Tag Archives: invention

Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 302 (re-air) November 30th

So this week was another re-air before the December 4th new holiday themed episode but, as in the previous review we are actually able to provide better feedback since time has passed since the original airing.

This weeks Sharks are: Kevin (Mr. Wonderful), Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Lori Greiner and Mark Cuban.

Lets get started….

Inventor: Jared Joyce

Product:  Five-Minute Furniture (www.jaredjoyce.com)

Requesting: $250k for 25% stake

Jared Joyce and the Five-Minute Furniture

Jared Joyce and the Five-Minute Furniture

Jared approached the display table in front of the Sharks and began to ask how long it normally takes to put together a standard piece of furniture with the cumbersome instructions and parts. He then said his solution was a jointed furniture system that can be assembled in under 5 minutes. He follows by demonstrating the concept by assembling a cubic box of 4 sides with a back panel and locking ring. From the Sharks expressions they appear to be somewhat impressed. When asked about sales history for the product he said “none” but that it just launched and that he has around 80 other products in the product pipeline. When asked if he will be including other products into the investment Jared said no. This was a turn off to Daymond and he bows out. Mark also follows out as he feels that too many investors have been left high and dry with Jared. Robert bows out as he states that he doesn’t trust Jared to pay him back and that paying back an investor should be top priority always. Lori then offers an interesting option she and Kevin (assuming he agrees) would split the $250k for 100% transfer of ownership and Jared is no longer involved. Basically, they want nothing to do with Jared and only want the patent to do what they wish. Jared continues to beg for royalty or less stake but the Sharks don’t budge. The result is Jared leaves without any Sharks funding.

Feedback: This one was really hard to watch to be honest because you feel for Jared because you know he is a typical innovator which I like and this product is something that could take off if partnered with a large furniture builder (Ikea, Ethan Allen, etc,..) but, the fact he had too much going on behind the scenes with the other products was a turn off. Reality is that Jared looks like more of a idea person and not a business person and he should have taken the deal and put the $250k directly behind the next new big product in the pipeline. Instead he leaves empty-handed and has to explain to his other investors what happened.

Inventor: Raven Thomas

Product: The Painted Pretzel (www.thepaintedpretzel.com)

Requesting: $100k for 25% stake

The Painted Pretzel

The Painted Pretzel

The show does a background piece on Raven and shows her with her sister and mother making various chocolate covered pretzels and snack. She begins her pitch by telling the Sharks that she came up with the idea to create chocolate-covered pretzels and started to make them with all sorts of toppings which is pretty unique to what is on the market currently. She already has a good list of accounts including Neiman Marcus and sales last year totaled $75k, $64k in pending orders but, she had unfilled orders totaling $140k. She then passed out samples to the Sharks and they all agree that they are delicious. Kevin starts out the discussion by being a bit hard on her and asking what is so unique about the product and why he couldn’t just go and pay a company the same amount of money to duplicate the Painted Pretzel. Lori asks Raven what would make someone invest in her and her company. The response is one that is heart felt but not convincing enough. Kevin is out. She tries again and says that she walked away from a $2 million dollar order from Sams Club because she didn’t have enough capital to fill the order. Now that is a good answer! Mark being aggressive jumps right in and says he owns the Maverick and Landmark Theatres and could have the Painted Pretzel sold everywhere. He offers the full asking amount if she says yes then and there. She accepts.

Feedback: Raven is a great person and passionate about her product. This once again is an example of a valid business / product not having anything proprietary but having a strong leader. I normally will side with the patented or patent-pending (at least) as a strong basis for investment but, you can see with a solid sales history and demand out pacing capacity, anyone will be drooling at the potential. I spent some time browsing the website to try and gauge the progress since the show but could not find any major details. If anyone has more information please share (Mark Cuban or Raven would be great).

