Episode Twenty Four features Brian Fried talking about Inventing and how that you can bring your product to life and profit from it!
My Key Takeaways:
Brian was a great guest and had a lot of actionable information to use when working on your invention.
Episode Twenty Four features Brian Fried talking about Inventing and how that you can bring your product to life and profit from it!
My Key Takeaways:
Brian was a great guest and had a lot of actionable information to use when working on your invention.
To learn more about Brian Fried, he can be reached at BRIANFRIED.com and InventorSmart.com. If you want to take a class he offers InventorClass.com. He also hosts The GOT INVENTION SHOW and GOT INVENTION RADIO.
Now next week, we'll have on Sarah Crique talking about how she retired and went on to launch her own clothing business, SEAMS NYC! Be sure to hit subscribe in your podcast app so that you don't miss it or any other episodes.
Show notes and more can be found at EntrepreneursOver40.com
[00:00:00] Greg Mills: Our guest today is an Inventor Speaker, Coach, Author, Radio Host, and proud Husband and Father. He has written two books, You And Your Big Ideas and Invention Secrets Revealed. He has his own successful podcast called Got Invention Radio, where he interviews, resources for inventors as well as other successful inventors, and is also the host of the Got Invention Show. This house where our kitchen and lifestyle interventions have been featured retailers across the Us, including Walmart Target and Home Goods, and have been shown on QVC. His latest invention is the Paper Towel Topper, a new product that will keep the top of paper towel rolls from getting covered in water, food, and other dirt is the chief invention officer at inventorsmart.com.
[00:00:51] A company that is a complete
[00:00:53] turnkey solution to make your dreams a real. further ado. Let me introduce the one and only Brian Fried
[00:01:02] Brian Fried: Thank You very much, Greg. You forgot one of the most important things
[00:01:06] Greg Mills: Let's hear it.
[00:01:06] Brian Fried: I have to qualify to be on your show. Thanks for telling everybody I'm over 40.
[00:01:11] Greg Mills: Sorry. I wasn't going to bring that up.
[00:01:14] Brian Fried: I'm 47. I'll be 48.
[00:01:18] Greg Mills: it happens to the best of us.
[00:01:20] Brian Fried: Thank you for having me, Greg. I appreciate it.
[00:01:24] Greg Mills: My pleasure now, can you take a few moments and fill in the gaps from that intro, Brian, and bring us up to speed with what's going on in your world today.
[00:01:33] Brian Fried: Absolutely. So I'm an inventor myself. I have over a dozen patents I've, licensed my inventions, which means that I earn royalties from them. Some I've manufactured. So I work with the factories. I make them and I have my own distribution and sell them that way. and I've been doing the same thing for other inventors for over 15 plus years now.
[00:01:53] And like you mentioned, I've authored a couple of. I've been on QVC for, about three years, with my own inventions and representing other inventors products, as an on-air guest, as well. And I've. hosted those radio shows. So one who was Got Invention Radio. Now it's Got Invention show and, and basically it's inventors.
[00:02:13] When you have an idea, you want to promote it, got invention, shows the place to be out there and get the word out. I also have a National Inventor Club I've been running Inventor clubs for over 15 years. When COVID hit, I ended up converting it cause I was inviting everybody around the country.
[00:02:30] Anyway, online, I might as well invite everybody nationally. So I changed it to the National Inventor Club where, I've had some really great guests on there and continue to have it. And it's a really great community for inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, resources for inventors or entrepreneurs to be involved.
[00:02:51] Great information out there and really have a nice lineup and support staff, to really give people information, to keep them moving forward with their ideas or their businesses. And there's plenty of other things. I have some of my inventions here. I'd love to share maybe some tips and tricks on when you do have an idea, what to do, but, thank you again for, fabbing me.
[00:03:15] Greg Mills: My pleasure. Now, did you come from an entrepreneurial or inventors background at all? Did anyone in your family while you were growing up, invent anything or have a business of.
[00:03:27] I was the type of kid that would ask a lot of questions, curious, and look how things were made and sit back and watch what people do. How they handle themselves. And I was just that kind of guy, but in a normal way, I think.
[00:03:46] Brian Fried: but, as I was progressing in my life, I started to realize that the things that I was coming up. We're from things that kind of annoyed me. And maybe I saw that word being done a certain way that could be done differently. So I started to jot them down and from a marketing perspective, think about how others might use my idea, and if it's something that's relevant and going to make me money in the market.
[00:04:14] And then I just started to sift through there and cut a bunch of them out and keeps them on there. And then I started to work on them. And, as I worked on them, some were, winners somewhere partial, winning, Okay. Some didn't work out at all, but I ended up just building a portfolio of intellectual property and products that I've licensed and manufactured and, keep going even just recently, like you mentioned, they came up with, with a product called the paper towel.
[00:04:44] Greg Mills: Yeah, that just ticks me off because I felt like that should already have been invented. It was like, why didn't I think of that?
