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Should I throw in the towel?

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posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 05:57 AM
I placed this in skunk works arbitrarily as I don't really know where it belongs. I'm really looking for advice from some of ATS's wiser, and more life experienced members.

Amongst many other things I am an inventor. I have several partners in a group of inventors, and we work on lots of different projects. The most successful of which recently being improvements to an alternative energy device. We haven't invented the device per se, we have made significant advances in making it work reliably, and developing it into a mainstream end user product. We have several working prototypes, and going into mass production would be easy for someone with the cash, and facilities to do so.

That's where the conflict begins. The small time guys don't want to risk any capital in the current economy. The big guys are uninterested, or vested in never seeing the technology produced as it would mildly affect their bottom line. We decided to take the risk ourselves, and start producing it on a small scale, and expand as we could. The problem there being we don't have a production budget, and an advertising budget. We can do one or the other, and advertising a product you can't buy the parts to make doesn't make much sense does it?

We have installed our product on a couple of commercial contracts, and it is working very well. We thought these companies would talk us up, and we would get residual sales from word of mouth, but instead the companies like to keep us as their "little secret" to be more competitive.

Selling to the general public isn't the greatest idea because the system requires a little maintenance, and Joe down the street hasn't changed the oil in his car in 3 years. He isn't going to remember to do a 5 minute a week routine even if it does save him money. We have sold 3 or 4 devices to individuals, and they have all failed due to neglect, and the onwer's excuse for not doing the upkeep was "Doh!... I forgot."

Last week an investor that normally invests in oil field, and petroleum related interests approached us. He wants to buy the whole thing from us. It isn't "Lifestyles of the rich, and famous" money, but it is life changing money. I could be instantly debt free, and retire very early, and comfortably in 10 or 15 years.

The catch, I can tell from the terms in the prospectus that he has every intention of permanently shelving this technology. Not another one will be made of our design if we do this.

My thoughts? It doesn't seem people are really that interested in saving money, and lowering pollution at the same time. We like to preach, and fear monger about it, but when it comes time to reach into your wallet, and buy a truly green, win-win situation product, the status quo is just fine. As a society we don't really want sensible, profitable, and useable alternatives yet. We like to say we do, but bottom line is we don't. If we did I'd be too busy to be ranting about this right now. If it doesn't damage the economy in some way, or cost some poor wage slave his job, or involve oppressive taxation, and federal involvement, it isn't really green tech right?

To those that would say "Oh give it away, and help the planet!" If we did give it away it would be instantly marginalized, minimized, and swept away. So if it seems doomed to obscurity anyway I might as well send my kids to college, and make my family's life better. Maybe I'm bitter about it, but it seems that the energy giants are the only ones smart enough to jump at an opportunity, even if only to suppress it.

We wonder why TPTB have so much power, and great ideas get suppressed. I know why now. We the sheeple are too stupid to support the ideas that would break their power. Because it isn't as convenient as wastefulness, it might have a little upfront investment that would take away from our cheesburgers and xbox, and it would require a small amount of simple maintenance. Too much to ask I guess. Never mind it reduces resource consumption by 30%- 50%, and reduces harmful emissions by 80%, and makes your equipment last at least twice as long. Everyone agrees it's a great idea, and they "like" it, and "everyone should have one." etc... but no one wants to put their money where their mouths are.

Unless someone can present me with a pretty convincing argument why we should continue to pursue apathetic consumers, and businesses to buy a product that pays for itself, and then saves money, and the environment. I'm seriously considering signing the prospectus. I already have enough prototypes that belong to me personally that I'll just use them myself, and gift them to close friends, and family. The rest of you can just keep wondering why we're in such a mess, and nobody does anything about it.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 06:30 AM
reply to post by Binder

You are trying to be entrepreneurial in the wrong country.

I seriously suggest you look into the Chinese market. There is a good deal of funding to be had even for sound ideas and working inventions can garner a fair amount of cash quite quickly - if you are willing to relinquish the whole thing (which you are about to do, for no profit at all).

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 06:40 AM
reply to post by Exuberant1

Oh it is profit. It is enough to more than break even. It would pay everything off, and leave some for future investment. Funny you would mention China. A manufacturer there actually builds devices similar to ours already on their equipment from the factory as standard to the equipment. However their provisional patent in no way infringes on ours or vice versa because of international law. China is so about to own our arses. Maybe they'll manage our resources better anyway.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 06:55 AM
reply to post by Binder

It's a great dilemma of the ego you have chosen.

Your decision also depends on how much love you have for everyone else in the world and what you'd do to help others in this life without expecting anything in return.

Me - I'd give it away!

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 06:59 AM
reply to post by Binder

Tell them that you have developed a similiar product and would be willing to act as a consultant for a fee.

If you are white then that is even better. Chinese companies sometimes even hire a token white man for when they have clients touring their offices and facilities - it is supposed to show that rich westerners are interested in investing and so the company must have good potential.

Currently, there is a massive amount of money going into R & D in China. You should try to access that.

