My epic invention fail

Invention idea
Invention idea

I have a lot of ideas and a couple of year ago I decided to act on those ideas and try inventing. It did not go well; it was my biggest failure and cost me upwards of $20,000. I will detail my experience and mistakes below to help you succeed.

I was inspired by reading blogs and articles of other inventor success stories and started compiling a list of all my invention ideas. I didn’t know how to start so I contacted a local inventor consulting company to get some advice.

They were great at first and helped me narrow down my invention idea to the one that had the most potential. They also gave me a lot of information on the industry and process of inventing. Looking back, I was naive and thought I could achieve my goal with a shoestring budget (this did not work). I think if you want to start inventing, be prepared to spend $10,000 and over. $10,000 is the minimum amount I would have if I ever attempted this again.

Most of the money will go product design and development (unless you have the skills to do it yourself), patent applications and legal fees. So why did I spend over $20,000? A good portion of that went to the consultants, and from what I know now, I could have done it without them.

Firstly, DO NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT YOUR INVENTION, not even friends or family. This could void your future patent application. If you need to discuss it with someone, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement. You can have a lawyer whip one up for you.

TAKE NOTE, because this is the important part that will save you money. Start off by applying for a PROVISIONAL PATENT. Provisional Patents cost substantially less, need less information and give you 1 year’s protection. This gives you one year to finalize your development and test the market before deciding whether your invention will be profitable. At the end of the year you need to apply for the full patent which backdates to the start of your Provisional Patent. This is my understanding from what I was told but do your own research to confirm.

I hadn’t finished my development or market research by the end of the Provisional Patent (I think it just cost more money than I was expecting) and there was a rush at the end to get everything ready for the full patent application.

This is where most of the money was spent and I wish I had known more about the process and costs associated before I started (my fault for not researching). So do your research! From my experience, I knew it would be expensive, but I feel like the further along the process I got, the more money they were squeezing out of me.

Without going through the process again, without the consultants I can’t be sure whether they were over charging and milking me for money. I assume they were, at least that is the feeling I got.

In the end it just got far too expensive for me. I was asked for an extra $8000 for international patent revisions and I just let the patent application lapse.

I was contacted some years later by a businessman inquiring about the application and offering to purchase the patent, but I had let it lapse and missed the opportunity.

So, what is the lesson here? If I could go back in time, I don’t think I would go through the consultants. I would join inventor groups and forums and get advice from inventors before I started. I would do a lot more research about the process and costs involved and I would try and find a mentor

Funny speed dating idea

Stand Up NY
Stand Up NY

The dating business is a booming industry, and this speed dating idea could be an interesting and novel way to enter the market.

Dating apps are popular, but what about face to face dating and speed dating? I’ve never done it before, but I think speed dating would be an awkward experience, especially for introverted people like me. So how could you break the ice and create an enjoyable experience?

I thought it would be fun to incorporate speed dating with a comedy show, where the comedian would interact with the daters and roast them, thus breaking the ice between the daters and creating talking points. And, if you didn’t find a date by the end of the night you would still have a fun experience.

There is plenty of competition in all industries, so coming up with new and inventive models for exiting business ideas could give you a competitive edge.

What do you think of this idea? Comment below.

Product inspiration – dinosaur glove puppets

Dino glove puppets
Dino glove puppets

This is a product that I think is pretty cool. I have seen it doing the rounds on facebook lately, and if you are interested in developing children’s toys, this might be the toy for you.

Glove puppets are made from soft, flexible rubber and can be made in many different shapes. You put your hand inside the head and use your fingers to open and close the mouth, like the animal is alive.

Dinosaurs seem to be the in thing at the moment, but you could design to other themes. Horror, snakes, dragons and robots are other themes that would make interesting glove puppets. What can you think of?

Crayon bucket product idea

Barra bucket product idea
Barra bucket product idea

This is a product idea I thought of recently called the Barra bucket; a bucket of crayons that are shaped like a popular fish called the Barramundi.

I came up with this idea while looking at a local fishing Facebook page and realised a lot of peoples like catching Barramundi. I realised that a product marketed towards those people and their children might do well.

this is a logo I designed for the product idea. What do you think?