[00:04:51] Brian Fried: When your hands are wet and dirty and usually your paper towels or on a paper towel stands. So you put your hands on top of the paper towel roll and you pull it off. And when your hands are. With tomato sauce or water or whatever.
[00:05:07] You're putting that hand on top. And I ask people to take pictures of the top of their paper towel rolls and they were disgusting. So I kept asking and then from my market research, how many people have paper towels under their cabinet? Not really too many. Most of them were in stands. And then I found out that people have more than one paper towel roll in their house and their bathrooms.
[00:05:30] They're not using towels. Cause if you go in as a guest, you don't want people using a towel. So they use paper towel rolls. There was a lot of paper towels. That's why there was probably a shortage during COVID also. But anyway, I came up with this piece, this cap that goes into the inner tube of the paper towel roll.
[00:05:48] Brian Fried: So now when your hands are wet and dirty, you put it on top, you pull it down and you got it. So it's just very recent. Just came out a couple of months ago and selling well on Amazon.
[00:06:00] Greg Mills: Yeah, that's great. I'm very impressed with that. It just seems like a no brainer of an idea almost, like the paper towel companies should have one in their, product as well.
[00:06:12] I'm disappointed. I don't have one here to show, but you could go to paper towel, topper.com, or you can put it on Amazon, a paper towel on top topper and it'll come up. But that's the thing, Greg, like just being in the environments and just being aware of things that are going on around you and stopping at that moment to capture what the issue is or what the challenges.
[00:06:35] Brian Fried: To be able to say, if it was done this way, isn't going to make somebody's life easier. Is it something that you're coming up with, that's going to end up making you two to three or four steps more than somebody would do today. Does that really make sense? You want to simplify things. You want to be able to be practical with things.
[00:06:53] And that's how I come up with my ideas. They don't have to be rocket science. Although, those are great. And I would love to do that, but I'm coming up with things that I see everyday people using and saying, you know what? Boom, there's an idea. And that's how I continue to just keep on inventing.
[00:07:09] And that's what I do with other, inventors. When they have an idea, I help them to figure out if it's something that they should work on. Is it something that you have the funds to be able to start your own business and maybe build your own product line? Or is it something that maybe you're limited on funds or maybe you're too busy and you really don't want to start a business in that way, but you want to be able to work with, a company that has manufacturing capability and distribution and be able to have them make it and sell it.
[00:07:44] And you earn a royalty from. So those are the decisions that I help people to figure out. if one of those make sense, if it's something that they should work on or not, because look, it's not fair to really start on something and go in a big circle and end up where you are right now, when. Not the right move to make.
[00:08:05] So that's what I do is I help people to make better decisions and then guide them through the steps. Anything that they need help with along the way over the time that I've been doing this, I've built up some great resources, great references and different people to be able to keep your idea moving forward.
[00:08:23] So you can bring me anything. And I can almost picture right away. The path that it would take. And I think about the consumer, or maybe it's an industrial product where it's B2B, or maybe it is that rocket science type of product, but just thinking about the consumer or who the end-user is of what's going to happen with it.
[00:08:44] And then come back to where you are right now and all the pieces through the way to be able to have a good presentation, to get it to where you want to.
[00:08:53] Greg Mills: Okay. And is that a common problem where somebody invents, something comes up with an idea? I realize that it will make their life easier, but they don't realize the broader application. Does it make the end user's life easier?
[00:09:12] Brian Fried: That is the challenge. That is the challenge. And is it an invention or an idea that you could call your own? how many times Greg, that. I work with, let's say an inventor calls me or whatever we talk. And they sh they talk to me about an idea and right away I type, and I share my screen and I'm like, is this what you're talking about?
[00:09:34] And they're like, oh my goodness. I've been working on this for years. I didn't see it out there. And it's okay, so you went to Walmart, you went down the aisle that maybe it could be in. You didn't see it. And now you think that it's not out there or you go online and you putting in the search terms and you're searching with your eyes closed because you don't want to find it, but you it's better off that.
[00:09:59] You search to find it instead of not find it because you want to work on something that could be yours, because if it's already out there, if it's already somebody else's intellectual property, then you have decisions to make. Are you going to work on an idea? That's somebody else's intellectual property and you're going to infringe on it.
[00:10:17] You might get a cease and desist letter, or is it an invention that is already patented it's over 20 years and now it's public domain. So if you make it, Greg and I make it and my next door neighbor makes it, anybody can make it, but you're not going to be able to get intellectual property on it. Something like that. Most likely you're going to have to go into business for yourself with, but if it's something that you do want a license to earn royalties, because you might not want to get into the manufacturing parts of it, then you may want to pursue intellectual property. Because if you were going to go to a licensee again, a licensee is, let's say you go into a retail store and you flip over the box and you see the name of the company.
[00:11:05] And that's the company that already has the manufacturing and distribution capability in that store. So you go to XYZ company and you say, hi, my name is Greg, I came up with a great invention. I've done a good patent search on it. I have a good patentability opinion on it from.
