem? Many times, a deep sleep can bring an answer to an engineering conundrum up to the surface..hopefully you will write it down or make a note to remember it, so the dream tide doesn't pull the solution back into the ocean of ideas not yet used or uncovered. (See my earlier blog on April 26, 2011 entitled Your Brain - Working Overtime, All The Time).
The mind's eye can even be fully functioning even when numbed by stress, drugs and alcohol, and depression, which is why you see recording artists able to put out highly creative and pinnacle songs of their career when they are barely able to function when not creating...The mind's eye is working like an obedient dog for them, to be able to bring it to the forefront on command and then let it recede back to a state where it is compromised beyond use.
How does your mind's eye work for you? Are you able to use it to your advantage in your daily work or personal life? Or are you inhibited when trying to picture something in your mind, and need to see it in real life first? Either way, it doesn't matter, brains are one amazing tool...if one doesn't have a good mind's eye, I can guarantee it makes up for it in other, in super complex, high functioning ways!
With another new approved US patent under his belt, 74 year old Lowell Wood just surpassed Thomas Edison as the most prolific US inventor, now holding an amzaing 1,085 patents in his name! Bloomberg Business writes a very interesting expose on this little known person, complete with great background graphics for mobile or desktop. Since coming out of retirement, Lowell's been working for a think lab (that includes Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft fame) called Intellectual Ventures, where they dream up possible solutions to impossible problems...and get paid for it!
If you're the inventor type, you should really enjoy digesting the Bloomberg Business article, at the following link: http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-americas-top-inventor-lowell-wood/
Coming on the heels of its summer debut as the best supporting tractor in the rebooted "Vacation" movie, the Albanian import seems to be making a dent, literally, in the not so crowded mini-van industry. Standard luxury items include the front seat drinking faucet, exterior door handles that double as martini glass holders, front and rear inward facing side view mirrors, a forward tipping headrest, onboard pop-up CB radio and a Swiss Army-like key fob (including button icons for a muffin, rocket, swastika and jumping rabbit?). And with strict Albanian emissions, luckily the Albanian government contracted out everything emission related to the Volkswagen Group out of Germany...
Test drive one out for yourself at a local dealership near you, many are located in self storage units in various inner cities...this is how they are able to keep the lavish import's MSRP to a minimum. The 2016 "Honda of Albania" models should be out in storage unit showrooms near you very soon!
10-1-15 Update: One (now not two) new invention tv offerings of late!
Make Me a Millionaire Inventor - CNBC
Episode 6 airs tonight, 10/9c:
CNBC has a six episode series currently wrapping up called "Make Me a Millionaire Inventor"...The show is dually hosted, by Deanne Bell and George Zaidan, both seasoned hosts of various former shows on various cable channels. The former, Deanne, has a mechanical engineering background and the latter, George, has a chemistry and science background. Each one meets with inventors who have been unable to take their invention to the next level and decide after reviewing the invention if they think they can help them. Once the inventor is given the thumbs up by the host, they are forwarded to the two main engineers at BlueFish Concepts (a product development company in El-Lay, CA) to flesh out a new prototype in a couple weeks (if the two weeks is true, we know that each prototype cost must be heavily subsidized by the show- I'd be happy to get some preliminary designs in that amount of time!). Armed with a working prototype with modern industrial design, the hosts prep and then arrange meetings for their inventor with potential investors..the end of each episode shows how that meeting went, and if the inventor was offered funding to help bring the product to market and how much they had to concede in equity for the funding. The show has borrowed heavily from earlier invention type tv, mainly "Everyday Edison's" but to some degree "The Shark Tank", History Channel's "Invention USA" and Food Network's "Invention Hunters"....maybe even the grand-daddy of them all, "American Inventor"....
Bazillion Dollar Club - SYFY (UPDATE 10-1-15 - CURRENTLY CANCELLED FROM SYFI!)
Series Premiere September 22 at 10/9c:
SYFY, known more for B science fiction movies like "Pirahnadile vs. Croco-dragon" or "Octopussnado" is entering the invention tv ring next week with "Bazillion Dollar Club"...Two silicon valley alpha males, Dave McClure and Brady Forrest, host this Psy Fi Gangnam style offering. Straight from their website, it states: "This is Dave and Brady. They are investors in a ton of tech companies, a few of which we'll follow. They'll guide and mentor these companies through an accelerator program (read: startup boot camp). It's all in preparation for a product demo day in front of potential investors, who are the key to taking the company to the next level...or not.." Sound somewhat familiar? Please re-read the first paragraph above if you suffer from severe short term memory!!
The main difference between the two shows is the word Million and Bazillion, one obviously trying to grandstand and outdo the other...I'm hoping an unnamed search engine company will throw some bucks from their petty cash drawer and come out with their own show "Who Wants to Be in the Googollinaire Club?" For those interested in making the real cash, a googollionaire would be equal to a $1 with 100 zeros after that...try to beat that paltry Millionaires or petty Bazillionaires!
Editor's Note: Merriam-Webster states that a Bazillion is a huge, unspecified number..and others refer to it as a very large exaggerated number....so, if I'm a Dreamer and I have a chance to make an invention that makes me a Googollionaire, which equals $1,000,0000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
or a Bazillionaire which equals a huge, unspecified and exaggerated number ($?)...my accountant tells me I gotta go with Googollionaire!
Editor's Update: Oct. 1, 2015: Although it was obvious that an invention/technolgy type show was not a good fit with SyFi Channel, the viewers of the same said channel cast really their votes by not tuning into the first episode of "Bazillion Dollar Club"...This resulted in an early pulling of the show! So Dave and Brady, the tough ones on the show (who were cracking the whip on hopeful new tech companies seeking venture capital) ironically had the boom lowered on them! Now they are on the end of being at the mercy of another channel picking up this Silicon Valley misfit. REELZ TV, you saved Trump's damsels in distress, the Miss USA pageant, not too long ago. Have any interest in this lost puppy?
One of the supposed invention playa's is having changes at the helm due to probable underlying financial trouble...Read Paul Fiztgerald's rundown on the latest news on the inventor friendly darling, Quirky, in his story on the InventorSpot website.
Click here: "What's Next For Quirky's Future? CEO Resigns"
Only have time to retweet (sounds better than re-blog) the story this week... ;)
Sept. 22, 2015 - Editor's Update: Not even a month later from my original post, today Quirky filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, also selling all Wink related assets to a company called Flextronics...when you burn through cash (as in most of the $170 million venture capital), you gotta pay the piper!
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