StartupNation » invent http://www.startupnation.com Rock Your Business! Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Copyright © StartupNation 2014 webmaster@startupnation.com (StartupNation Media Group, INC) webmaster@startupnation.com (StartupNation Media Group, INC) business 1440 http://www.startupnation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/rss-feed-logo.png StartupNation http://www.startupnation.com 144 144 StartupNation provides content, resources, and community to help you build your business. StartupNation offers articles, blogs, step-by-step tutorials, a weekly radio show, community forums, and many more resources to help small businesses grow their business, and aspiring entrepreneurs start a business. small, business, entrepreneur, startupnation, marketing, business, plan, funding, inventor, home, business, sales StartupNation Media Group, INC StartupNation Media Group, INC webmaster@startupnation.com no no Invention In The Spotlight – august (girl in bikini reads book) http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/invention-in-the-spotlight-august-girl-in-bikini-reads-book/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/invention-in-the-spotlight-august-girl-in-bikini-reads-book/#comments Tue, 03 Aug 2010 14:18:50 +0000 http://www.startupnation.com/blogs/?p=4771   No, the invention of the month is not the girl in the bikini; it is the clever floating bookstand she’s using to read in the hot tub! Each month, I like to provide the StartUpNation inventor community with one invention that seems to catch people’s attention, whether it’s the creative nature and uniqueness of [...]

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No, the invention of the month is not the girl in the bikini; it is the clever floating bookstand she’s using to read in the hot tub!

Each month, I like to provide the StartUpNation inventor community with one invention that seems to catch people’s attention, whether it’s the creative nature and uniqueness of the invention or the “girl in bikini” approach used to promote the invention.  Either way, it’s always fun to see what other creative folks are inventing. 

    

 

This month, as temperatures across the United States rise for the month of August, many of us seek refuge from the heat by hitting the pool.  This handy device enables you combine your dip in the pool with the relaxation of a good book or magazine.  It’s called the Floating Bookstand, and comes from inventor Eric Paton.  This floating platform consists of a floating base, backrest and ledge to hold your reading material, and also has a feature to hold your book open for hands-free use.   

 

Eric is seeking a licensee for his patented invention, and he has enlisted the help of our company, InventionHome.  If you’d like to learn about the steps of licensing your own invention, feel free to request information right here at StartupNation – Click to Request.

Stay cool!

 

For more information about Invention Home you can visit the following websites – http://inventionhome.wordpress.com/, http://twitter.com/inventionhome, http://inventionhome.blogspot.com/, http://mvelette.wordpress.com/, http://www.facebook.com/invention.home

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/inventionhome-launches-north-american-product-innovation-network-sm-99484469.html

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Shedding light on an unforgettable impression http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/launch-your-invention/shedding-light-on-an-unforgettable-impression/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/launch-your-invention/shedding-light-on-an-unforgettable-impression/#comments Tue, 12 Jul 2005 17:03:12 +0000 http://staging.startupnation.com/wordpress/index.php/2005/07/12/shedding-light-on-an-unforgettable-impression/ Following on the theme of our previous blog entry, you might get a kick out of this story. We’re focusing on an unforgettable impression someone made on us by going to lengths to do something nice (and smart). Maybe it’ll spark an idea for you in your business dealings… We recently went to a conference [...]

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Following on the theme of our previous blog entry, you might get a kick out of this story. We’re focusing on an unforgettable impression someone made on us by going to lengths to do something nice (and smart). Maybe it’ll spark an idea for you in your business dealings…


We recently went to a conference in Pennsylvania where many hundreds of inventors had gathered from around the world to get attention and–just maybe–land a retail or licensing deal.

Each inventor had a 10×10 booth with homespun decorations and marketing materials. We were surrounded by amazing people who were giving their ALL to bring their great ideas to market. Very inspiring.

We were there to broadcast a radio show from center stage as part of our “Success in the US” tour and to feature some of the premier inventors participating in the event. You can hear the show in our archive.

As we walked the aisles, we were amazed more by the creativity and guts being displayed by the inventors than by the inventions themselves.

One gentleman walked up to us shyly and said in a drawl, “I drove 18 hours from Alabama to talk to you fellas. Here… look at my new coffee maker….” Another person handed us not one but MULTIPLE business cards, raving about her new blow-up bed for pregnant women. It had a big hole in the center–perfect for a nicely rounded belly. Other inventors encircled us, asking if we’d bring them on the show.

One inventor we met was much less aggressive. We found him working at his booth. His name was Tariq, and he’d created a line of luminous lamps carved out of amber-colored rock salt. He was having them fabricated in Pakistan and imported to the US. They were like nothing we’d ever seen. Cube shapes, pyramids, columns, large, medium, small–he had every variation, each one lit and glowing.