Inventor: Ryan Naylor

Product: Esso Watches (www.essowatches.com: not active any longer)

Requesting: $35k for 20%

ESSO Watches (a.k.a. TAGI Watches)

ESSO Watches (a.k.a. TAGI Watches)

Ryan is pitching a silicon negative ion laden wrist watch that will help offset the amount of positive ions our bodies are encountered everyday from electronic equipment. This concept will help restore balance and vitality…. He demonstrates the watches powers by first having Lori try to balance on one leg without the watch and then after putting the watch on she does the same but now she appears to be more stable. Now for the financials he has turned a $20k investment into $120k with a pretty strong $70k in profit. Mark jumps in and says is out after stating that the whole concept is a scam and has been disproven time and time again. Lori asks if he has any independent laboratory testing data to support the claims. He doesn’t. She is out. Daymond says he owns a watch brand that has the same designs and follows out. Robert and Kevin also decline.

Feedback: I am a huge sceptic of this technology or lack there of. People have been putting ions or magnets into wrist watches, bracelets and necklaces for years and never has anyone had substantiate evidence that it works. I am honestly surprised it made it through the show Executives considering the amount of questions. Also, I tried the website http://www.essowatches.com and it appears to be a dead site. After looking on Twitter it looks like Ryan is now pushing a new brand (or re-brand called TAGI Watches). This may have been after the show aired. Having said all of that, these can probably be made through a Chinese MFG for probably $1.50-2.00/pcs meaning that if he sells them for the right price in the right markets he will still make money. There are enough people out there that think it works. Any one wish to comment please do.

Inventor: Rick Hopper

Product: ReaderREST

Requesting: $150k for 15% stake

ReadeREST by Rick Hopper

ReadeREST by Rick Hopper

Rick entered the tank but, appeared to take a clumsy stumble before reaching the display table. As he gets up he says there has never been a good product out there to address holding glasses. That is until ReadeREST came along. He shows the two-piece super strength magnetic clip that retains his specs close by. The clip can be worn by simply attaching clips to the shirt and then sliding in the glasses. He says the initial concept came from bending paper clips to form a curved clip (he had the original prototype in his pocket). He has $65k sales to date but, the entire assembly has been in his workshop and the tedious procedure of gluing magnets to metal can only go so far. He purchased the original patent from the previous owner for $5k!! He also has the trademark registered as well. Daymond is out. Robert follows. Kevin doesn’t like the companies valuation and is also out. Lori counter offers Rick $150k for 65% of the company but, assures him that she will make him a Millionaire. Mark is out and Rick asks if she would consider 49% but, as expected, she holds steady with her offer. He finally accepts.

Feedback: I love this product for a number of reasons. First, it is one of those that could be marketed everywhere because not only targets prescription glass wearers but, also anyone wearing sunglasses. Second, I love magnets in fact one of my products is surprisingly similar but also uses Neodyium Magnets (super strength magnets). Finally, Rick is a good person and much like Raven he lives his product and passionately assembles each and everyone, I can relate. I do not watch QVC or HSN but would like to hear more about the sales history since the show and whether it has made any strides in mass production.

Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank.

Sean Yakeley

If you are an Entreprenuer with a great product idea but, have not made any progress with the development, my company Odyssey Solutions can help. We offer a full turnkey suite of services to help turn that great idea of yours into a product. All while you retain all intellectual property. To see our full list of services click the link below.

New Product Development Consulting

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Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 411 November 16th

Hello readers, thanks for stopping by our weekly review of Shark Tank. This episode had a nice diverse range of Inventors and products and services. This weeks Shark were: Kevin (Mr. Wonderful), Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban. Below you can read a brief summary of the pitch and also my feedback from a product development strategy stand point. Please as always feel free to leave comments and subscribe for future posts.

