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Old November 22, 2000, 11:04 PM
Dien Rice
 
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Default More on finding a manufacturer....

Hi Desmond,

Here's more information on finding a manufacturer....

Some of this information is Australia-specific and some is USA-specific....

This first part will probably mostly just be useful to Aussies.... In Australia, there is a government-funded company called the Industrial Supplies Office, or ISO. They have a huge database of Australian companies, and the main reason for the ISO's existence is as a service to help Australian businesses to find each other.... Most of their services are free, since they are government-funded.

For Aussies, here are some branch office web sites: www.isonsw.com.au (in New South Wales), www.isovic.com.au (in Victoria), www.isoqld.com.au (in Queensland), www.tbc.sa.gov.au/services/ISO.htm (in South Australia)....

For Americans, you can find manufacturers using the Thomas Register www.thomasregister.com .... There may also be a similar government consultation service as well, however I don't know off-hand (does anyone know of this?)....

By the way, I found out about the ISO in Australia from a branch of the Inventors' Society. I attended some of their meetings, and at one of them a representative of the ISO gave a talk, and I took notes.... (I learned from Gordon Alexander to always have paper and pen nearby -- he calls it his "external brain"....)

*Some* of these Inventors' Societies have good information, so the Inventors' Society (or an equivalent) is probably worth checking out in your city, if you have a design patent already....

To be honest, though, I tend to agree with Marty Foley's answer, that the invention/patent route looks like one of the tougher routes to financial success (if that's your aim).... There *are* successes, but in many cases they've had to essentially set up their own businesses, manufacture their own product, and spend a lot of their own money to achieve it....

I was told that one of the best books about this route to success is
"Doing a Dyson" -- I haven't read it myself though. James Dyson's autobiography, "Against the Odds" might also be good (I also haven't read it). James Dyson designed a better vacuum cleaner, and it's the best-selling vacuum cleaner in the UK. I'm not up-to-date on the world of vacuum cleaners, but I read that his vacuum cleaner design has also been widely copied in the USA (perhaps he didn't get a patent there?).

I think the difficulty with the invention route is that a "better" product does not automatically lead to sales.... It has to satisfy a real "want" in the community at an acceptable price -- it has to ease some real pain. And many inventors know nothing about marketing, which is a critical skill.

Hope that helps....

Dien Rice