[00:11:22] patent attorney or agent, I've done my due diligence. I've made sure that, I have a prototype ready and I'd love to show you my invention and if they like it and it fits well with them and it meets all the criteria, then they're going to, most of the time, invest in it and rent the rights to your intellectual property for you to earn royalties.
[00:11:44] Brian Fried: But if you don't have any, then what do they need you for? And they can just do it themselves.
[00:11:49] It really doesn't matter who you are. you can be any anybody, doctor, lawyer, unemployed students, senior citizen, any race or nationality. It doesn't matter. Everybody's an inventor at some point or another. It's just a matter of who stops to be able to capture that thought and be able to figure out what to do next with it, or know what to do next with it, or connect up with somebody that knows what to do next with it.
[00:12:12] And that's the real challenge. Is to be able to figure that part out and to, to capture that idea of, for sure.
[00:12:20] Greg Mills: Let's just back up just a little bit. What'd you do before becoming an inventor?
[00:12:27] Brian Fried: I have been involved with, many different, industries, but I can tell you that I've been active in the marketing roles of, companies. And I go in and I've been helping companies. figuring out problem solution. So they might have a problem and I end up helping them to figure out what they should do to clear the air and then move on to my next gig.
[00:12:48] Every day you do things like you wake up. you get out of bed, you go into the bathroom, you go to different things, right? And each step of the way there's some action or some activity either you or somebody else is doing. You drive in the car, you're on the train, public transportation, you're at the office, you're doing all these things.
[00:13:12] So that's where you want to just be aware. And the thing is that once you become aware, That you're thinking about things to be able to improve things or maybe see things that aren't out there and to make real interest continues to happen that way, because you're in that frame of mind, because you want to be able to find the one that's going to make him the gazillion dollars.
[00:13:34] There's an emotional feeling that you get when you come up with an idea,It's just you feel it in your gut and it's exciting and you want it to change your life and you wanted to take care of your family and just, but this a work to do just like starting any business, your ideas of business, and you want to be able to figure out like the research and development part of it to see if it's something that whatever you put in, you're going to get in return.
[00:14:00] Brian Fried: So if somebody comes to me, Greg, let's say with the golf. Come up with a great gospel and they say, oh my goodness, Brian, I'm at the golf course. And I look around and everybody's playing golf. So everybody in the world plays golf. But when you step out of the golf course, you go to a restaurant and you go to movies and you start to ask different people.
[00:14:22] Is women, men, kids, whatever. You start to ask them if they play golf and not everybody plays golf. What is your window of opportunity? So here's your window, right? Here's everybody. And how many people play Duff? there are a lot of people that play golf, but it's maybe here. So what are you putting in and what are you going to get out?
[00:14:46] So when you're in this space, how much time, money, energy, and effort are you going to put in? And what's your return. If you're coming up with a golf ball that does all these amazing things. How many other golf balls out are there out there that people use? How many of our customers are accustomed to using a golf ball that they already use?
[00:15:03] Or how many are willing to try something new? So it's tight, but it is possible. It's just, you gotta be able to have a good presentation and really get the word out there. So it's challenging, but it's possible.
[00:15:17] Greg Mills: You talked just a little bit about. One of the ways that you can come up with new ideas. What are some other thought exercises that you use? Because I know myself, I'll look at a problem and I won't realize that it's a problem for the other people are facing.
[00:15:36] I'll give you some examples with some inventions that I have on my table here. I was, going to get bread. And there was a twist tie that was annoying me. And then there was the plastic tab that's on the end of the bread that you take it off. It's very difficult to put back on if it doesn't break in your hand.
[00:15:55] Brian Fried: And I started to say, okay, this trip clips for that, there's this there's that. But then I was like, you know what? There's not something really that I want. So what I did was I came up with a. Product called pull ties. And now what you do is you take any plastic bag, like a bread bag and you put it through the loop and you push the button, you pull it up and it seals and type.
[00:16:19] So bread, maybe you eat bread, maybe an only bread. What about the cereal boxes inside the bag is left open. What about in your pantry? All those plastic bags that are left open. What about the freezer bags that you buy in the club stores and the huge, how do you close them?
[00:16:37] So I started to get into people's experiences of what they do in the kitchen and where this can be used. And now it's not just for bread anymore. So now I can say Greg, how many people have. So these have been selling for, well over 10 years now, I was on QVC with this for many years. It was on QVC even after I went on air.
[00:16:57] now they're in,TJ Maxx, home goods, Home Sense, all this, all these stores, it was in Walmart recently. So that's what I'm saying. Like those type of things, I stopped in my tracks to say, what had annoyed me and I came up with a better solution and he has another.
[00:17:14] Brian Fried: like those are the type of actions that you do to start to snap. And that can be something that can happen. What about, I used to go to restaurants. I still go to restaurants, but back in the day, like they used to be like a bowl where there was like peanuts or candy or something, and people would put their hands into the bowl.
[00:17:34] And I was like, oh, that's disgusting. Raw, like open whatever. Even at a party, people want pretzels. So I wanted to replicate the scooping type of thing. So I came up with this product, that was like a bowl that you open up and you can scoop. And then it started to look like a face to me and I was like, you know what, maybe a face on this would be.