Inventor: Jackie Courtney

Product: Nearly Newlywed (www.nearlynewlywed.com)

Requesting: $35k for 10% stake

Nearly Newlyweds by Jackie Courtney

Jackie Courtney (Fashion Editor and Entrepreneur) led off the show by entering the tank with a dress model wearing what appeared to be a wedding gown. She approached the display and greeted the sharks. She immediately began telling a story about how most women have an idea of what dress they want but, often cannot it. She tells the sharks that her company Nearly Newlyweds is a online boutique for wedding dresses where women can come and purchase the high end dresses of their choices for a fraction of the retail cost. She tells that not only are the dresses discounted but her company guarantees a buy back at 50% the purchase price. She further explains that her company operates essentially as a consignment and has little to no out of pocket expenses. Furthermore, when she purchases a dress she already has 30% profit built in. Her current sales are 4 dresses but she is limited by inventory at the moment. Jackie also mentioned that she is working with Klein Felds on an exclusive partnership. The money would go to more inventory for her company. Barbara jumped in rather quickly and said she was out because it was too early to invest in as there was little track record. Robert immediately followed out. Daymond said he was not interested. Kevin then said that he would offer $35k for 40% stake so that he had a larger influence on the company (even saying he would have offered 51% and fired her, harsh). Mark bowed out since this was not his expertise. Jackie regretfully turns downs Kevins offer and leaves empty-handed.

Feedback: Considering I know nothing about wedding dresses except that my wife looked amazing in hers, I turned to her for some opinion on Jackie’s business model. We both agreed that it was very unique and most likely appealing to some women but, that most women she knows are particular about keeping their dresses and not buying used. Having said that, there is definite value in this market segment as women are wiling to spend exorbitant amount of money on wedding dresses. The biggest issues for me is the amount of inventory needed to satisfy all of the women that come to the website. The partnership with Klein Felds is a great idea and I think this will not be the last time we see Nearly Newlyweds. Best of Luck Jackie!

Inventor(s): Nathan Buffett and Shane Cianciolo

Product / Service: CorksAway (www.corksaway.com)

Requesting: $105k for 20% stake

Nathan and Shane with CorksAway

Nathan and Shane entered the tank in see captains uniforms with a bottle of wine and tray of appetizers. They then offered both to all of the Sharks and all accepted the free booze and food. Nathan and Shane then talked about how their company CorksAway was an exclusive cruise with food and wine. The cruises are much smaller that what is currently offered. They also said that they offer different themed excursions such as: beer cruise, wine and mimosas, etc,… Next they talked about the appetizer they were presenting as the Pesto Tort. They had made $250k over the past year on one boat (not bad). They said that the endeavor is part of a 4 stage plan:

Stage 1: Growth of the CorksAway cruises

Stage 2: Franchising for $175k including the cost of the boat (boat only costs $35k)

Stage 3: Food retail of the Pesto Tort

Stage 4: Indoor cruise in Las Vegas

This eclectic presentation and business plan was not what the Sharks were interested and they all regretfully did not offer anything.

Feedback: I think the biggest issue with the pitch is actually the lack of focus on the primary initiative of growing the cruise business. The 4 stage plan was a turn-off to any investor because it displays an appearance of looking down the road for the next thing as compared to focussing. I do like the cruise idea but, the franchise concept is probably the best idea considering the minimal capital. I just think the $175k is too much. It would be better if the price to buy-in was more like $100k and they received a back-end royalty on all cruise sales. This to me would bring more interest to the table. Best of Luck!

Inventor(s): David Powers and Scott Tindel

Product / Service: Tietry (www.tietry.com)

Requesting: $100k for 25% stake

Tietry by David Powers and Scott Tindel

David and Scott are Attorneys and both wear ties on a daily basis, they mentioned that they spend a lot of money on ties and wanted to offer a service that allowed people the option of having a different tie whenever they wanted. The business model was compared to “Netflix for ties” and they guys said that other products would be offered eventually such as cut links, etc,… The way the service works is the user pays a monthly membership such as $15.99 and they will receive a tie in the mail. They wear the tie and return it. After a few more days a new tie arrives and the process is repeated. Currently they have zero advertising and yet have 110 subscribers with a retention rate of 85%. They mostly rely on referrals at the moment and have no new clients in the pipeline. Robert is first to drop out then, Kevin says he will offer half ($50k) if and only if he gets another shark to come in with the rest and state the stake requested. Barbara also drops out. Daymond then says he is particularly not interested because the guys didn’t come in with a great deal of passion for he fashion side. Mark then says he is out and that means Kevin has to withdrawal his offer too.

