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How to Sell Your Idea in 27 Seconds

Mon, 16 Oct 2006 01:57:15 -0700

(image) ElevatorWonder what you would do if you were riding in an elevator with one of the judges from the American Inventor TV show?

Our Guest Blogger, Tim Whitney, is a bit of a contest nut. He's the National Grand Prize Winner of the KeyCite Key to Good Law Contest, and a national finalist in both the 2005 Staples Invention Quest and Digital Innovations Design-Originality-Creativity Awards. His background in law, marketing and design helps him bring a critical and analytical eye to the inner workings of these contests in an effort to advise and inform entrants and help them make the most of these and other opportunities to promote their ideas. Tim gives us some tips on how to pitch your invention in 30 seconds or less.

Here's his article:

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In the marketing/branding world, there's this thing called the "elevator pitch." read more »




AntWorks Ant Habitat : Product Review

Tue, 05 Jun 2007 04:39:06 -0700

(image) AntWorksI love to see modern variations of age-old ideas, so I was pretty excited to dive into my AntWorks "space-age habitat for ants" by Fascinations, available from Edmund Scientific. But the whole experience left me digging for more (pun intended). read more »



Reproduce Almost Anything : Product Review:

Fri, 15 Jun 2007 05:42:36 -0700

(image) Reproduce Almost AnythingSo you're at the prototyping stage with your latest great idea, but have no clue how to actually make it? Time to learn a new skill...silicone mold making. This video and workbook give you everything you need to get started on the path to production. read more »



Triple Action Solar Car Kit: Review

Fri, 01 Jun 2007 07:01:28 -0700

(image) Triple Action Solar CarDesigned for children ages 10 and up, the Triple Action Solar Car from OWI is a great introduction not only to the principles of solar power, but also basic electronics, switches and gears. read more »



Merry Halloween! The Booming Holiday Decoration Market

Tue, 31 Oct 2006 06:44:45 -0800

(image) In case you haven’t been to Target or WalMart lately, Halloween is the new Christmas.

In this article, I take a look at the opportunities for inventors created through the ridiculous over-commercialization of holidays. read more »




Ten Best Office Products of 2006

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 02:39:49 -0800

(image) Is your professional life painted in shades of manila and Post-It yellow? The manufacturers of these ten products know how you feel, and have set out to bring style, ingenuity, inspiration and innovation back to the office.

So while you're still thinking about what to enter in Staples' Invention Quest, take a look at my picks for Top Office Products of 2006. read more »




And The Big Idea from the UK is...

Mon, 27 Nov 2006 07:31:37 -0800

(image) While those of us stateside were filling our bellies with turkey and stuffing, our counterparts across the ocean were picking the winner of The Big Idea, the UK's answer to American Inventor. Who took home the grand prize of 100,000 GBP and international (or at least European) fame and fortune? The answer is as long as you can pull your arm... read more »



Staples Announces Invention Quest Semi-Finalists...Sort Of

Tue, 06 Feb 2007 19:16:10 -0800

(image) Staples Invention QuestStaples has notified the semifinalists of the 2007 Invention Quest...sort of. In a clear attempt to generate more publicity for the 07 event, they have included this year a round of semi-semi-finalists, or "nominees" who get their names in local papers, but not much else. In this post, Tim Whitney leans on his experience as 2005 Invention Quest finalist to discuss why this may not be a good thing. Read on for the rest of the scoop on the 07 Invention Quest. read more »



TIME Magazine Picks Its Inventions of the Year

Tue, 07 Nov 2006 18:30:31 -0800

(image)

Time Magazine is out with its Best Inventions of 2006.

What made the list?

Put the hypo-allergenic cat outside, get off your floating bed and take a look. read more »




The Dumbest Movie Inventions of All Time

Sun, 21 Jan 2007 16:08:49 -0800

(image) Now...where did I put that towel?It's a simple formula, really. Develop an idea with world-changing implications, and Hollywood will make sure it turns to bite you (and often the rest of us) on your clever little behind. Tinsel Town loves to reward intelligence and innovation with death, destruction and breaks in the time/space continuum. The fact is, most of film history's most brilliant on-screen innovations have been ill-conceived, fatally flawed, and downright dangerous, proving that government regulation isn't always a bad thing. So what do Doc Brown, Seth Brundle and Poggle the Lesser have in common? Their on-screen "innovations" have entered our pantheon of worst movie inventions...ever. read more »