[00:17:59] So now I have Elmo cookie monster, all the Teenage Mutant ninja Turtles. And now it's in a new phase because we went through this licensing, of the characters were doing generic type of, blogs and cats and different things. And now they're selling again in Walmart. These have been selling for you.
[00:18:17] And,like you open it up, you scoop and you can eat from it, but now you can also put cereal cookies, whatever for the kid, or you can be a big kid to over 40 and you can put your food in here, close it up and you can take it with you. And, mom and dad can put it in their purse or pocket or whatever backseat of the car.
[00:18:36] So that's what I'm saying. that's how that one came up. How I came up with that one. He has another one real quick. I went to a restaurant, not the one that had the scooping thing, but a different restaurant. I came home with leftovers and there was no room left in my fridge. And I wanted to put away in the baggie and there was a part in the bags left with, only one egg in there.
[00:19:00] And I was like, this is ridiculous. Like this whole carton for one egg. So I came up with a collapsible egg tray. And you put your eggs in and as you put your eggs in, take them out and closes up and that's all the space that you need in your fridge. So I called it extra space. just a couple ideas and, even something like this, Yeah, the set of times in the house, Food towns. So I was like, you pull up this locking mechanism and there's so much space on the metal. And I was like, they're wide open. It's ridiculous. Like I was, I'm trying to close them up. so you pull the lock and there was that space. So what I did was I made grooves into the top tab. So now, the, these tongues are adjustable.
[00:19:48] So now you can do small, medium and large open. And for the same price since you buying tones, why not have this extra feature? So
[00:19:57] Greg Mills: Yeah.
[00:19:59] Brian Fried: fun stuff.
[00:20:00] Greg Mills: Now you mentioned on the pole ties example, that you've still got about another 10 years of life. What a, what happens after that? And B how long does it take for somebody to start knocking you off? And I guess, see, do you have any recourse against that?
[00:20:21] Brian Fried: Yeah, it's always a tough subject. I have to say, but what I can do is do the best I can to protect my inventions at this point and do the right thing and hopefully people out there and do the right thing. did the best I could to be able to protect it and make the money with it. And I'll always have the name and I'll have the tooling and everything else that comes along with it to be able to keep it commercial.
[00:20:50] But yeah, that's our, the way that the system works is that you have a monopoly on it for a certain amount of time until it's public domain. That's why you and I can make a lot of products together. We can put a name on it, just for example, Greg, remember the Snuggie was invented a gazillion years ago, but a company came up with a good marketing strategy to say, lift the blanket with sleeves.
[00:21:12] Let's call it this. But then you saw afterwards that the slide kit and all these other versions of the Snuggie came out because everybody can make it. So you can still do something with it. Maybe come up with a good name, your time is due and yes, it becomes in the public domain. And hopefully I'll come up with the next one to be able to keep, my portfolio going, but somebody knocks it off.
[00:21:36] It means it did a good job in the market before.
[00:21:41] Greg Mills: Can you walk us through coming up with an idea and commercializing it?
[00:21:47] Brian Fried: First thing, like I said earlier, you must be real and challenge if it's already out there. And if it is what's making yours different than what's already out there, is it in the public domain? Is it something that you were able to get some intellectual property protection on? So that's really important to me.
[00:22:06] And that's what I like to tell other people. Then, if it's something that I decide to move forward with, then what I would do is I would make a prototype and I would try to get into as close as possible to the real. I rip things up. If I need to that already exist, I might have 3d printing done to be able to just make it look like something and then possibly make it work like something.
[00:22:29] So I think the prototyping part is important. especially if you want to use it down the road to be able to present,in the direction that you may want to go. Once I get into a good point, then I'll protect it possibly with a provisional patent application, which will give me the right for one year to say that I'm patent pending while I explore the market.
[00:22:49] So I work with engineers or product designers, figure out what the material might look like, what the cost might look like of if I was gonna manufacture it or I might license it. So that's the fork in the road. To figure out isn't something that you want to license to earn royalties, or you want to manufacturer.
[00:23:06] So I mentioned earlier that it's important most of the time to have intellectual property, if you're going to license it, to earn royalties.
[00:23:13] Those are the things that I go through to figure out, if it's something that, is going to make me money. Yeah. and that's the challenge is,if I'm going to manufacture it myself, am I ready to, Connect up with a manufacturer, handle the, the inventory that comes in packaging, barcoding, all the logistics of, inventory and warehousing and shipping and,accounts payable, accounts receivable, the marketing, the advertising.
[00:23:42] there's a lot there. but you're taking away. And hopefully there's a greater reward and you want to make sure that your margins are there and to be able to make it worthwhile. And that's what I do is I challenge when people come to me with ideas, I challenged to see if it's something that makes sense.
[00:23:59] Brian Fried: If you're making something and it's ending up costing you $5 to make, and a consumer wouldn't pay more than $6 for it, most likely it's going to be tough. Either you have to look at the manufacturing or you have to figure out maybe it's not something that you can end up doing maybe at something for a potential licensee.
