Category Archives: Start Up

Need Patent Help?

I just made the patent deadline by the skin of my teeth! Mailed overnight, one day before the deadline.

The provisional was filed 7/15/08, which gives one year “Patent Pending” until you file the final application.

From my research, I decided not to file the final application by myself.  Stats show that self submitted applications usually get kicked back.

I found Patent Attorney’s start at $4,000-$5,000 minimum than also charge by the hour.  However, Patent Agents which are registered with the US Patent & Trademark Office are qualified to submit the application and charge usually half this cost.   Paying an Attorney that kind of money for a idea where the outcome is uncertain was not an option for me.

Therefore, I posted an ad on Craigslist seeking patent help.  I received a response from a registered Patent Agent who offered to help at a fraction of the cost of an attorney.  Even more so, my deadline was only 2 weeks away at the time.   I don’t know of any attorney who would adjust their entire workload schedule to meet my deadline!

Robin Lopez, Patent Agent has an engineering background and more importantly is an Inventor himself.  To my surprise, he can also help with 3D drawings for prototype development.  I’ve been very impressed with his knowledge, responsiveness and attention to detail.

Call for a FREE Consultation…. and mention my name.

www.BrainStormPatents.com

If anyone would like to discuss the process, please send me a message – mytweakz@gmail.com

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It’s a wrap for June, video pitch done!

I just finished my video pitch for TWEAKZ this weekend.  Happy that I didn’t push the July 1st deadline until the last minute……I work great under pressure! 

Tirelessly all week I edited pitch after pitch.  Never realized how unforgiving video was until I started filming myself.  I make so many weird expressions with my face, I will definitely be more cognizant about this going forward and somewhat paranoid.  

Having the video finished is a big accomplishment for me, especially since it was made all by myself. 

What a relief to be done with it! 

It’s now in the hands of Casting to determine if Tweakz will be a good fit for the show.  I’m proud to say that I did my best with the video.

Women Inventor Show Casting Information

I showed the video to one of my friends and she was really impressed. This made me feel good since I’m my worst critic.

Thank you to all of my online friends for your advice and support.

I really hope that you will be seeing me on the widescreen HD TV!

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Power in Numbers

5,000 Friends is my Facebook goal.  That’s the MAX allowed or it would be higher.

Why do I keep adding friends?

I’ll admit it’s a lot to manage and sometimes overwhelming. My reason, Power in Numbers.

All it takes is that one simple message update, comment or reply from a friend to ignite a spark; create an idea or change your direction.

Today was a clear example of exactly this.  

“Lisa Tweakz Reading up on how to get my product on HSN and QVC.”  This was my post from the other day on Twitter and Facebook.  Not much response, but today I received a comment that made all the difference.

HSNShoppingDivaRT @tweakzme: Reading up on how to get my product on HSN…[Normal way: http://is.gd/H8yv. Fun way with Kelly Ripa & TLC: http://is.gd/BnpY]

The 2nd link sent to me from HSNShoppingDiva, is for the casting of a new Inventors show!  Take a look:

Women Inventor Show Casting Information

This is right up my alley and I had No Idea about this show. The deadline for a video submission is July 1st.  My prototype is being reworked and will have to submit by then.

Thanks to the power of Facebook and Twitter, I’ve never been so connected and in-tune to what’s happening!  Call this response  fate or fluke, I believe it’s Power in Numbers.

I feed off the brain power and creativity of my online community and continue to build my arsenal of knowledge.

More Contacts = Increased Possibilities.  Please know, this is a 2-Way street.  I strive to be a responsive friend and add value when possible.  Although I can’t comment on every post, I promise to respond to all direct personal messages.  I’m always available to offer guidance and encouragement.

The support and talent of the people I meet online is truly amazing. THANK YOU!

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Make your own A-Team!

I was excited to have dinner last night with a long time friend.  You can tell what friends are good for you by how you feel after being around them.   Some friends bring you down, others bring you up.

 

Friends that bring you down are toxic, and should be eliminated from your life.

 

This friend however is very inspiring, supportive and intelligent.  I haven’t seen him in about a year, and divulged my information on Tweakz.  I hold Tweakz close to my heart since its still a young and tender baby.  Kinda like a little babies soft head, it needs to develop more before resisting any kind of impact from criticism.

 

Happily, he was very responsive and encouraging of my business plan.  How Exciting!

 

This positive response only further ignites my engine to push forward.  Just like the little engine that could; I think I can…..I think I can……I think I can……   I just keep trucking up that hill!

 

As for my current progress, I’m still waiting on the revisions to be completed by my CAD guy.  At this point, it’s been 2 weeks and still nothing yet.  I realize that he’s a busy guy, but the lack of attention to my project is really stating to urk me.  I’m paying him good money.   I posted an ad on Craigslist today looking for another CAD designer to complete the final revisions.  I’m sick of waiting.  Sorry, but there are people out there hungry for the business in this economy.

 

My meeting last night really made me think about how important it is to surround yourself with awesome people.   It’s the difference between success and failure.  After being somewhat fuzzy headed from this waiting process, I now have new energy.  One simple meeting with the right person has given me the charge I need.  

 

I continue to grow a following on Twitter & Facebook.  My online friends provide me a wealth of information and are invaluable.

 

Imagine what you could do with an entire A-Team of people on your side?

