Patent? Really?

tesla patent wall

I saw two things pop up on my radar with minutes of each other and wanted to share them with you. The first was this blog post from Tesla letting me know that all their patents now belong to me.  Well, not me in the Nigerian prince sense, more of a collective[...]

Driving Kickstarter Traffic


Ok, ok… The Coolest Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up and (spoiler alert) we didn’t reach our funding goal.  I’m proud we hit the elusive six-figure mark coming in at $102,188 during our 30 day campaign, but we just couldn’t quite get to the more elusive $125k goal I set. My next post[...]

Kickstarter First Week


The first thing I’d say about planning for your initial crowdfunding campaign week is to prepare for the unexpected then plan to adapt. At the end of week one, my COOLEST Kickstarter campaign is sitting at $82k, which is approximately 60% of our target goal of $125k.  I’m very pleased[...]

Kickstarter Campaign- day 1 lessons

Coolest Kickstarter

I’m so excited!  The COOLEST is live and up on Kickstarter here: We’ve had an amazingly successful first day so far and we’re just getting started. Heres are a few of my take-aways on launch day: 1.  You won’t know what traffic will be effective so start diverse.  We’ve put[...]

Goldrush Era for Crowdfunding


One of the biggest challenges I hear all the time relates to finding funding to develop a product for market.  Fortunately for everyone the world is quickly changing, and new options are more viable than ever.  One of the biggest, most accessible and exciting is the tremendous growth of crowdfunding[...]

What’s your excuse?

Blues Brothers-excuses

I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T[...]

Know What to Know

Know about inventing

Ever feel that overwhelmingly frustrating sensation where you WISH you already knew what you were doing? I constantly feel that way about mountain biking and parenting, but I never felt it more than back when I had my first idea and didn’t know how to get it to market.  If[...]

Be a Lazy Inventor

Lazy Inventor

Lazy summer days are the best, but they don’t usually contribute to your financial happiness. Luckily you can harness your laziness to invent the next blockbuster idea!  I contend the laziest people can come up with the best ideas because to they are already naturally seeking the easiest way to[...]

Talk About Your Invention


If you tell anyone your great idea they will steal it and take it market before you can! Woe is me!! This is most inventors biggest fear and its also one of the biggest reasons most inventors never have success with their ideas. Here are some tips to help you[...]

Pitch Your Idea Like a Pro

idea pitch

I’m not going to sugar coat it, so here goes…  most inventor product pitches stink, and it has nothing to do with the invention. The trouble is that many inventors misunderstand what’s important about their ideas to the person they are pitching it to.   Here are 5 mistakes people[...]

Million Dollar Idea Myth


Who doesn’t want to come up with an idea and end up with a millions dollars to show for it? That’s the dream, right? Unfortunately, a million dollar idea is simply a myth. This isn’t because it’s impossible to get rich from your invention, but it’s because the true value of[...]

Best of Maker Faire Fun

Hand of Man

Hand of MAN- a 25′ tall hydraulically controlled hand that crushes EVERYTHING. The best part- controlled by a glove worn by kids.         An Orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons in our Solar System… This one[...]

My 3D printer is your 3D printer


It seems like you can’t open any magazine these days without finding an article on 3D printing. Everything from medical applications printing with stem cells, 3D printed meat, and of course the polarizing 3D printed gun debate. All of these are fascinating, but they aren’t helping you get any closer[...]

5 Reasons NOT to Get a Patent

Why Not to Get a Patent

I like patents.  Let me start off saying that when used correctly, a strong patent can be the most valuable part of your invention’s value. The trouble is that almost everyone gets it wrong.  If fact the USPTO estimates that less than 1% of patents ever become commercially viable products.[...]

Submit Your Idea to a Company

Michael Miller

If you’re betting on horse racing, that’s supposed to be the best possible source for trusted information. But if you’re interested in learning what company’s are looking for in a licensable product make sure to check out this interview I had with Product Innovation Director Michael Miller. Michael’s job is to[...]

7 Biggest Inventor Mistakes


  Successfully bringing a new product to market is something that requires persistence and patience, yet too often people rush ahead and make the same mistakes as others before them.  While anyone can have a great idea, almost everyone can benefit from learning where others went wrong.  Here are the[...]

Search vs Search

  As inventors we are always searching for something. Like Ponce De Leon, we tell ourselves the fountain of inventing youth is just around the corner if we just keep going. But “searching” is a huge word in terms of inventing and it can mean many things. We can search[...]

First-to-File Patent Law Update

The US has historically been a country that granted intellectual property rights to the first person who invented a concept, rather than the first person to file a patent.  All that is set to change over the weekend as the US joins most of the rest of the world in[...]

“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” ― Elbert Hubbard

Education, for most people, means trying to lead the child to resemble the typical adult of his society... But for me, education means making creators... You have to make inventors, innovators, not conformists. -Jean Piaget

Are Your Ideas In the Shade?


Are your ideas in the shade? I planted tomatoes this year for the first time, (thank you TopsyTurvy), and I’m not having much luck.  I bought the plants, mounted the hanger, filled with dirt, and spent all this time watering every day- all I have to show for it is[...]

Christmas in April


That’s how I felt today when my new MakerBot Replicator showed up on my door this morning.  Only though an act of iron will have I been able to work an entire hour and 17 minutes today, and I’m about to call it quits…  When you get access to a[...]

iPod invention in an 8-track world?


We think of it as a compliment when someone says we’re “ahead of our time”, but as an inventor you don’t want to be sooooo far ahead of the curve you can’t commercialize on your product. Here are 10 Inventions that were ahead of their time, including the 1979 iPod…[...]

Product to Market- Acqua Bol

  Here’s another product I brought to market, the Acqua Bol.  A folding credit card-sized water bowl for pets on the go.  I brought this product to market on my own rather that through licensing for two reasons: 1. The low price point didn’t make for an ideal licensed product[...]

Flaming Grill Project

Nice welds!

  This was my first welding project, and only took a year!  We had a family friend growing up who mentioned making his own grill, so when I had access to several sheets of stainless steel and a plasma torch, I figured I’d try too.  This flaming grill served me[...]