*Also, don't try to push any free energy stuff on them. There's 1.3 billion of them and they've seen it all before. Advertise such a product as a 'power conservation device' or something like that.

Edit: Also, be humble when speaking with them. They know their country is in ascendancy. But they do want to avoid disputes and they are proud.

And due to their current state, they take a great deal of pride in their inventions and they want to see more come out of their own country. They might be willing to make you a good offer to ensure that the disputed product/patent becomes strictly Chinese.

[edit on 23-8-2010 by Exuberant1]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 07:35 AM
reply to post by Binder

First question:

Is this device/system/product patented yet?

If not, (and by the way you carefully avoid mentioning/describing it in your post, I suspect it is not) do so, NOW!

If by chance you do have the patent in place, I would advise you to get documentation for your claims of the device's efficacy; indepndent, third party documentation. There are various sources for this documentation: government labs, Universities, local power companies. Cutomer testimony is fine, to an extent but you'll never be able to approach "big money" sources with anything like a resonable amount of success unless you can support yoour claims with verifiable, unimpeachable proof.

At least not without having to "sell your soul" and alll the rights to your invention.

Lastly, you mention in your post that the one obstacle to mass marketing your device is its on-going, regular maintenence requirements.

Two possible solution here:

1.) Work on improving the reliability of the device so that it doesn't require regular maintenence.

or ,

2.) Make long term maintenence a separate, stand alone, profit-making opportunity as its own business.

Consider they way many companies "lease", rather than sell out-right, products like photocopiers and laser printers, cable TV converter boxes and satellite dishes.

A good friend of mine already has two patents under his belt and has begun the long bringing his products to market. It can be done.

Best of luck!

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:31 AM
if you have the product, and can make it easily, then continue. Hook up with contractors and construction and building companies. goto farms, got small businesses. spread the word yourself. start a website, and link it.

edit. u have pictures? how big? how much?

[edit on 23-8-2010 by Myendica]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:54 AM
reply to post by watchZEITGEISTnow

I understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately the world we live in is not conducive to the abundance paradigm. Therefore the best way to doom your work to utter failure is to give it away. If I thought for one moment it would be a game changing thing, and make a huge difference, of course I would give it away to make a better place for everyone. #1 Honestly it would make a difference, but not THAT big of a difference. #2 Giving it away would make it's intrinsic value in the REAL world absolute zero.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by Exuberant1

Excellent points Exuberant1, thank you, you at least have me thinking. I just don't like the idea of not helping out the home front. I guess you can lead a horse to water but....

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 09:18 AM
reply to post by Bhadhidar

Yes it is patented. Most people don't really understand patents though. It truly is an amazing product in that many, many patents are applied for in this field, and hardly any are ever granted. A patent does not mean that someone else cannot copy your product. It means if you can prove someone else is copying your product exactly, and you wish to take them to court you will probably win if you have enough money, and a good lawyer. If you don't have the time, money, desire etc... to pursue it, a patent is not worth the $40,000+ piece of paper it is printed on. Our group has over 30 patents under their belts. Sadly hardly anyone cares. Some really awesome ideas, but there isn't an iphone app associated with any of them so not much interest.

The maintenance involved is very minimal. It simply involves putting more stuff where it belongs, about once a week. A bi annual cleaning helps it work better too. It costs about $0.60 a month to run. Maintenance actually takes about 90 seconds once you get the hang of it. Basically it's easier than putting gas in your car.

The product is ready for market. There are lots, and lots of tire kickers, but no one wants to bite. 2 years ago people were beating our door down wanting to know when it would be done. Now that it's ready everyone wants to "wait, and see."

The reason I'm a little enigmatic about it is that there are a lot a snake oilers out there that have tried tro sell very sub par variants. As I said we haven't invented the wheel we've just made a wheel that rolls better than anyone else's.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 10:01 AM
Basically the device cracks hydrocarbons. It uses heat, a catalyst, and some ionization to break fuel down to a more useable form. You get more joules of energy per gram of fuel consumed. More bang for the buck. Other people have done similar things, but not to the level of reliability, and reproducible success. The devil is in the details. It is the way we do it, and what else we do in conjunction that no one else has done that is patented. We have yet to modify an engine that didn't have marked improvement in fuel economy, performance, and a massive reduction in emissions, NOX being the most significant.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 11:04 AM
Dear Binder,

Congrats on your discovery and invention.

Should that device as you claimed do improve performance over fuel use, and is significant, then it is a better product and should sell well. If it is only marginal, and reliability suspect, then it belongs to the shelf. But I will take your word for it that is reliable and can be proven.

You can sell your invention and patent to another as you lacked the capital, patience, perseverance or the greed to mass market this product. Let them earn their profits while you enjoy yours agreed upon. It will solve your problems, and allow you to retire comfortably.

But in the end, you will realise money isnt everything. You can only go do the Vega/Rivera/Lambos/Ferarris/etc routine without getting bored an sick of it. You eventually find out that in the end, you are as good or as loved as the amount of money left in your wallet.