 

Infinite Possibilities 😉

 

 

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Last Day of February 2009

Yippee!  I’m happy to see I have comments on my new blog.   Your support is motivating!

I’m addressing your questions in this post.

What is Tweakz?    I know, I’ve been somewhat vague.  Until I have the actual product to market, I’ve been reluctant to give out much information.  Reason for this; the product alone is very simple. The key is how the product is used.  Tweakz is a women’s fashion accessory. 

When will Tweakz be available?   I’m hoping in the next few months.  This last week, I ran into an obstacle with the design.   A very helpful manufacturer pointed out a potential flaw.  A quality product is really important to me. Therefore, I would rather wait to ensure the design is suitable.

Foreign manufacturer vs. made in the USA?   I definitely prefer to support my country.  However, I’m finding it’s all interrelated. Most foreign producers have US offices.  For instance, the manufacturer  I’m considering is a US company.  He does work in house, but also partners with companies in China on certain products to remain competitive.  Therefore, I would work with a US company but the product parts would be produced overseas.  Once I receive the parts, I will assemble together myself and with family labor 😉   At least, until I can afford to hire help.

I expect to spend more per piece on my first few runs.  The real cost savings comes when you order in high volume.   Until I get sales to justify the expense, I’ll stick with low volume production.

As for my man Donny Deutsch,  I found this post regarding the show.

CNBC puts “Big Idea with Donny Deutsch” on hiatus.

Given the condition of the economy, it’s hard to find anything positive on tv.  

We need these inspiring shows to give us hope and motivation.

I vote to get an online petition going to bring back the show.

As for now, you can watch previous episodes at the following sites.  

Search under Donny Deutsch or Big Idea

www.hulu.com

www.youtube.com

 

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Progress Report

Months of going back and forth with revisions has finally come to an end. So excited to finally get my 3D CAD drawings on my product finalized.  I guarantee my drawing architect is relieved to have me out of his hair.  I’ve been a bit knit-picky, but I know exactly what I want.  When you have this vision in your head, you can’t settle for anything less.   Now I have drawings to provide to the manufacturers in order to get quotes on producing my product.

 

I searched through Thomas Net for manufacturers, specializing in plastic injection molding parts.  Thomas Net gives you the contact information and website.  Once getting the company website, I then look at the company to see if they produce any similar parts.  After doing this for a few hours, I acquired a hefty list of emails to send quote requests.  Sent out a mass email entailing exactly what I was looking for and attached my drawings.

 

This is a discovery process of getting estimates on costs.   The main cost is the tooling of the machine to make the mold for the parts.  Based on my internet research, I’m expecting somewhere in the ballpark of $5,000 to create the molds and the actual parts less than .50 cents to make.  However, I’m planning on beating that price!

 

Very surprised to have a quote within a few hours. However, also sticker shocked at the estimate of between $8,000-$13,000.  Impressed with response time, but NO WAY on the price.

 

Received several calls and emails for more information.  I’ve been prompt in responding yet, not much urgency to get back to me.   I know that my project is small beans compared to their large potato contracts, but everyone starts somewhere.  I’m a small spud eager to grow!

 

Ever so often, I’m very delighted to find someone who stretches out of their routine box to offer me valuable guidance.  One manufacturer in particular, actually responded to me with concerns about a possible design flaw.  All the other manufacturers that I requested quotes from were just eager to bid on pricing.  

 

Back to the drawing table!  His feedback was dead on.  Just need a minor tweakz 😉

 

Based on the revisions I discussed with this fellow, he gave me an estimate of $3,000 for tooling and .30 cents for parts.  Sounds good to me and response time is impeccable. Not to mention, his attention to detail.  This may be my guy. 

 

Looks like I’m back to harassing my CAD guy again.  Hopefully it will be quick and painless this time.

 

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Baby Steps…..

Don’t get stuck in Analysis Paralysis!  I do this all the time. You over-analyze until you pop a blood vessel and do nothing.  Your mind gets overwhelmed and goes comatose.

 

If you solely focus on the massive big picture, you’ll only see obstacles.

 

It takes one step at a time to climb a mountain.

 

Baby steps, do something everyday to work towards your new business.  As small as the task might be.  This keeps the idea alive and you moving forward to achieve it.

 

You can write the perfect business plan and timeline.  I guarantee, that nothing ever happens as planned. If you get held up during any part of the process, then just work on another.  It doesn’t have to be in perfect sequence. 

 

Take it from me, I planned to have my website up and selling product already.  Unfortunately, I can’t change the response time of the guy doing my 3D CAD drawings nor the time for manufacturing.  No to mention any unforeseen issues that arise. It’s a constant dodge ball match. Therefore, I decided to get my blog going and stay focused on my end result.

 

READ * READ * READ*  The Internet has a wealth of free information. Use your time wisely.

Study about your market and how your going to dominate it. Work efficiently, send emails requesting quotes on goods and services.  

 

Too often it’s easy to get caught up trying to do everything.  Admitting your not good at something doesn’t feel good.  Nobody is a master of all trades.  When we bog ourselves down with tasks were not good at and don’t like, it drains your energy.  Learn how to delegate out your monotonous tasks and exploit your strengths.  This will make you more productive and better at what you do.

 

Suggested Reading:

     “The E-Code” by Joe Vitale –  in-depth knowledge on internet marketing

     Use “Strength Finder” – don’t assume, uncover your natural abilities

      “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne – You must visualize your dreams to make them happen

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