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Old July 3, 2019, 07:29 PM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
Onwards and upwards!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,976
Default Some people's thought processes don't make sense... which means opportunity!

Originally Posted by SDKHunter View Post

As soon as I relocated to begin working with Harvey, he placed me into the position of "translating" his written materials to those students who called in by telephone with consultation questions. Man, there was a lot of them!

Your comments regarding "gears" of operation reminds me of a major source of difficulties I sometimes had with many students. Many of them seemed to have an excessive personal attachment to their created products. So, when I talked with them as to what their marketing plans for their products were, oftentimes, a solid brick wall would appear. They became overly protective, often to a fault.

That was a struggle because everything became "personal" to them. All in all, for some individuals, they were never able to separate themselves from the product and its potential. Just that reality alone blocked some very nice products from ever reaching their markets.

The volume of "distressed" products exist not only because of legitimate technical or financial problems, missteps or poor planning - but many are problems of the "self-induced" kind.

Here is one such example that I documented so that I would never forget it:

Hi Sherman,

Wow, thanks for sharing that!

I loved the fishing lure story (in your link)... When you do know something about marketing, it's kind of amazing what kinds of things people come up with!

By the way, here's a quick story of mine...

I had agreed to help a friend of a friend with his product (let's call the inventor Mike, not his real name). He was (and is) a professional carpenter, and had invented a product which helped you to saw (using a circular saw) in a straight line, at any angle to the edge. It was easy to use, safe, and better than anything out there (at the time)... People who bought it and used it, loved it.

Not only that, he had already patented it effectively "worldwide." (My friend who knows him is a patent attorney, and did the patenting for him.)

The main issue was marketing...

This was in Australia (where I live). Here in Australia, there is a chain of stores called "Bunnings" - they are actually the Australian version of Home Depot (and are not part of Home Depot, but they are modeled after them).

He had already produced one production run in China, and had sold it through demonstrations at various trade shows.

He wanted to get it into Bunnings. He had had a meeting with Bunnings... The standard sales contract was they'd pay you a certain amount of time after they stocked your item.

Mike wanted to do it differently. He wanted them to pay him a few months up front, before they even received the stock! That way, he could use the money to pay for the manufacturing! Then deliver the stock to them a few months afterwards.

Not surprisingly (to me), Bunnings had no interest in doing it this way...

He couldn't seem to get his head around it. He said they'd make money. So he was not flexible at all. Bunnings had to pay for his item months in advance of stocking it - so their money could be used for manufacturing! He would accept nothing else!

I explained to him, this means Bunnings is taking the risk. What if the manufacturing is faulty? You could go bankrupt, and Bunnings loses money. Of course, Bunnings would not be interested in taking that risk.

But... I couldn't budge him. He wanted it to do it his way, or the highway!

We eventually parted ways, but for a different reason. (We had agreed on a percentage fee to me if I marketed it successfully, but I noticed in our initial meeting, he didn't write anything down. When we met again later, somehow his memory of my percentage fee had been cut in half. I decided to withdraw from the deal then and there... Partly because I felt that his changing my fee through a faulty memory was unprofessional, but I could also see the other problems too, based on his not wanting to do business the "standard" way, but "his way or the highway!")

Anyway, I think the patent will expire in just a few years now... (When I saw him, he had already had the patent for several years.) The closer the patent is to expiry, the lower its value...

Since our association ended, I know he tried to raise around $80,000 to fund manufacturing, through a Kickstarter campaign (but only raised about 10% of what he wanted, so it was not successful).

What he should have done (and which I recommended) was to either borrow the money, or to get investors to fund it - then, do the deal with Bunnings the standard way they do it, and get it in their stores. However, he was unwilling to do either. He didn't want to get investors, because he didn't want to give too much equity away. My thoughts are, it's better to own (say) 51% of something that's worth a lot, than 100% of something that's worth zero...

Anyway, I couldn't understand his thought processes either!

What I loved about your post and the article you linked to, Sherman, is you clearly explain why these opportunities exist. When you approach such people, you are helping them to do something they can't do themselves. So, it's truly a 100% ethical, win/win situation!

Best wishes,


Last edited by Dien Rice : July 3, 2019 at 07:40 PM.
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