[00:24:20] You know what I mean? So those are the things that I try to balance and challenge to see what direction makes sense for people. a lot of people also want to make things in the U S and that's amazing. And I do too, but if it costs me $5 to make and a consumer is going to pay no more than $5.
[00:24:37] Then it's tough. Nobody wins. I can't be in business and you can't buy my product. So sometimes you have to go overseas. Other products I have made in the U S so those are the type of things that you have to challenge yourself with to see again, is it going to make sense, to put your time, money, energy, effort into it, to see the return otherwise like to make you feel good is great.
[00:25:00] But when you're putting all this in, it's a business and you want to make money with it. So that's a, that's what I evaluate.
[00:25:07] Greg Mills: Now, are there ever any instances where you advise people, not to worry about a patent
[00:25:12] yeah, absolutely. I can talk like the last couple of, inventors that I guided through,in, in our sessions, a lady came up with an interesting bag and it had some interesting features. But instead of really going crazy with the extras, she said, you know what?
[00:25:30] Brian Fried: I just I want to do this. And I said, here's something really similar. Most likely you're not going to be able to get intellectual property on it. So here's a bag that already exists. You can put your name out. You can buy them, put your name on it and sell it. And then you have another bag. And then she wanted to build a, a business.
[00:25:48] So she worked on unique looking type of bags with her print on it, to be able to make her own product line. So when this things that are really coming close to what you came up with, and you might get the patentability opinion back from a patent agent or a. That realistically, you're not going to be able to get intellectual property protection.
[00:26:10] Then you have to make a decision. If you're going to go into business with it or not. And if you don't want to do that, then you'll wait for your next idea. And if you do, then maybe you can find something that already exists. So you don't have to spend the money on engineering and prototyping and manufacturing, and you can buy what already exists.
[00:26:28] And you can take the money that you made from that and roll it into a new design that you might call your own. But may not necessarily get patented and maybe if it sells well, somebody else might sell it to, they can make it, but you might have come up with a good trademarkable name. And that could be the winner that really makes it like, just like when I give you the example of the Snuggie, Greg, the Snuggie, you weren't able to patent, but it was a good name.
[00:26:52] It was a good trademarkable name. So you can build good assets from having a good trademarkable name.
[00:27:00] Greg Mills: That's one angle that I had not thought of, taking an existing product and making it your own. So to speak. Everybody wins that way
[00:27:10] Let's talk about an inventor, smart.com.
[00:27:13] Brian Fried: What are the, some of the services that I offer there?
[00:27:16] My websites, inventor class.com, which is a three hour online e-learning course that I designed, helps people to navigate through. And it's actually called learn how to make money with your invention.
[00:27:29] I have the e-learning course, I have National Inventor Club, which is the community I have Got Invention Show and Got Invention Radio, have a store that inventors can buy merchandise for themselves to be proud, to be an inventor type of, experience. So these websites are under InventorSmart.com. And InventorSmart.com is also there for you.
[00:27:51] if you needed a patent attorney or agent or engineer or prototype or marketing or social media or websites, whatever you need, I have access to. So that's where I can help you. And then I also, BrianFried.com is my inventor coaching, consulting experience. So you can learn a little bit more about me, BrianFried.com.
[00:28:14] Brian Fried: And I. you that one-on-one consultation. I see you face to face on there we go on the video. whatever you need to talk to me about is completely confidential. I have, I signed an NDA,and that's under events, a smart. So all these things are part of the events, a smart brand.
[00:28:34] Greg Mills: Going back to, if I had a great idea for and invented. We're a product could invent smart,take me through the entire process.
[00:28:44] Brian Fried: Yeah. A lot of times, Greg. Every person and every idea is different. So what I like to do first is to figure out where you. understand you and help you to guide you on what you need. If you just came up with an idea, you don't know what you need.
[00:29:02] First, second, third, fourth, fifth. So what I do is I understand where you are, who you are, what you're looking to do, or maybe you're not sure what to do, but I can help you to figure out what might be in your best interest and then guide you through those steps. So before you really hit. Services and deciding what, where to go, what to do.
[00:29:22] And so it was good to have a call with me and I will figure out with you what you should do. If anything, at all, a lot of times, Help people to realize that this isn't the one and work on your next one and that's okay. I'll be around.
[00:29:37] I'll be around to be able to help you and keep you going, but you got to work on things that make sense and that are gonna make you money. And, I'm the guy to tell you to do that.
[00:29:48] Greg Mills: What are some of the common mistakes that.
[00:29:50] you see Inventors make.
[00:29:53] there was a couple that I mentioned here along the way of coming up with ideas and going through the steps. Number one is searching with your eyes closed, And not being real with yourself to know that it's out there thinking that your ideas from your gut and your emotions and not from your head. You're always thinking with your head, but a lot of times you think with your emotions now, I want you to think from a business perspective, Of is it something that your investment that you're putting into yourself with time, money, energy effort? Is it something that's going to be a return for you?