As you watch your invention grow in strength and profits to others, you earned nothing more than what was agreed and given to you. The rightful fame that belonged to you for solving the energy crisis is now in the hands and ownership of another.

Or, that invention would never see the light of day once it had been sold.

For a few pieces of silver, you sold out your gift divinely given. May you enjoy your champagne sunsets and conditional love, and leave this planet without a name that was supposed to be your mark amongst humanity's immortality hall of fame.


posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 11:25 AM
if you are really interested in helping the world as you claim then patent it and release the plans on the internet for everyone to see and use and they can pay you royalties.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 12:14 PM
If it we`re me, I would take it to my grave before selling to some guy who would shelve it. Get a patent on it, take it to the community you live in and give talks on it, such as how it works, the kind of maintenance it would need, and maybe you will be able to have local investors help you. They may even be able to help with the manufacturing of the product. Start locally, and grow from that.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by SeekerofTruth101

There are a lot of energy inventions in the same predicament.
No one is investing in these idea's right now except big oil.

Overseas they are investing heavily into energy, in the states they're not.
I would suggest looking overseas for investment.

Selling the idea outright will bring you $$ in the short term, but marketing, if done right, can bring in 10 times that amount in a couple years time.

Edit: Also there may be grants available if you want to venture that road.

[edit on 23-8-2010 by zzombie]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 01:02 PM
With a product that's as close to market as you suggest, my suggestion would be to find (local) venture capital finance via a business incubator or other sort of consortia that provides access to such things for small companies. However, if as you suggest, the problem is one of budgets for advertising vs. production (and that's all the issues you have) - I would strongly suggest entering into a "strategic partnership" or "co-marketing" type arrangement to outsource the marketing.... There are some specialists that handle those sorts of thing in technical markets.

The BIG QUESTION is whether ultimately you want to keep creating and inventing - or you want to administrate a company/corporation that manufactures and sells products and services. Forget about doing both. Hire or partner business people if you want to continue inventing and building. The biggest advantage of "selling out" is that you don't have to worry about day-to-day operations, personnel issues, cash flows - you just hae to get enough money up front to soothe the separation anxiety.
There's no reason you can't sell the existing patent and then build and market a greatly improved design - or at least a non-infringing one. Be careful about selling intellectual property rights.


posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 02:50 PM
Imagine this.

You are Captain on starship the U.S.S. Enterprise Y.
The ship is brand new. The first trip you make... You encounter the Borg.

Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

You can either run like hell and possibly loose the ship. In the back of your mind- There is still one letter left in the alphabet for a new ship.
Fight like a lunatic and kill them all or get destroyed.

Run like a chicken with that what if...

Or go down under like a hero or be victories

Money ain't everything. One bad day on Wall street can vaporize your money just like a phaser on maximum.


In case you're unfamiliar with StarTrek. I say don't do something you might regret when there is no turning back.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:07 PM
reply to post by zzombie

You are exactly right zzombie. The only people with any real money to spend on alternative energy are the big energy corps. The guy looking to invest isn't from overseas, but he is from the southern continent of our western hemisphere.

You are also correct that marketing it ourselves has the potential for astronomical profits. It also has the potential to suck up 20+ years of life, and fail miserably, regardless of how well it works. Great ideas fail to sell all the time.

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:21 PM
Here's an anecdote that may help you.

When I moved to the UK from NZ, I was introduced to a new programme called Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Yes, seems silly now but it was new then!

I watched an episode where the contestant was an American computer programmer who had moved to the UK.

Chris Tarrant (the host) asked the man to recount the first occasion he had a chance to "become a millionaire". The show obviously not being that chance.

This man said that he was in college in the 70's studying computing. At the time one of his friends was thinking about the potential of the personal computer industry and decided to start a business. They got together and proposed that they all put in $2,000 for a percentage share.

Being a university student, with a new wife, the contestant pondered this offer. After much deliberation he and his wife decided against it, $2,000 was just too much in those days for a young couple to fork out.

The name of that friend: BILL GATES. If he had joined in that venture, his 2,000 bucks would be about $20 BILLION!!!

Don't give up dude, I'd hate for you to have such regrets!!

[edit on 23-8-2010 by kiwifoot]

posted on Aug, 23 2010 @ 08:23 PM
reply to post by ganjoa

You have summed things up well ganjoa. I have TONS more projects on the burners. I am good at building things, and making them work when no one else can. That is my gift. I am not interested in building lots of the same thing quickly. Once I solve a problem I'm ready for the next dilemma.

We have tried partnering, and most of the offers we get are ridiculous. The local money around here thinks they are going to buy a golden egg laying goose at the Wal-Mart bulk chicken price. They want all the control, all the profit, and none of the work, or responsibility.

I won't have any seperation anxiety. The solution is found, I am satisfied with that. Now I have to be pragmatic, and make sure that all the blood, sweat, and tears weren't for nought. I'm ready to tackle the next problem, and that's what really has me buzzing for the cash. My angst comes from the fact that the device will probably not get used as intended because people just don't seem to want it. Which I guess is fine, "I can't make you love me, if you don't." (lol, good song.)

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