Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New National Invention Contest

AbsolutelyNew Launches National Invention Competition
Winner to receive $20,000 in product development & marketing expertise

AbsolutelyNew, Inc., the consumer goods company that partners with inventors to launch innovative products, has launched its first National Invention Competition with the not-for-profit United Inventors Association (UIA).

The competition gives current UIA members the opportunity to showcase their patent-protected ideas and become eligible to win professional product development and marketing-licensing services valued at $20,000.

Additional competition facts:

• Entries are 100% safeguarded—entrants will be protected under a strict agreement of confidentiality.
• A panel of AbsolutelyNew experts will judge all ideas based on their originality, market potential and manufacturability.
• Competition is open until May 31, 2009. The winner will be notified no later than June 15, 2009.

Entry forms, more details and official terms & conditions are available at www.AbsolutelyNew.com/uiacontest.

This marks AbsolutelyNew’s first sponsorship of a National Invention Competition.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Live Invention Seminar

WHO: Product Coach Matthew Yubas

WHEN: Saturday May 30, 2009

TIME: Afternoon

WHERE: Lubbock, Texas

WHAT: Invention seminar in Lubbock, May 30, 2009. The seminar shows how to license or sell product ideas to companies for royalties or lump sum payout. Seating is limited. To register, or for more information, please visit:


For more information, contact Matthew Yubas at (858) 233-9639, matt@productcoach.com

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reasoned Uplift

The Huffington Post carried a fine piece of reasoned uplift.
We're compiling an article about "recession is over, if you want it" (with apologies to John Lennon), and Lynda's blog post strikes that very theme.
President Obama twice referenced inventor-entrepreneurs in his inaugural address. He was right when he said "our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year," and that we owe our prosperity and freedom to "risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The NYTimes gets innovation

Check out Don Kelly and a host of other thought leaders on innovation, entrepreneurship and inventing here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Own a Piece of Inventors Digest

We’re willing to create a regular, dedicated “sponsored editorial” section of the magazine devoted to your business or cause ... plus design an accompanying ad for you.

The cost of this sponsored editorial program: competitive.
The return-on-investment: priceless.

• We clearly label the page(s) as sponsored by you. We generate the stories or work with your content.
• We run a full-page ad for the duration of the sponsorship adjacent to the special section or somewhere else in the magazine. This ad does not have to run concurrent with the special section.
• This content can be displayed on your Web site – we will waive reprint costs.
• Become one of our go-to sources for other stories in the magazine, as warranted.

Through a dedicated sponsored section that is clearly branded, a full-page ad, and seeding in other areas of the magazine, you can amplify and share your message with our global readership of innovators.

For details, call 704.405.0712 or e-mail info@inventorsdigest.com

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bud Font

Our March issue featuring Nathan Myhrvold on the cover is out. Extremely cool guy. He likes quantum physics, digging for dinosaur bones, photography, monetizing patents and cooking. We should have the story, and others from that issue, posted soon.

We just put our April issue to bed. It will highlight eco-friendly innovation. We've got another celeb on the cover. And the font we used evoked some pretty interesting reactions here. One guy said it looked like marijuana. You guys be the judge.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

To Tweet or not to Tweet

I’m trying to figure out Twitter. It keeps coming up in conversations with colleagues, business associates, sources and in seminars. There’s a PR event this Wednesday here in Charlotte where a guru in PR is going to talk about leveraging Twitter for your business, among other things. I just don’t get how conveying mundane stuff in 140 characters of less is of any value to anyone.
That said, I set up a Twitter account awhile back: http://twitter.com/inventorsdigest
If anyone has any insight as to why anyone should Tweet, I’m all ears.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The recession is dead

I posted this query on a reporter's source network this morning and received more than 60 responses ... and counting:

Inventors Digest, an international magazine celebrating the intersection of business and innovation, seeks to change the current dour economic narrative.

Like mushrooms in the dark, innovation tends to sprout during recessions.

We’re seeing it all around us – from the labs brewing diesel from algae, to the guys in the garage building new breeds of tidal turbines and more efficient combustion engines, to the woman in California making sex space suits (oh, and a new type of rocket technology).

History’s repeating itself. Innovation is brimming. So we’d like to skip the moping around part and move right on to kick-ass enterprising.

President Obama noted in his inaugural address that our products and services are needed as much today as they were last week, last month and last year, and that our freedom and prosperity rely on the risk-takers, the doers and the makers of things. Why, then, are we gazing at our collective navels?

We’re interested in interviewing professors, economists and business leaders for a story on economic optimism. We want to hear some hope. We want reaffirmation in our belief in compassionate capitalism. We want to bang the pots that this recession is a state of mind.

With apologies to John Lennon, recession is over if we want it.

Is this a good thing?

So the United Inventors Association is under new management. A go-getter by the name of Patrick Raymond is now the executive director. We're running his op-ed piece in our March issue, where he unveils the UIA's new certification program.

We'd like to kick the tires on this program in more detail in an upcoming issue. Check out the particulars of the certification program here: http://www.uiausa.org/Default.aspx?page=279

It's generating some controversy. I've heard from some that the questionnaire is too invasive. One guy I know called it "a shake down." Others say it's a great step in the right direction and something the UIA should have been doing all along.

