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This Invention: A Family Content Network

A journal, information and resources for establishing a Family Content Network, as I am doing - essentially a framework for managing all your Family's online assets and inventions for maximum exposure and revenue. This blog began as an inventor's journal, and retains the overall parent inventor's context and mindset.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

(41) And one invention begets other stuff

So, with my invention capital investment funds appropriated (for the kid's private school), the invention prototype in need of a major mechanical redesign, and summer activities rampaging, the actual invention process is a bit stalled. However, the invention process and energy certainly kicked off or otherwise fostered a number of other, related-in-strange-ways revenue stream-generating adventures...which are making the "diversified family services conglomerate" strategy really begin to take shape.

www.slingwheels.com - I've become a stroller accessories expert, in creating my own - and now will sell stroller accessories. In particular, I think a collection of accessories for Moms or Dads (which will have different things in them) to use as gifts would really make the stroller community happy (read, yahoo stroller group). Should begin selling in July.

www.ingridmyers.com - Through developing the slingwheels website, I've become a good enough webmaster to redo the family real estate website (wife's mother), with linkages to all the rest of our stuff. As we pick up help in this venue, by getting our own real estate licenses, this should become a great cross-selling opportunity.

www.ingridmyers.com/erikaboehm.htm - speaking of cross-selling, it so happens we've had an entire lifetime collection of paintings available to sell for some time - now that we're getting busy on ebay and slingwheels selling things, why not sell reproduction prints? We've started listing a few - who knows, maybe good baby shower presents in addition to stroller accessories!

www.dadministrator.blogspot.com - the Internet Safety kick, generated out of our Whizkids business, is poking along. Some progress generating interest at work, and about 20 downloads so far of the (free for now) eBook (volume 1) generated, from the Whizkids site. Still looking at this as a cross sell with Whizkids.

www.whizkidsllc.com - Our computer training business for kids and adults - the website's been improved with more upselling stuff (affiliate advertising), but activity is down for the Summer, while we plan for all the new class activity this Fall in the county community centers. Should get real busy in August.

Drop-shipping - looking for more opportunities to drop-ship stuff from online advertising; will probably mean an aggregation of ecommerce activity across our sites into one. I've established a domain www.kmeshop.com for this; right now just some drop-shipping advertising and junk on it - to be developed.

Computer consulting and recruiting - new development, where we actually assist in technical recruiting and consulting. Right now in limited partnership, I suppose eventually we can do a full partnership and establish some business of our own.

www.nationalsecurityscreens.com - a relative's business, has truly been stale for a long time from an Internet perspective; I'm taking steps to take over site maintenance and support, and therefore bring it into the conglomerate fold, and perhaps generate more cross-selling opportunities.

This blog - continues to be an archive/journal of an invention, and that which was spawned.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

(40) Buggers!

As everyone says, the invention process is 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Here on our vacation, I've had time to really test out the full-blown prototype, and a significant mechanical issue has developed. I've suspected the need for an extra part for some time to provide a particular kind of stability and directional alighnment, now those suspicions are realized. The invention looks good, but doesn't actually work (yet). So it's back to the drawing board to (1) re-engineer the primary part for additional fit and stability, and (2) create the new part and its attachment points. What started out in my mind as a very simple and hopefully cheap product, is rapidly becoming more complex and expensive (with more metal parts) to design and manufacture. And harder to use, as a consumer. This is not really the direction I intended. So, time to buckle down, and rework the design.

This state of affairs does come at a bad time, from a working capital perspective. It's really important, obviously, to have a decent pot of funds to keep the design, testing and prototyping going, and then launch the product. Mine have been diminishing steadily, and it's just become apparent to us that we need to "borrow" from the invention fund, to cover expenses on the kid's education and our own retirement front. This makes it all the more urgent to get a subsidiary revenue stream up and running (i.e. online reselling of stroller accessories), to cover R&D of the invention. So, the product launch keeps getting pushed back - being ready this Fall looks like it won't happen, without some considerable help and perhaps some kind of cash infusion from a partner or investor. The Catch-22 is that I can't yet demonstrate the product actually works, just its potential.