[00:30:28] Brian Fried: So make business decisions, not emotional decisions in anything in life, especially with inventions, right? Most of the time people are working like you don't wake up and you say I'm going to get a job as an inventor. You're working somewhere. And this is something that you want to do that eventually can convert into something that's a revenue generator for you, whether it's residual or maybe it's your full-time,experience that you're putting in and your salary and your income and everything else.
[00:30:57] You can do it gradually. There's a lot of people that are limited on funds to start. You don't have to do it immediately. Have milestones. Okay. I have enough money to do this. What's next. I have enough money to do this. You might, after the first milestone be done and then you'll save up.
[00:31:14] And the next idea that you come up with you'll work on that one. So a lot of times people just drop everything. They do go full force into what they have. They end up starting at step seven when they should really start at step one. So that patent starts back again all the way in the beginning is what you should do and be real.
[00:31:31] And then just keep going. And the other thing, which is really important, Is that just because you tell somebody your idea doesn't mean that you're obligated to them. Like anything in life, you do your due diligence. You ask, you get references. You want to know that they're the right person. If you call them and they don't return your call, and then you call them again and they don't return your call and you call them again and you finally talk to them and you tell them, what kind of experience do you want?
[00:32:00] Do you want somebody to be a chaser? Like most of the time, that's how they might. Do you want the, was it a choppy conversation, but now you still exposed your idea to them. So you think you're obligate, you're not just if you were building something in your house, Greg, you want to get some references.
[00:32:15] You want to get some, some other estimates, right? So just because this is something that could be life-changing that can change your life. If it ends up being something that's really popular or make you a ton of money. You still have to start with the business decisions. And I keep going back to a couple of these things, cause they're so important.
[00:32:37] And then just to keep your mind open and learn and explore and take in what you can and go to trade shows and listen to what people are saying, but get the right information. Everybody has different opinions on things. So you want to work with somebody that understands where you're coming from, tells you the truth, respectable, respectful calls you back, responds to your messages.
[00:32:58] You know what I mean? So it's your choice who you want to work with. And I find that a lot of people end up, I can talk as I'm an inventor that we end up getting vulnerable sometimes. And I did that in the beginning, but not anymore. And I treat people the way I want to be treated. you want to be able to find people that will do the right thing and you find out by asking questions and asking other people if they've used them or not,
[00:33:24] Greg Mills: You just hit on something. Early on in your career with your first or second inventions. What were some of the obstacles that you ran into?
[00:33:35] Brian Fried: the obstacles. Life in general, number one, number two, money. again, I learned to budget and create milestones for myself to get there. a big lesson was that there was a point where I had five inventions and I was in front of a buyer and I said, here's this here's this.
[00:33:57] And I had one kind of put aside and. They said, Brian, we love this product. This one, no, this one may be this one and come back to me in six months. And I was like holding off with the other one. I was protected and everything, but I just, I don't know. I was like, eh, maybe not. And I ended up showing that one and it was the winner.
[00:34:18] So I had a perception that some of the other ones might've been winter. And the other one was looked differently. And that's really where I started to kick in my marketing of consumers to understand the way that the consumer is looking at things to have that window of opportunity because the other ones were a bit limited.
[00:34:39] But just like with the poll ties, how many people have the kitchen? If I pitch, how many people have the kitchen, everybody can look at this. If it's a golf ball, not everybody's going to look at a golf ball. So that's also something to really explore. Your window of opportunity. And a lot of times people come to me with ideas that, when say you have to have something like it's something for a car and you have to manufacture it with the car.
[00:35:06] Otherwise my invention is not going to be anything. So how about thinking about if it's an attachment to a car? This way, it doesn't have to be where I'm going to the automobile makers and specific to that one and having to go to all the other ones. So maybe do some deal, a licensed deal or whatever, but if it's an aftermarket type of item now, whatever car you drive and whatever car I drive.
[00:35:30] And if it's older that didn't have it when it was first manufactured, I can still add it. So now what I did was I opened up the window of opportunity. Now, again, not everybody has a car, right? Some people take public transportation, some people drive them bikes. Some people don't have a car at all, but a good percentage of people have cars.
[00:35:50] So that's a good window of opportunity. So that's the way my brain. When I'm evaluating, whether it's my own inventions or other people out there, same thing like with the paper towel topper, Everybody has a paper towel stands now. So why not? so that's how I come up and evaluate in my head.
[00:36:07] And that's how I help other people to do the same thing.
[00:36:10] Greg Mills: What have been some of your biggest InventorSmart.com success stories of people that have gone on to get their products developed and launched.
[00:36:18] If you're active with me on LinkedIn, you can look at my, recommendations on there and you can see people that put some public information. I have other people that are working in companies and corporations and celebrities and different people that come to me and I get a chance to listen to them and work with them, or maybe stop them from doing anything, with their idea.