Feedback: While compared to Netflix, this is a very inventory dependent and I would imagine the people that do not renew the program it is mostly due to selection. This means David and Scott would need to have an enormous inventory of various patterns and colors to satisfy all buyers. I think there needs to be an extensive study performed on the most common ties by color, brand and pattern to determine exactly the best product to stock. Also, I would imagine the company retains rights to charge the user for the full value of the tie in the event it is not returned on time and in good condition? Not bad really but it needs to have some of the bugs worked out to be a return, low-risk model. Good luck guys!

Inventor: Rob Dyer (Marine Major)

Product: RuckPack (www.ruckpacks.com)

Requesting: $75k for 10% stake

RuckPack by Rob Dyer

Rob in full camouflage military uniform, enters the tank and approaches the display. He begins by telling a story about his military experience and saying that one of the biggest challenges of being in a remote location and up long hours is the nutrition. So he developed RuckPack nutritional shots. The idea behind the shots is they are loaded with nutritional content and not caffeine as the Snipers would not like the jittery feeling. He wants to translate the marketing to the civilian but he is out of inventory. The mixture is proprietary. The shot currently costs him about $0.80-0.85/bottle to make and he sells it for a couple of dollars but, would like to drive the costs down to improve his margins. All of his profit goes into inventory orders (paid upfront, ouch). He has invested $90k and holds 40% stake in the company while the remaining stake is held by various military families. He has 80,000 units arriving soon and 20,000 units of the caffeinated version. He is only in a few stores at the moment and needs to grow. But, he needs more inventory to handle demand. Daymond bows out, Barbara also says she is out. Kevin says he will offer the whole amount requested. Mark is out too. Robert then says that he thinks Rob Dyer needs more money to build inventory and he offers $150k for 20% with Kevin splitting the investment. He accepts the offer.

Feedback: First off, Oorah! Thank you for your service, we are deeply grateful. I like this product for a number of reasons 1) it is a proven high demand segment 2) margins can be high and 3) the military spin without caffeine is great. I don’t like energy shots for the main reason that I don’t know what is inside and having read the latest claim that 5-Hour Energy shots may have led to some deaths. This however it a nutritional shot. The fact that he already has a lot of demand that he cannot fill is a good sign. I do wish to see him work out agreements with the suppliers to allow Net30 or Net60 credit terms to free up cash flow for other investments. I don’t doubt that RuckPack will be on shelves soon in a store near you. Great job Rob!

Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank.

Sean Yakeley

If you are an Entreprenuer with a great product idea but, have not made any progress with the development, my company Odyssey Solutions can help. We offer a full turnkey suite of services to help turn that great idea of yours into a product. All while you retain all intellectual property. To see our full list of services click the link below.

New Product Development Consulting


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Shark Tank Weekly Review – Episode 410, November 2nd 2012

I am an avid fan of the show Shark Tank on ABC which airs every Friday evening on ABC at 8pm EST. What I love about this show is it not only gives individual inventors the platform to truly launch their product successfully but, it also exposes a lot of key gaps in the individuals products specifically with regards to “Valuation”. If you watch the show like I do the first thing I want to know is the current valuation and what the existing sales figures look like. This post will represent the first in a series of episode reviews that will cover each product and my feedback from a product development standpoint. I urge you to please subscribe and follow this blog as well as leave comments on what your opinion is for each show.

This weeks episode is the 10th of the 4th season. If you would like me to review any past shows please leave in the comment section.

Inventor: Bruce Gaither

Product: NO FLY CONE (www.noflyzone.com)

Requesting: $25k for 15% stake

Bruce Gaither and the No Fly Cone

For this particular scenario, Bruce thought it would be beneficial to bring with him Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane i hopes that the celebrity endorsement would entice the Sharks to invest. The product is essentially a cone shaped fly trap that requires the use of a dogs fresh poop to attract the flies to the cones sticky underbelly. As Bruce presents his product to the Sharks you can immediately see looks of disinterest. Kevin is the first to bow out followed by Mark Cuban whom gets a Stewie impression from Seth MacFarlane. Daymond, Lori and Robert also soon follow as they are not interested or do not have any expertise to help with the product.