Unlike many of the other inventors who were shoving their cards into our hands, this gentleman kindly requested one of our cards and said in passing he’d be happy to send along a free sample to us. “Sure,” we thought, “like he’s really going to even remember that he just said that.” But it was a kind gesture nonetheless.

Well, two weeks went by. We hadn’t heard a peep from the many inventors who had shoved their cards into our hands. And then a very heavy box arrived via FedEx. We didn’t recognize the name on the outside. We tore it open, curious.

To our amazement, inside were two rock salt lamps packed tightly with crumpled Pakistani newspaper. A note read, “I hope you enjoy this lamp. Thanks for stopping at our booth. I enjoyed your radio show. Please stay in touch. Tariq.”

Wow. He actually followed through. He sent us 12lbs. of electrified rock salt! And what an impression he made on us! In one fell swoop he COMPLETELY set himself apart from the pack.

Since receiving Tariq’s lamps, we’ve emailed back and forth and struck up a nice rapport. We keep the lamp in our office (though it doesn’t fit our décor) as a reminder of how easy it is to make a gesture, make a positive and enduring impression, and make a friend out of someone in the business world.

And you never know what good will come of it. In this case, maybe we’ll do a formal “Hook-Up” on our radio show with a retail buyer and Tariq on the line and let Tariq do a pitch in front of a national audience.

Have you ever made a Key Move like this that made a difference in your business relationships? Has anyone made a big impression on you that you won’t soon forget?

Share your thoughts about ways to set yourself apart from the pack.

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Philly Cheese Steaks http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/plan-your-business/philly-cheese-steaks/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/plan-your-business/philly-cheese-steaks/#comments Fri, 13 May 2005 14:56:01 +0000 http://staging.startupnation.com/wordpress/index.php/2005/05/13/philly-cheese-steaks/ Some of the greatest entrepreneurial inspirations have centered around food. You’ve probably heard the story of the ice cream vendor who ran out of cups one day and rolled up a waffle to hold the ice cream – thus the ice cream cone was born. But do you know the story of the Philadelphia Cheese [...]

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Some of the greatest entrepreneurial inspirations have centered around food. You’ve probably heard the story of the ice cream vendor who ran out of cups one day and rolled up a waffle to hold the ice cream – thus the ice cream cone was born. But do you know the story of the Philadelphia Cheese Steak?

Back in 1930 Pat Olivieri had a modest hot dog stand in the Italian Market of south Philadelphia (can you picture Sylvester Stallone as Rocky running though the narrow streets before dawn crowded with leftover produce?) He was bored with eating his own hot dogs every day (a frightening thought) & whipped up a new recipe by sending for some chopped meat from the butcher. He cooked it on his hot dog grill, stuck it into an Italian roll & threw on some onions. (the cheese came later) A passing cab driver who ate Pat’s hot dogs every day asked him what he was eating & wanted one. The Philadelphia cheese steak was born.

Pat’s Steaks on the corner of 9th & Passyunk in south Philly is still owned by the Olivieri family. I spent many late evenings in the mid 1980s conducting scientific taste tests between Pat’s & their in-your-face competitor across the street Geno’s. Just like you always ask a Chicagoan if they are a Cubs or White Sox fan, you always ask a Philadelphian if they prefer Pat’s or Geno’s. For me, it’s definitely Pat’s!

And make certain you order properly. For me, it’s “mushroom cheese wit, point five”.

Taste buds inspiring a small business – I dig that, a LOT!

Pat’s Cheese Steak recipe

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Burs in a dog’s coat led to what invention? http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/burs-in-a-dogs-coat-led-to-what-invention/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/burs-in-a-dogs-coat-led-to-what-invention/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2005 04:01:01 +0000 http://staging.startupnation.com/wordpress/index.php/2005/03/28/burs-in-a-dogs-coat-led-to-what-invention/ Could a bur stuck in a dog’s coat lead to one of the greatest practical inventions of all time? Read to the end and you’ll find out what George de Mestral invented. We share four golden retrievers. They spend a lot of time outside–even in the winter–while we’re working away at our desks in our [...]

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Could a bur stuck in a dog’s coat lead to one of the greatest practical inventions of all time? Read to the end and you’ll find out what George de Mestral invented.

We share four golden retrievers. They spend a lot of time outside–even in the winter–while we’re working away at our desks in our climate-controlled office. They have a huge yard and some nice woods to frolick in and frolick they do! As a result of being outside so much, their coats are extremely thick and fluffy and healthy by the end of winter.

The downside is that when the first 50 degree days hit as we near April, the dogs–Romeo, Juliet, Max, and Annie–all start shedding.