Dating in real life “porn”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

This might be a controversial issue, but it is an important issue, and an issue that needs solving.

9 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls will be exposed to pornography before the age of 18. What’s more, in a study that polled children about pornography exposure before the age of 13, half of the male children and one-third of the female children will have been exposed to pornography in some way. For the male children, almost a third will be exposed to pornography before they are 10 years old. Perhaps the most troubling part is that the majority of exposure (about two thirds of the group) is unwanted and unwarranted.

Easy access to online pornography and the potential harm of consistent exposure raise concerns about children’s health and well-being. The Internet has made children’s access to pornography a more significant issue. Children and youth who use email or surf the Internet are at risk for unwanted exposure to pornography.

What is the problem? Pornography is associated with unsafe sexual health practices such as not using condoms and unsafe anal and vaginal sex. Gaps between expectations and reality can produce “sexual uncertainty” about sexual beliefs and values and may also be related to sexual dissatisfaction, anxiety and fear.

Below are some of the harmful effects that pornography has on children. For more information just google the issue. There is plenty of information available.

  • Seeing unfamiliar looking bodies engaging in acts that a child cannot comprehend is a confusing and frightening experience for a child or adolescent.
  • Children or adolescents may experience autonomic sexual arousal at the sight of pornography, which can confuse them into thinking they “like” what they see, when in fact their bodies are reacting instinctively without the “approval” of their brain.
  • Children and adolescents can become “de-sensitized” to pornography exposure and this can result in acting out sexualized behaviors with other children and engaging in high-risk sexual experiences by adolescents.
  • Aggression towards women.
  • Both male and female consumers of pornography had increased levels of self-objectification and body surveillance.
  • Adolescent pornography use is associated with stronger beliefs in gender stereotypes, particularly for males. Male adolescents who view pornography frequently are more likely to view women as sex objects and to hold sexist attitudes such as women “leading men on”.

In the absence of other information, pornography can be the main source of a young person’s sex education. This is the issue, so what is the solution?

I think a possible solution lies with the creation of more educational “porn” based on real and normal experiences that adolescents can watch for sexual education. The educational pornography would have to meet classification guidelines and obviously, it could NOT be made R rated for adolescent viewing.

In my opinion these “pornographic” episodes should be based on real and normal experiences that teenagers and young adults might experience. Tinders dates, first dates, parties, clubbing, first time sexual experiences and awkward experiences. I think it would be helpful for teenagers to know that dating and sex is healthy, but it can also be fun, thrilling, awkward, uncomfortable and should most importantly be safe.

You’ll have to do your research. No one wants to watch bad videos, and they will need to be quality and engaging for the audience.

It’s a tricky issue, but what do you think? Could this actually solve the problem and make a successful business?

Art toy stand product idea

Are you looking for a new product idea? well maybe this one is for you. I have always been interested in art toys and manga figurines, with a small collection of toys from my childhood, manga characters and figurines from television shows. I have them displayed nicely on a cupboard in my bedroom. This solution is fine, but I thought, How could collectable toys and figurines be displayed better in a way that would interest toy collectors?

What I came up with was another collectable toy, designed to be a display stand for collectables. I think robots and mecha are popular with the collectable toy demographic, so I designed my first stand in the shape of a robot platform (I’m sure there are plenty of other themes that would work). You could design a series of collectable display stands and market towards collectors.

I have a very small collection and I think this is a cool idea, but other, more dedicated collectors have huge collections, encompassing rooms and costing lots of money. So I think this could be a profitable business.

This is one of the many ideas I will never get around to, but I would love to see it developed by someone interested. Comment below if you succeed.

Being a self-published author

Self-published book covers
Self-published book covers

I have tried this, and I haven’t been very successful at it. I think I know where I went wrong and how I could improve. If you have some pointers for me, I’d love to see them in the comments below.

The first book I self-published is Frankie and the Claws, a gripping tale of daring bravery and friendship against all odds. For teen-genius Rupert McAllister, building a window to another dimension is just another day in the life. But when a freak lightning strike crashes down his invention sparks to life and disaster strikes – his lovable pooch, Frankie the Dachshund is catapulted to a distant land at the other end of the universe.