If you have an opinion on this, we'd like to hear it and perhaps include your comments in the magazine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Impressions from CES

Serial inventor James Burrell, who got a mention in our January 09 issue, recently returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He's posted his insights from the show, as well as dozens of photo highlights, including the iBot wheelchair from the mind of Dean Kamen (the guy who invented the Segway scooter, among other great innovations).

Visit http://www.deafandblind.com/CES.html

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Inventor-Friendly Companies Listing

Inventors Digest has unveiled an upgraded and updated list of inventor-friendly companies.

We spent considerable time and staff resources expanding our long-standing list. Some of those listings we culled from elsewhere on the forums at Edison Nation – so a big Thank You goes out to all of those who contributed.

Consider the Inventor-Friendly Company page your one-stop shopping destination for finding a potential fit for your product.

We’ll be updating the site regularly. If you know of a company that should be included, please e-mail us at info@inventorsdigest.com.

Mike Drummond, editor
Inventors Digest

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


There were many elements of President Obama's inauguration address to savor today. One of the moments I particularly enjoyed: "Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished."

I, for one, feel renewed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Is any publicity good publicity?

We're examining this question in an upcoming issue. The idea stems from complaints among some inventors who didn't like the way they were portrayed on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

When I posed the query to a reporter/PR network, I received more than 80 responses ... and counting.

Seems not everyone agrees. Some think exposure on Leno is priceless. Others argue you have to control your message.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OBVIA.biz offers bailout for American Inventors

I'm posting this as a favor for our friends at Obvia:

Casualties of the economic downturn might be wondering: Why do the fat cats get bailouts while we're left to fend for ourselves?

We’ve bailed out failed banks, failed insurance companies and failed auto makers. How about bailing out a sector that has never failed?

"Inventors -- all the worker bees who have yet to realize their ideas -- are the source of American ingenuity. Maybe now is the time to cultivate this talent base," said Scott Keeley, who owns OBVIA, a product-development and design company in Rhode Island.

To that end, Keeley has come up with his own idea: he calls it "The Great American Inventor Rescue." Between now and February, his firm will waive its inventor-assistance fees in the development of the next great invention.

The first rule of this competition is meant for the times: the inventor must be among the recently downsized.

Once the inventor submits his or her invention or product idea to OBVIA, OBVIA sends the inventor a nondisclosure agreement.(This is industry talk for a promise to not steal an idea.) OBVIA's engineers and marketers review the entries and pick the winning idea by April 1, 2009.

Submissions are due emailed by midnight on February 28, 2009 to rescue@obvia.biz.
For more information, see OBVIA's Web site at http://www.obvia.biz.

U.S. slips in patent ranking

IFI Patent Intelligence released its annual compilation of the world’s top-ranked U.S.-patent companies.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a total of 157,774 utility patents in calendar year 2008, up slightly over 2007’s total of 157,284.

Although IBM still tops the list and is ahead by a relatively wide margin, the scales of patent-quantity supremacy may be shifting away from corporate America in favor of companies overseas, especially to those in Asia.

American companies captured only 49 percent of U.S. patents granted to companies compared to 50 percent in 2007.

The Top 10 patent recipients:

1. IBM 4186
2. SAMSUNG 3515
3. CANON 2114
5. INTEL 1776
7. TOSHIBA 1609
8. FUJITSU 1494
9. SONY CORP 1485
10. HP 1424

Friday, January 9, 2009

Want Your Picture Taken?

New York-based photographer David Friedman is working on a portfolio celebrating independent inventors. Pictured here is Tony Pagoto, inventor of the personal computer wire management system.

“They say that necessity is the mother of invention. I’m interested in the rest of the family,” Friedman writes on his blog. “Of course, everybody gets good ideas, but not everybody writes them down before they’re forgotten. And fewer still actually take their ideas to the next level. With this photo series, I’m exploring who those people are.”

Inventors Digest is proud to announce we will be featuring David in an upcoming issue.

If you’re interested in having David include you in his growing body of work, please contact him. By all means, let him know that you heard about him here.
David Friedman Photography
blog: www.dfpblog.com

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jack-in-the-Box Thinks Inside the Box

So, this is lame. I recently took my wife and daughter to the Jack-in-the-Box near my house (that’s not the lame part).

The poor fidelity of the drive-thru speaker, the voice-response delay and the heavy, rich Indian accent made it nearly impossible for me to understand what the person at the other end of the order-taking line was saying.

Again, that’s not the lame part. I deal with folks with Indian accents all the time.

But this Jack-in-the-Box, and many like it, has outsourced its order-taking.

That, friends, is the lame part.

I chatted up the person at the window fulfilling the order. Odd that you’d outsource order-taking at a fast-food joint. She rolled her eyes, said everyone's complaining, and added that the company taking the orders is based in Texas and the decision to outsource the role of “you want fries with that?” came from corporate.

I complained on the company’s Web site that outsourcing this duty is irresponsible, given soaring domestic unemployment and the woeful state of the economy.

Jack-in-the-Box called me back. A guy named Bradley says corporate made the decision to outsource order-taking at some restaurants as a “labor savings and to streamline order taking.”

Bradley says the outsourcer is a Texas company called Bronco and all its employees are based in the U.S.

I suspect Bradley isn’t telling the truth or that Bronco isn’t being fully upfront with Jack. My wife and daughter say every time they’ve ordered drive thru at this Jack-in-the-Box, they’ve confronted someone with a sweet, sing-song Indian accent. Is it possible that all of Bronco’s employees are of Indian decent and live in Texas?

Bradley offered me a free meal.

I declined.