Now, when we say ‘shedding,’ we’re fairly certain you’re not picturing the kind of shedding we’re talking about.

We’re talking about clouds of hair flying through the air, sometimes getting caught in neighbors’ trees.

We’re talking about clumped knots of undercoat mixed in with mud that would qualify our goldens as ‘rastafaris.’

We’re talking about–no joking–a garbage can full of hair we brush out of them throughout the next couple of weeks. Fun.

It was during a brush-out just this weekend that we ran into a clump of burs in Max’s coat that were really quite amazing. They literally wouldn’t let go, even with the most expert brushing technique. And it reminded us of one of the greatest practical inventions of all time.

Back in the late 1940s, a Swiss man went for a summer hike with his dog at his side. At day’s end, they returned home covered with burs. (Sounds familiar!)

The man pondered this incredible creation of nature–how the seeds were encased in prickly pods so that they’d grab and stick to whatever animal passed by. He happened to have a microscope and examined one up close. What he saw were tiny hooks that were designed for sticking to any fur or hair they came in contact with.

That’s when you might say George had his "eureka!" moment. George de Mestral went on to invent what we know today to be ‘Velcro,’ the name a combination of ‘velour’ and ‘crochet.’

After years of effort, in 1955 George’s idea was patented, and the inventor went on to create Velcro Industries, which sold over sixty million yards of Velcro per year.

Just goes to show, your ‘big idea’ might be right around the corner–or just maybe, right in your back yard.

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Bob Plath invented what? http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/bob-plath-invented-what/ http://www.startupnation.com/start-your-business/get-inspired/bob-plath-invented-what/#comments Mon, 21 Mar 2005 02:17:01 +0000 http://staging.startupnation.com/wordpress/index.php/2005/03/20/bob-plath-invented-what/ Do you know who Bob Plath is? Read to the end, and you will! All we have to say to start out is, “Thank You, Bob Plath! You are a savior!!!” Our week-long road trip up and down the west coast is over. FINALLY, we’re back home. We met some amazing entrepreneurs, as we always [...]

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Do you know who Bob Plath is? Read to the end, and you will! All we have to say to start out is, “Thank You, Bob Plath! You are a savior!!!”

Our week-long road trip up and down the west coast is over. FINALLY, we’re back home. We met some amazing entrepreneurs, as we always seem to do. Also, our road crew, including Joel Welsh, Jessica Schlick, and Eric Granowicz, did a great job (as always) producing our radio show from center stage at the annual convention for the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (www.nciia.org) in San Diego. You’ll hear that radio show on April 23 on our radio network. The theme? “Can Entrepreneurs Be Made?” Mark your calendars and tune in–we had some great guests, some great observations.

After that show, we jumped in our rental cars and traversed the highways of San Diego to broadcast a live radio show from the awesome Clear Channel studios of Newsradio 600 KOGO. Michael, a board jockey there, was a master! It was a milestone show because it was our first-ever live broadcast in NYC on WABC. It came out great! We revisited Patrick Byrne, founder of Overstock.com, and he was ON (as always) with war stories of Overstock’s explosive growth and he gave a lot of great advice to people hoping to build online traffic.

Over the course of the week, we stayed in 4 hotels in Cali. A few nights in Santa Monica (see our entry, “From the Road…Not Dazed. Dazzled!” ), a night in Santa Ynez, another night in Santa Monica, and then a last night in San Diego… by the time the front desk rang us with our wake up calls this morning, we were tired of waking up in a strange bed, packing and unpacking, lugging our stuff around, cramming it in the car trunk, etc.

Then, to really punctuate the end of the trip, when we were dropped off by the rental car shuttle at the airport, due to construction, we had to be let out far past our terminal. Normally this would be a great excuse for some good exercise, but on this occasion it was just punishment! The airport was over-crowded and muggy. We were exhausted, too.

FORTUNATELY, our luggage had wheels. And that’s when we started thinking about how grateful we are that someone invented luggage that rolls. It made our trek so much easier! Of course, this is where we introduce Bob Plath.

Here’s his story: He was a Northwest Airlines pilot, and in 1989 he got fed up with having to carry his luggage. Why not wheel it, he thought?

What emerged was an invention that not only became the foundation of a luggage manufacturing company Bob founded, TravelPro, but it also changed the way we all travel. Now every major maker of luggage incorporates wheels into their bags and what a difference it has made for travelers!

As legend has it, Bob logged some 16 million miles as a pilot. No doubt, he toted luggage a lot more than we Sloan brothers have so far, but we’re catching up! And we can’t say Thanks! enough, to Bob Plath for making our journeys just a little easier!

Let’s make it a great week!

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