We had just lost our dog Rupert, and it had hit me hard, which is where I got the inspiration for this book. I didn’t think much about marketing at the time and threw it out there. Over the years I have done some improvements to sales copy and the cover and sell a few copies every now and then.

The second book is a picture book, The Planet Chomper. If you read my blog it will come as no surprise that I love science fiction and I wanted to do a story with science fiction themes. Again, I had some money and just went for it without much planning. this is a common thread with me and a mistake. Plan ahead, think about marketing, marketing costs, sales copy, professional photos of merchandise etc etc. There is quite a lot that goes into it and you should prepare to make it your life for 6 months or so. Don’t just do it on a whim and hope to be successful.

It is so easy to self-publishing these days with serviced like Amazon KDP that there is a lot of competition and the market is saturated with self-publishers. It helps to have a popular theme or book based around trending keywords.

I suggest you join some of the Children’s picture book Facebook groups if you are planning on publishing a picture book. The people are so helpful, the information provided is essential and a some of them will be your first customers.

TIP: Don’t just join the group, not be an active participating member and hope to sell books to these people and get helpful tips. Participate in chats and network with other members to build a repour. Post often about your publishing journey and you will be rewarded with help and a customer base.

Back to my book The Planet Chomper. Ever since it was a baby, the Planet Chomper has worked its way through the universe, guzzling on delicious planets big and small. It gnashes through mountains and slurps up oceans. No planet is too big…

Essentially the story is about a selfish monster eating its way through space and honestly, I think it is pretty good. So why didn’t I succeed? Here are some of my thoughts.

  • I didn’t plan and tried started on a shoestring budget.
  • I didn’t narrow down my target market for marketing. The story is about selfishness, but I think I was too subtle. If you want to target a behaviour or certain issue, really go for it and make sure that theme really stands out. I could have marketed towards children interested in space, but that is a very broad theme, and I didn’t target that well enough either. In other words, my marketing strategy stunk!
  • I didn’t join the Facebook groups till after I went live. Seriously, the Facebook groups for Children’s books as one of the best resources you will find.
  • I had only enough budget to create the book and didn’t think past that. There is sales copy, marketing, paid advertising, printing costs, professional photography and more to think about.
  • I didn’t self-promote as an author. You have to get out there and sell, sell, sell. Go to markets, organise school visits and library readings. Create Youtube videos and an author’s page on Social applications.

You could also start a crowdfunding campaign to start our book. I haven’t done one, so I am no help there, but there are Facebook groups you can join.

I honestly suggest you look for Facebook groups if you plan on self-publishing and learn all you can before starting. In hindsight, that is what I would do. There are people starting out asking the same questions you need to ask and successful people to learn from.

In the end, I think I made a good book, but there is more to being successful.

Can you start a successful business based on science fiction spaceships?

Sci fi ships
Sci fi ships

Can you start a successful business based on science fiction spaceships? A long as I can remember I have been fascinated by science fiction spaceships and concept art. It possibly stemmed from 2001 A Space Odyssey and the Alien film, which are two of the earliest science fiction films I remember seeing. So I wonder, how could I turn my love of spaceships into a business?

Amazing models kits, statues and remote control vehicles are some of the ideas I thought of based around science fiction spaceships. I would also love to inspire children and get them excited about science fiction and the future. I think spaceship mobiles for babies rooms might be a good idea and I’d love to develop an children’s animation based of hard science fiction concepts. What do you think about the ideas I came up with? Do you think any could be successful?

I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

Starting an animation company

Beelzebreast animated series
Beelzebreast animated series

I grew up in the 90’s watching cartoons like Transformers, He-man, David the Gnome and Silver hawks. I have fond memories of these early cartoons, especially the theme songs, which still have a nostalgic effect today. From watching X-men and Dragon Ball Z before school to catching late night adult animation and anime on SBS. I remember the excitement of being allowed to stay up and watch Movies like Akira, Ninja Scroll and Various Ghibli movies as a teenager and my interest has continued to grow.  