[00:36:41] If they end up saying something like that, then, they might come in trouble with their boss. So some are really confidential and others I'm really proud of. And I have some great success stories of people that started with their invention. either representing them as a licensing agent, guiding them to get licensing deals, also helping them to stop and save that money for the next idea.
[00:37:05] Brian Fried: And also other people that. I didn't realize that they can manufacture their idea because they thought it was going to cost them as bazillion dollars. And it doesn't, and I've helped a lot of people, which I'm really proud of to be able to earn royalties from licensing, but also. To be able to manufacture and start their own business.
[00:37:24] And I'm proud of that. And, the greatest feeling is to know that, people are out there in business and I got a chance to help them from an inventor perspective. There's no greater feeling to know that when you're coming up with something and people are buying it and using it, like to me, that.
[00:37:43] That's gold. That's my, as my gold, everything else follows. But to watch somebody use your invention for what, the reason you came up with it, I love that.
[00:37:53] Greg Mills: Yeah, I think you, you hit a home run with a paper towel topper.
[00:37:57] Again, I'm very disappointed that I didn't come up with that.
[00:38:00] I feel like I did. I feel like I've got prior art.
[00:38:03] Brian Fried: You know what? You sound like my daughter a long time ago. she's 19 now, but when she was younger, she came up with an invention book and we were buddies, now she's got her sorority and everything going on, but when she was growing up, she would have her invention book and I tell it Alana, I'm so proud of you.
[00:38:20] You came up with this idea. If we end up finding it online, then I'll buy it. So a couple of them, we found online some, we actually, she has a couple of inventions for herself that are active. but then she started to get really smart with me. She's daddy, I came up with this thing called an iPad.
[00:38:41] So I'm like, you know what? This game is over. I'm like, I love you around invention book, but you got a little bit too smart for me on this. So I did get her the iPad. And that was the last invention that you came up with, that I bought from. And she got me back for all the toys that I ripped apart when I was making prototypes over, over twice, you'd be like, oh daddy, you bought this from me.
[00:39:02] I'm like, I need the guts out of this thing. I'm ripping out the, the sound thing I'm ripping the arms, she got me back.
[00:39:10] Greg Mills: You hit on something else before about. Convincing people that they could manufacture things themselves that wouldn't potentially cost because the dollars. What,what,
[00:39:22] processes were you talking about?
[00:39:24] Brian Fried: Somebody would come to me and they'd say, Brian, I heard, or I think that this may cost $25,000 to make the tooling and it might cost $3 to make per year. And I don't have the money for that. I would love to be in business for myself. I love I'm so passionate about my product. I love it. And that could end up just stopping them in their tracks and it's what they heard or what they think.
[00:39:54] So when you take the facts and you get to a point where you can take it and you can get quotes, like I mentioned before, you want to do your due diligence and research to see what's out there. And then you find out that in a lonely. $2,000 and X amount of money. And now for $6,000, you can have 3000 units in your garage or in your distribution center or whatever.
[00:40:19] So people's perceptions of what things might cost to make, could end up stopping them from being that entrepreneur, that inventor, that has products that they're selling on their own. Sometimes when you go to somebody or a company, they have multiple layers that everybody needs to earn until it ends up getting to the factory and back to you.
[00:40:41] So there's a lot of meat in there. What you want to do is you want to try to find different avenues and different directions. So maybe it's going direct to the manufacturer, or maybe it's some like just experimenting and exploring and not just listening to one person, what they have to say. And that's where I've understood from all the experiences.
[00:41:03] And I've worked on all different types of products and ideas and business to business, to consumer different industries and scientific and medical. And it doesn't matter. I'll figure it out with you and, or I might know about it, or you might know about it better, and I can see it in a certain way to figure out the direction of where it needs to go.
[00:41:26] And that's the thing is like, people want to know what it's going to be. So I have that visual of what it's going to take to get there. You know what I mean? And that's the challenge. And sometimes people might not know that and might have a different perception of it. So that's the, what I like to overcome with them to figure it out.
[00:41:48] And sometimes look, it might be too expensive. It might not be practical. It might be too much. And then there's the licensing where you can rent the rights again to your intellectual property. Most of the time it works out that way and they'll make it and they'll sell it and you'll earn a royalty, but not every product is licensable either.
[00:42:08] It's gotta be a, it's gotta be a good product that they're going to be able to sell enough of to be able to want to pay you a royalty. and those are the types of things that you have to. And just because they say no, it doesn't mean your product stinks. It just means. It's just after them. So you want to find somebody that accompany that it is for them, or you wait until you come in your factory on your own or you don't and you move on to your next idea.
[00:42:34] Greg Mills: Okay. Now, do you ever advise anybody to, to use a service like Kickstarter or something to fund their
[00:42:41] Brian Fried: Sure. Yes. look, you want to find whatever way you can to commercialize your idea and to raise money. And yes, it is good for some people and some people, it might not be for those. You want to be able to have a good plan pre Indiegogo or Kickstarter. I had a. A really great guest on my national inventor club a couple months ago.