Feedback: In my opinion not all ideas should become products and this would be one of those. First, sticky fly traps have been around for decades and they are not only simple and effective but they are cheap. The idea that someone would purchase a more complex product by paying more and introducing dog poo to make it work is ridiculous. This is one idea that should have been dropped early on in the product development stages (most likely in the market analysis).

Inventor: Ginelle Mills

Product: COOL WAZOO (www.thecoolwazoo.com)

Requesting: $65k for 25% stake

Ginelle Mills with Cool Wazoo

Ginelle came into the Shark Tank well prepared and with a great presentation. As any good Marketer, she was able to create the story behind the “need” which ultimately led to the product solution Cool Wazoo. The Cool Wazoo is essentially replacing 4-5 products that mothers typically purchase for their child (swing cover, highchair cover, changing mat, etc,…). She started out with a good story about her personal experience with her child getting burned on a swing. But, this is where the story went horribly wrong. Ginelle started telling the Sharks that the product was on the Today Show and that she initially got a warm reception with orders but, that almost 85% of the products had to be returned for defective purposes. She then was on the show The Doctors where she was forced to give each audience member one of the Cool Wazoos as part of the promotion, leaving her without any inventory and basically broke. She said the unit cost is roughly $30 being made domestically and she only receives $2.50 margin on wholesales sales. This was an immediate sign of her inexperience. The Sharks all bailed out after they learned of the past disasters. Ginelle then was reduced to tears and then was able to attract Lori back in to offer her the original requested amount.

Feedback: From a product standpoint, Ginelle has a great product in which will surely be successful, with the proper leadership and financial controls. In my opinion Lori should had asked for a larger stake to ensure she has greater influence in the direction of the product. Having said that, $65k will only really be enough to build probably 5-7k units in China and spend the rest on marketing. This may be enough to get her back in the black but, considering she is broke, I think there will be more investment needed to get it really launched. Last comment would be to remove the tears from a presentation. Investors want to put money behind people who are strong and results-driven and not emotional.

Inventor: Michael Tseng

Product: Plate Topper (www.platetopper.com)

Requesting: $90k for 5% stake

Michael Tseng and the Plate Topper

Michael entered the Shark Tank appearing to be very prepared and with an “As Seen on TV” presentation in which even garnered some laughs along the way from the Sharks. The product is a replacement for the disposable container and lid systems out there such as Tupperware. The Plate Topper is a clear acrylic lid with a silicon rim that creates suction on an existing plate to seal it from the outside. The product is very impressive and appears that he will get some bites from the Sharks. Kevin is the first to offer the requested amount. Lori then jumps in and says “I want to add a zero to the offer for $900k and 30% stake” this shocks the room and Daymond is forced to up the ante to $1million for 25% stake. Normally, the Inventor would be drooling at these offers but, Michael begins to get arrogant and secretive with the valuation and the desired counter offer. Daymond drops his offer. After the Sharks ask him for his counter he finally says $750k for 5%. So then the room erupts saying he came in and pulled the “bait and switch” by luring them in for $90k. Robert drops his offer. Mark eventually allows Michael to exit the Tank and call his brother for advice. When he returns with a new offer of $1.5million for 10%, Mark is furious and drop out. Finally Lori being the only Shark left, says she will invest $90k for 8% stake. Michael takes it.

Feedback: This presentation is the worst example of greed and lack of integrity by an Inventor. Michael should have had a rock solid vision of the product valuation and held firm throughout the meeting. Instead he got greedy and started seeing offers come in as a way to raise the bar beyond the realistic value. Consider this, if you look at Michaels (and brothers) counter-offer of $1.5million for 10% stake, this means they feel that the company is worth an astonishing $15million!!! There is no gimmicky product that is worth that much and I am surprised that Lori even decided to stay in the game considering the attitude of the Inventor. Word of advice to any Inventor out there, spend time and money analyzing the market and competition and if you are going to valuate your company on potential sales you better have concrete figures to discuss. There is nothing wrong with confidence and passion but, it can often come across as arrogant so tread lightly.