As an adult in my 30’s I still watch cartoons and anime and base my art styles off a lot of the cartoons I watch.

What I love about cartoons and animation is the art, the stories and the character development. And more recently I have started to appreciate cleverness and creativity of the scripts and character dialogue.

I have always dreamed of starting my own animation company but knowing how expensive it is to create an animation, I haven’t considered it as an option. Over the years of starting and failing at many business ventures that I wasn’t really interested in, I decided to give it a go.

Without much animation experience, no money, and a lot of ideas I created a name for my company Profound Visuals, designed a logo and purchased the domain. Without much idea of what to do or how to start an animation company, I built a website and had scripts written for some of my favourite ideas.  

I wasted a lot of money at this stage trying to find my feet, developing stories and creating concept art for many different ideas at once. If I had to start all over, I would work on one idea at a time. It took me a few years of fiddling with the website, blogging and developing different stories to settle on a system I was happy with and to pick a concept I wanted to develop.

Finding an animator was another difficult task. I spent months sifting through Youtube, websites and Instagram to find artists. I emailed them to find out prices, not hearing back from most of them and finding out they were too expensive from the rest. I’m sure they could tell how naive and unprepared at that stage. I ended up looking at animation school showreels and contacted student animators and found some really great artists to work with.  

I still have a few projects on the go, but I have zeroed in on Beelzebreast as my primary concept.  

“High school is hard when you’re a demon.

It’s even harder when you spout giant breasts out of nowhere… like, actual lady lumps… in front of the entire school!

Meet Beelzebreast. Demon, Bully-hater, and Very Well Endowed.

Powered by rage against the angels who bullied him as a teenager, Beelze seeks vengeance by waging war on heaven and earth, while taking down as many innocent souls as he can in the process.

Amidst the fighting and bloodshed, he encounters his former bullies in the line of duty which forces him to revisit his past and come to some profound realizations about life, letting go, and just being yourself. 

Cone along on this journey of admittedly, rather bizarre growing pains with our anti-hero Beelze. Cringe at his traumatic flashbacks, applaud him as he kicks angel butt, and cheer him on as he finds love and eventual peace through self-acceptance.

Funny, absurd, yet painfully realistic – Beelzebreast is essentially a story about self-discovery and resilience that will get you thinking.

Each episode starts in the present, then takes us back to a pivotal point in the demon’s life which has shaped him to be who he is today.”

This is idea is very much a WORK IN PROGRESS and I am learning new things about the industry every day. From what I have learned the following is how I work on my projects (I am not an expert and might be doing this wrong).  

  • Don’t contact artists until you are ready to start the project. I feel like I wasted a lot of artists time when I first started. Not being prepared and not having the budget to even start what I was asking them for. 
  • Nut out the story outline, character development and script for your story. I only script for a pilot episode or teaser to gauge the audience interest in the project. If the audience doesn’t like it, I won’t proceed.  
  • Find and artist, start character design, visualization and discuss animation style. 
  • Finalise the above. 
  • Voice over recording. My animated required this first to work out the timeline for the animation. 
  • Animated story board to review how the final animation might look. You can add sound effects and music at this stage. 
  • Review story board and script for changes and make those changes. 

This is the stage I am up to and from here, I will proceed with the final animation, voice over, music and sound effects.

The process is incredibly expensive and I’m looking into crowd funding and other options to finalise the pilot animation.  

For now, this is a hobby of mine, but I will keep grinding to make it a success. When will I feel like it’s succeeded? Well, I don’t exactly know, but I have some goals in mind. Of course, making money, whether it’s by selling merchandise, Youtube subscribers, website visitors or having a series purchased and produced by a network, receiving over 100,000 views on a single video and having active fans.

Dogzilla – sculpture inspiration

Dogzilla lives creations
Dogzilla lives creations

Dogzilla Lives is an awesome artist creating polymer clay and rein sculptures of squids and other fleshy oddities.

She is one of my favourite sculptures on Instagram with my favourite sculptures of hers being the fleshy eyed necklace and crown.

I have always assumed that sculptures and artists don’t make any money, but looking at her Etsy Store she has plenty of sales and a huge amount of positive reviews.