[00:43:06] And she was from Indiegogo. If you go to National Inventor Club.com and you go to past meetings, you can watch it and you can hear if something like that is for you. So it's a crowdfunding and you have to basically ask people. To make donations in return for something that you're going to give them, they'll give you the money, or print or continue to build up and accumulate money until you hit a certain goal.
[00:43:33] And when you have the money, then you're going to be able to manufacture it. Let's say, and then you'll from the manufacturing. You'll send them. Maybe you'll have it son there's different levels. So maybe you'll sign it. Maybe I'll make an in gold or whatever. but they'll have a, your product most likely.
[00:43:49] That's how it works. but you also have to have a good following social media. You want to be able to ask people to, help you to raise the money. And you also want to have some sort of intellectual property protection because when you're putting it on those websites, It's worldwide. So you want to think about these types of things.
[00:44:07] yeah, depending on who you are, what your plan might be, what your investment might look like. again, these are things that me personally, I help people to make those decisions, but yes, it could be a good platform for some, in some, it may be challenging.
[00:44:22] Greg Mills: Okay. Yeah. I could see where it could help validate the idea, but I could also see, you pretty much advertising something to get ripped off or.
[00:44:33] Not having the proper social media, following
[00:44:36] Brian Fried: The validation. Look, you can have a great invention that if you had the money raised that you would manufacture it and you might not have done a good amount of social media, you might not have explained the product. And it bombed and then somebody like myself or somebody else takes it over and ends up making it a winner.
[00:44:56] So it's the path that you take and how you do it. could end up making a difference or it just in cell? there wasn't enough people and enough people noticed it, but they just didn't feel like they wanted to put money in and maybe that'll stop you. And the validation, like you said, That might be the last time you work on it.
[00:45:19] Greg Mills: Okay. Now your two books, You And Your Big Idea and Inventing Secrets Revealed both came out in 2008 and 2016, respectively. Do you have another book in you?
[00:45:32] Brian Fried: I do and it is at the publisher right now.
[00:45:35] Greg Mills: Okay.
[00:45:35] Brian Fried: going to tell you anymore, but yes. I'm very excited about it. I have another platform that's in the works right now, to add to the InventorSmart family of, of activity for the inventor community. So I'm really excited maybe you'll have me back. And I'll tell you about some of the next rounds of, activity that.
[00:45:54] definitely. So let's get ready to wrap this up. What piece of software or app do you find is indispensable helping you in the invention process?
[00:46:06] USPTO.gov, Google patent search. So USPTO.gov is a US Patent and Trademark Office. I'm on there. I checked patents. I check trademarks. it's important to me. They have good resources on there. I also use, Google Patents to search it's easy. I, I buy, I come up with names, I buy domain names, so GoDaddy's active for me.
[00:46:29] Like having a Zoom and Google Meet is active for me. So I think those are important for good communication. And these days people got more comfortable seeing each other face to face on video. those are important, important in my life and email of course, email you and those type of apps you can't live without these days.
[00:46:51] Brian Fried: Right.
[00:46:52] Is there anything I haven't asked that you'd like to cover before we go?
[00:46:56] it's really important that people, with anything that they do in life to just really go for what they have. and to make their dreams a reality. And it's very, it keeps you going and it keeps me going and there's some pit stops along the way.
[00:47:13] Brian Fried: There might be some detours along the way, but working with the right people, getting the right information is really important to keeping your ideas for moving forward. And that's really important to, anybody out there listening your audience. I really appreciate it. And, absolutely keep on.
[00:47:32] Just keep on inventing, keep coming up with new ideas. Be intuitive. Think about things that are going on around you and capture those ideas and think about what it looks like for. Not just yourself, but other people, how they could use it, where they can visualize it or how it's going to affect people.
[00:47:52] The end user.
[00:47:55] Greg Mills: Okay. What's the best way for our listeners to check you out and.
[00:48:01] I have my personal website, BrianFried.com. And I always have to say this because sometimes people reach out to me or the host and they say, I couldn't get in touch with Brian's website. It's down. they do. Brian is B R a I N brain. And my last name is spelled fried, but it's pronounced fried.
[00:48:19] Brian Fried: So if you put brain and fried together on. So don't spell my first name wrong. It's B R I a N F R I E d.com. my business website is InventorSmart.com NationalInventorClub.com. if you want to take an inventor class inventorclass.com, GotInventionShow.com. So they're all on InventorSmart.com.
[00:48:44] It's pretty easy to get in touch with me and I do whatever I can to help people. I've been in your situation. If you just came up with that idea or you're stuck at some point, and I could compare what somebody might've come to me with already, and they've made mistakes or I've made the mistakes.
[00:49:02] So you don't have to. And that's what I want to do is get people. Where they want to go quicker and more efficiently. If it's something to work on at all, and I help you to make those decisions.
[00:49:13] Greg Mills: Okay, that's a wrap. Thank you. Brian, for doing what you do and for being a
[00:49:18] guest on entrepreneurs over 40.
[00:49:20] Brian Fried: Thank you very much, Greg. And everybody, please keep on inventing.