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Hypothetical hypothetical question

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Regarding all that planning etc, I'd go the other way - talk is cheap and educational. Instead imagine what the "sunk costs" would be: how hard is it to do a cute little hobby prototype of the idea? Then you and a few friends goof off with it. If there's "burgeoning excitement" then you go back and do the plan for an investor.
-TaoPhoenix (March 31, 2014, 01:07 PM)
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If it's genuine friends who are talking, I'd pretty much agree here.

It's when somebody shows up out of the blue, or courtesy of somebody who's just trying to get the caller off their phone, that I ask for a little more demonstration of thought and commitment. And definitely before I'll consent to spending a few hours of "brainstorming" (i.e. BS-ing) over a pizza.

The last person that called me had a "super idea" for something that could "revolutionize using the web on a PC." But it was important, he said, that we move fast on it before somebody else though of it too.  8)

His idea? Putting a key on the keyboard that automatically added .com after wherever the cursor was. He figured that "since we're all using the web constantly, not having to type .com all the time would be a major time saver." :-\

Yep! That was the "super idea." :tellme:  I guess he never heard about the <CTRL><ENTER> combo...   :huh:

He wanted to know if I'd be interested in going in with him on a patent search... ;D

Now you know why I ask for something more than just "an idea" before I'll waste more minutes of my life I'll never get back.

His idea? Putting a key on the keyboard that automatically added .com after wherever the cursor was.
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 Heh heh.  Strange the ideas people have.  I had a friend who was a shipyard welder.  He was always coming up with little ideas.  One that he wanted to patent was welding bicycle handbrakes on wheelchairs.  He showed me these patents of braking systems on wheelchairs.  One was an automatic parking brake with 90 or 100 moving parts.  When the person took their weight off the seat it engaged the brake.  Apparently there was nothing simple for the person pushing the wheelchair to retard momentum going downhill or down ramps etc..

I told him I thought he could make money welding the brakes on.  He should rent a garage, get welding equipment, sets of brakes, and advertise.  But he was obsessed with patenting it first or else someone would steal the concept.  I'm sure my friend was a competent welder.  But he did like to knock back cold ones on occasion.  :)

40hz said just about everything i believe in his first post.

The only thing worth adding that he hasn't added is that chances are that whatever great idea one has, a dozen people have come up with it decades ago in a dozen countries.  The idea itself is not the hard part -- it's developing the idea.

Do try hard to learn about prior work -- don't ignore it -- it could save you immense amounts of wasted time, and don't worry about someone else hearing about your idea and stealing it.

Do try hard to learn about prior work -- don't ignore it -- it could save you immense amounts of wasted time,
-mouser (March 31, 2014, 06:03 PM)
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Very very very important point!

Learn from history and other people's mistakes. Sometimes the absence of competitors is the surest sign something is a very bad idea.

One business adage I've learned to respect over the years is the one that goes: Don't fall for the mistaken belief that the fact "nobody else is doing it" automatically makes something a good idea. Many times nobody else is doing it because it's unworkable - or it isn't worth doing.


2 people come up with the same idea at the same time, in 2 different parts of the world. Both people work hard on an implementation of their idea and then patent & market it, in hopes of making money on it.

Funny thing about it is that they are 2 entirely different products, based on the same idea. They both solve the same problem, but differently.

Now a 3rd guy comes along, not knowing about either of the 2 existing projects, comes up with the idea on his own and a 3rd way to implement it, that is unlike the other 2.

Think the idea of a jar opener, then take a look at this google image search, and you will realize why the idea doesn't need protection, but an implementation might (if it's any good).

And if you want some really good advice, it might be worth it to have a read here:

I linked to a great article in that post that will save you a lot of trouble, money, and heartache by getting you to look at things from a better angle.

And my own personal story about why I am not filthy rich (you can learn a lot from it):


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