The Player

Inventors:
Jude & Ben
Date:  2001

Summary:
A portable device that would allow users to view or listen to CDs, DVDs or any electronic media file.

Actions:
-  Paid ISC $500 to get a Leather-Bound book made highlighting the features of the Player.
-  Paid ISC $7,000 to have them push the idea to manufactures across the world for licensing.

Status:
The idea went nowhere... Money Lost.

Lessons Learned:
Any invention company who tells you to GIVE them money for your idea... RUN!!!

Story:
The Player was the first idea my brother and I officially tried to attack... and one of the most costly lessons we ever had to learn.  It would have been the first portable media device that allowed users to view any video, picture or document... basically, the iPad way before the iPad!

We first came up with the Player because we were constantly making funny videos and wanted a quick and easy way to show our friends and family.  We were able to transfer the movies to CDs but the only way to view them was to insert the CD into a computer with a movie player installed.  If we knew then what we know now about web development... we could have also solved this problem by inventing YouTube.  :)

We also knew it would be huge to show people your pictures or documents, listen to all your favorite songs or play any other type of media file on the fly... so we knew we had to attack the Player.


We found a company in Cincinnati called the Invention Submission Corporation (ISC... I think they now go by InventHelp.com), that was promising to turn our ideas into a reality, so my brother and I knew we had to meet with them.

In our first meeting, the guy told us that we had a real winner on our hands but the first thing we had to do was a patent search and make the idea more presentable.  He sold us on their leather bound book which would highlight all the key advantages of the Player as seen to the left but make the idea much more marketable to companies.  For just $500 we could have the book to keep and use as we pitched the idea to large manufactures.  It sounded good and we thought that worst case we would have a keep-sake for the Player.

After we got the book, we then had another meeting with ISC to hear our options.  He told us that we could go and push the idea to manufactures and use our book as a tool to help sell it ourselves... OR... we could let them push the idea for us to their manufacturing partners all around the world.  He did tell us there was less then a 3% chance we would have of them selling the idea... but assured us, that he thought we were sitting on a goldmine.  Ohhh, and the price tag for their help... $7,000.

I still remember our conversation about how much money that was but how awesome it would be to just get our idea in front of the right people.  We thought for sure they would love it, and we believed ISC was our best chance to get us there.  So, my brother put down $2k and I paid on the other $5K over the next 3 years.  The best part is that all ISC had to do is send a flyer to several manufacturers and they were fulfilling their contractual obligation of marketing our idea.  I can not blame them for preying on excited young inventors like us... but I can learn from my mistakes and hopefully help others from doing the same thing.