Thanks everyone for reading this weeks post. Stay tuned for weekly reviews of Shark Tank.

Sean Yakeley

If you are an Entreprenuer with a great product idea but, have not made any progress with the development, my company Odyssey Solutions can help. We offer a full turnkey suite of services to help turn that great idea of yours into a product. All while you retain all intellectual property. To see our full list of services click the link below.

New Product Development Consulting

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Pursuing an Invention Idea? Consider Filing for an LLC…

Ok so if you are seriously pursuing your dream of making that invention idea a real tangible product? One word of advice is to consider filing with your state either as an LLC, S-Corp or C-Corp (in rare circumstances). First, the cost to file in most states is less than $300 (sometimes much less than this), it only takes a simple filling of a form with a check. In a matter of days you can be operating as a small business. Second, one of the main reasons for filing as a limited liability entity is to limit the personal liabilities that would be tied to any financial obligations that you undertake while operating as a business. In other words, in the unforeseen case that your business does not pan out and you can no longer make payments to your creditors, your personal property cannot be used to satisfy debts. Third, the best reason to file as a business is for the tax deduction purposes. All throughout the product development process you will incur expenses (some of them pretty significant) for example; Engineering Fees, Patent Attorney Fees, Prototyping, Sales and Marketing. All of these can be used as write-offs when you go to file your annual tax returns in April. These write-offs will ultimately lower you AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) and therefore lower the required tax payment which will lead to a larger return. 

For a good detailed explanation of the various business types please check out the following article on BizFilings.com: http://www.bizfilings.com/learn/compare-company-types.aspx

Last bit of advice, just because you live and work in one state doesn’t mean you cannot file your company in another, more small business-friendly state such as Delaware. What you will need to do however is work through a registered agent in the state you wish to file in. These agents use a single address with multiple mailbox addresses to help companies legally operate in the desired state. 

Best of luck and as always, feel free to drop a comment and I can help in anyway possible.


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Developing a New Invention on a Budget

When I hear someone with a great idea procrastinate because of the cost, it frustrates me for a number of reasons. First, an idea for a new, novel product is not something that should be taken with such a lack of motivation. Second, when looking at a new product, cost is a necessary part of getting it off the ground but the results can quickly pay dividends. I always tell my clients and potential clients that you must not look at the up front costs as a burden because there are ways to help elevate some of the sticker shock for product development consulting fees. If you are considering using a consultant to help get your product developed, I would look at the following priorities in order of importance.

1) Provisional Patent – estimated costs ranging from $110 (direct USPTO cost) – $500 (service fees added)

“Do this first so that at the very least, you will have 12 months to get the formal patent prepared, lowering your costs. Plus you will be creating a date of filing which can protect you in the event of infringement”

2) 2D and 3D Drawings – estimated costs ranging from $1000 – over 20,000 (depending on the complexity)

“Getting the formal drawings created is the next most critical phase in the development of the idea. You should make sure that you receive electronic and printed versions of all sub-components and assemblies including the Bill of Materials (which will state what each piece is made of that will help the manufacturer)”

3) Prototyping – services fees range from $2000+ with the actual machining costs additional

“Make sure that you have selected a durable material to make your prototype with so that during the market research phase, it will hold up. Also see about getting 2 or more prototypes made so one can be used for marketing and the others used for demos”

4) Market Research – usually $50/hr is a good rule of thumb

“To say you have the next million dollar idea is hard to justify without a good test run. I would typically take a prototype and demo it with a small sample of users (minimum of 100) to gain their feedback, likelihood of use, purchase price, etc,… This phase can often be the the most critical, don’t cut corners here. Feedback on some minor changes may mean the difference between the next fad and the next flop”