Staples Invention Quest: Finalists Announced, Voting Begins

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 08:34:50 -0700

(image) Staples Invention QuestStaples has announced the 15 finalists in its Invention Quest. Five finalists in each of three categories are now up for a grand prize of $25,000 each and a chance to have Staples manufacture and sell their product. You have a chance to affect the outcome (or so they say) as the online voting has begun. Read on to learn about the products that will rock your office world... read more »




Candy, Baskets and Bunnies: Best Easter Innovations Ever

Sun, 01 Apr 2007 06:28:13 -0700

(image) (c) bbc.co.ukNo holiday is quite the paradox as Easter. Where else can you find the mix of religion and rabbits? Of conviction and confection? Of pastels and pennance? For most of us growing up in America, Easter meant one thing...Easter candy! Today we're looking at the top 5 Easter innovations and not surprisingly, candy dominates the list. We'll be exploring the history and ingenuity behind the quintessential Easter products and learning a little about the holiday itself. So call off that dentist appointment and strap yourself in for a hop, hop, hoppin' good time. read more »




IdeaWatch 2.0: Money Waiting for an Idea

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 06:28:52 -0700

(image) Is your next great idea all dressed up with nowhere to go? Business plan in hand but no money in your pocket to get it off the ground? Now imagine the opposite problem...tons of money in hand but no one to turn your idea into reality. Ahhhh...the problems of a venture capitalist. Business 2.0 magazine is helping to bridge the gap between startups and investors by presenting 20 real-life ideas that venture capitalists are just itching to fund...to the tune of $100 million. read more »




What I Learned From...300

Wed, 21 Mar 2007 16:05:38 -0700

(image) (c) Warner Bros.THIS IS SPARTA! If those three words haven't echoed through your family room over the last few weeks, you haven't been watching much TV. "300" is tops at the box office, with the highest March opening for a film ever. And while the movie itself, with its hyper-stylized violence and groteque baddies, may not be your cup of tea, within the movie is a message about being true to your vision and values, and not letting those be corrupted, no matter how great the reward...an important lesson for small business owners and entrepreneurs looking for their big break. So strap on that leather loincloth and grab your shield. In this latest installment of "What I Learned From..." we're going to Thermopylae. read more »




IdeaWatch 2.0: Make the Hi-Def Connection

Wed, 14 Mar 2007 17:13:30 -0700

(image) So all your neighbors are buying High Definition TVs, or maybe you just bought one yourself. But are you actually watching it in hi-def? A recent survey reveals that half of the houses with HDTVs aren't actually watching HD signals, and half of those people don't even know it! With any emerging technology comes opportunities for enterprising minds, and our latest new idea is filling the growing gap in the world of HD entertainment. read more »




Community WiFi : IdeaWatch 2.0

Wed, 07 Mar 2007 20:03:08 -0800

(image) What's the worst part of relying on WiFi to run your business? The unpredictability! Many stores and restaurants advertise as being WiFi-ready, but you never know until you show up whether or not it actually works the way you need it to, or worse, whether or not you have to pay! Enter FON, a Spanish company backed by the likes of Skype and Google to develop a community-based WiFi network that literally spans the globe. And with limited penetration in the U.S., FON presents a unique opportunity for enterprising minds looking to make a little money on the explosion of wireless connectivity. read more »




Pre-Loaded iPods : IdeaWatch 2.0

Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:47:26 -0800

(image) So you've been holding out for that Led Zeppelin box set, not sure if you want to drop the cash or just start downloading from iTunes. Well imagine a black iPod nano with the Zoso logo emblazoned across and the whole catalog pre-loaded. Would that make the deal a little more tempting? A recent agreement between Apple and The Beatles may pave the way for just that sort of thing, and a whole new market for enterprising minds has been created. Read on to find out how... read more »



What I Learned From...Letters from Iwo Jima

Mon, 26 Feb 2007 16:31:04 -0800

(image) So you finally make it to the big presentation. That big sales call. Or you find yourself standing before a panel of judges in a contest. What do you do? How should you approach the situation? How do you get inside their heads? How do you convince them that your idea has value? Let's see what a recent film about one of the deadliest and most depressing battles of WWII has to say about the issue. read more »



What I Learned From...V for Vendetta

Tue, 20 Feb 2007 15:00:00 -0800

(image) I'm a big believer that what you find to be true in one area of life often has far-reaching implications for other areas of your life. So I'm starting this series on little nuggets of truth, advice or experience that I come across that are relevant to the world of inventing, small business and entrepreneurship and that I hope will give all of you who have joined me in this often crazy, unpredictable and dangerously fun world something to think about. And what better way to start than with a little anarchy... read more »



Reverse Product Placement : IdeaWatch 2.0:

Thu, 22 Feb 2007 05:46:45 -0800

(image) Any marketer can get a product placement into a movie, TV show, or video game. But if you're really clever, you'll do just the opposite...find ways to turn fictional products into real ones. In this post we look at the new product development strategy called "reverse placement". read more »



Who Says Refrigerators Can't Be Cool?

Thu, 11 Jan 2007 17:06:18 -0800

(image) Tis the season for holiday leftovers! Chances are, your refrigerator has been getting some extra use over the last 5-6 weeks, as the leftover Thanksgiving turkey and mashed potatoes gave way to Christmas ham and yule log (what is yule log, anyway?). You probably didn’t notice your refrigerator working extra hard because, frankly, your refrigerator probably doesn’t get noticed much at all. That's all about to change with the latest from the refrigeration industry, where cool isn't an attitude, it's a dial setting. read more »



Six Insider Thoughts on Winning Staples Invention Quest

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 02:00:00 -0700

(image) Staples Invention QuestEver wish you had insider's guide to what's going on in an invention contest?

Our Guest Blogger, Tim Whitney, is a bit of a contest nut. He's the National Grand Prize Winner of the KeyCite Key to Good Law Contest, and a national finalist in both the 2005 Staples Invention Quest and Digital Innovations Design-Originality-Creativity Awards. His background in law, marketing and design helps him bring a critical and analytical eye to the inner workings of these contests in an effort to advise and inform entrants and help them make the most of these and other opportunities to promote their ideas. Tim gives us some tips for Staples Invention Quest contest.

Here's his article: read more »




What Does Staples Really Think About Invention Quest?

Fri, 13 Oct 2006 19:21:40 -0700

(image) Staples Invention QuestThere's an inventor inside everyone of us. I don't know of a single person that hasn't had at least one great idea. Ever wonder whether you should enter into the Staples Invention Quest contest with that great idea?

Our Guest Blogger, Tim Whitney, is a bit of a contest nut. He's the National Grand Prize Winner of the KeyCite Key to Good Law Contest, and a national finalist in both the 2005 Staples Invention Quest and Digital Innovations Design-Originality-Creativity Awards. His background in law, marketing and design helps him bring a critical and analytical eye to the inner workings of these contests in an effort to advise and inform entrants and help them make the most of these and other opportunities to promote their ideas. Tim gives us some of his thoughts about the Staples Invention Quest contest.

Here's his article:

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For as much fun as I had making it to the finals of the 2005 Staples Invention Quest, there was always an undercurrent of corporate agenda that made some of us finalists wonder if we were being naïve about Staples' true intentions for the contest. With some of those elements intact for the 2006 version of IQ (www.staples.com/iq), I think it merits some discussion so the naivete isn't passed to a new generation of entrants. read more »




Invention Contests: Three Reasons They're Worth Entering

Fri, 20 Oct 2006 21:17:42 -0700

(image) Have a few hours on your hands? Why not enter an invention contest?

Our Guest Blogger, Tim Whitney, is a bit of a contest nut. He's the National Grand Prize Winner of the KeyCite Key to Good Law Contest, and a national finalist in both the 2005 Staples Invention Quest and Digital Innovations Design-Originality-Creativity Awards. Tim gives us three reasons why we should spend a free afternoon entering an invention contest instead of watching TV.

Here's his article:

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Every year, you'll find about a dozen opportunities to enter national invention (or other idea-related) contests. Some hold out the promise of bringing a product to market, some just financial incentives. read more »




American Inventor...British Style!

Wed, 22 Nov 2006 04:41:43 -0800

(image) We have our American Inventor, but what about innovation from our neighbors across the pond? What are the final 6 ideas from the UK's "The Big Idea" invention contest? Who takes home the grand prize of 100,000 GBP?

Doddle your snooker and click here to find out! read more »