5) Refining

“Because this is sometimes included with some drafters, I have not shown additional cost. check to see if iterations are included in the design”

6) Manufacturing

“This is very much specific to the product so I would hate to state a cost estimate. Depending on your desired goals, you can seek a production facility to turnkey the product for you while you handle the marketing and sales. Most people are looking to have someone actually manage the sale of their product and that is where licensing or sale of the patent may be a better option. Partner with an expert in the field of your invention to make sure you get the maximum return”

7) Sales and Marketing

So if you think about the things you are most inclined to buying, a lot of your decision is based on the marketing and packaging design. I would suggest you work with a cutting edge young firm here to get the most modern packing possible. While the upfront print and tooling costs can cost over $10,000, it truly is necessary if you are looking for retail exposure”

If you just look at the above steps as one big expense it will be enough for anybody to steer clear and opt for the less risky path of procrastination. However, product development can take well over a year from concept to production, this will allow for costs to be spread. I might also suggest to write a business plan and try gaining some investors from you network of friends, family and colleagues. Every little bit can help and providing a little share of the profits is usually enough to get some followers.

Follow my blog as I will be adding to this post in the coming days…

Thanks for reading.


New Product Development Consulting

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MacGyver Problem Solving – Episode 1

So I was thinking about something today that I had to post to you all out there. Historically, innovation has come out of necessity with the intention of making things easier. One thing that many people dont realize is that not only is that true but most of the time, the prototype or concept for something actual was derived from some household items. This reminded me of the classic television show MacGyver where the lead character always found himself in a strange predicament that he had to utilize what he had on his person to solve or get out of. So I have decided to start a post that will challenge the readers to come up with a solution to a problem with the list of things provided below.

Scenario: Imagine you are stuck alone in an elevator 80 floors up in a highrise skyscraper and the power has caused the elevator to stop in between floors.

Challenge: You will be required to exit the elevator and safely make it to one of the floors above or below.

Conditions: No cellpone signal, power has also tripped the emergency alarm and phone from functioning, elevator is a cable supported type, there is no light and you are without any food or water.

Tools: You have on you the following items; cellphone, digital wrist watch, metal ballpoint pen, notebook, backpack with nylon straps, laptop computer, Swiss Army knife.

I urge you all to be as creative as possible and please reply with your solutions.



Sean Yakeley

New Product Development

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Bad Economy Inspires Innovation

Did you know that some of the most important inventions in our history came at times when the economy was struggling? It’s true. The Industrial Age, The Computer Age and The Information Age all were sparked by innovative thinkers looking to kick-start consumer spending and ultimately change the way we live our lives. Pretty cool.

Here is a great article about some of the more famous inventions during the Great Depression: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/08/12/1205_sb_necessity/1.htm

One incredible story that you may be aware of is just two months following the attacks on 9/11, when the economy was upside down, the Apple iPod was first introduced. Not long after that, there began a cult like following that has created the most profitable in the US, Apple.

Although, the stock market, the deficit, the dollar and the political policies are in turmoil, maybe it is time to you think of pursuing some of your ideas. Who knows maybe you could have something that may change lives for years to come.

It is this concept of getting your ideas to market that has formed as the foundation for Odyssey Solutions. I hope that everyone reading this, that has an idea for a new product to nurture our creativity and if you are unsure how to make it a reality, contact us.

Got an Idea? We Can Help…

Follow us to stay in the loop with some of the innovators of the moment.

Sean Yakeley

Odyssey Solutions – Product Development Consulting

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For those who are design inclined.


A catalogue of creative expression

The Past and Present Future

Ken Hinckley's Ideas, Visions, and Opinions on the Research Frontiers of Human Technologies

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

Leadership Freak

Empowering Leaders 300 Words at a Time

WINNING IDEAS - Tien Wong's Blog

On Leadership and Hypergrowth in the Entrepreneurial Economy

Crazy about CrossFit!

A complete and utter addiction!


PGA Golf Instructor and Host of the Golf Channel's show the Golf Fix

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences