Drummer Talk

Drummer Talk 207 – So You Want to be an Inventor? (Part 1)

Troy walks us through part 1 of how you can get a cool drum invention to manufacturing! In the news, we look at the list of the 30 richest drummers in the world, we listen to a drummer with a robot arm, and talk about where you can get Joey Kramer’s coffee!


News from the Pinboard


Topic – So you’re an inventor?

Key Rules for Inventors

  1. Don’t be a Wantrepreneur? (Warning some strong language)(Load the first 2 min)

  2. Market Validate Before Manufacturer

  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel use what is already available for product creation/marketing

  4. Beware the everybody knows principle

  5. Don’t become a victim of engineers Disease ( Hey does anybody want this??)

  6. Test Fast and test cheap!!


Troy’s 20 Start-up Questions

  1. What problem are we trying to solve

  2. How does it solve that problem

  3. Who are the end users-Is there a large addressable market of end users-what makes their life easier

  4. Who is your revenue supplying customer-are there enough of these paying customers to make a huge business

  5. Dose the product solve a problem that end users/revenue suppliers really have

  6. Are you sure your building a product and not a feature

  7. Does your stuff fit into the way people work- do we require people to change the way they do things – because the product is so great- inertia of current trends

  8. Are you too involved in how the product is being built rather than what you are building

  9. Who are the required Partners-who are the potential partners-are they achievable

  10. What is the go to market strategy

  11. What is your sustainable competitive advantage

  12. Do you have time to market or first mover advantage-are you ahead of the pack and can you stay there- are you too early

  13. Can you be #1-#2 in this space and can you stay there

  14. Is there a team formed with a  history of success

  15. Is there a Soul of the team that knows where this product is going

  16. Is anyone on the team insane

  17. Are there Product-technology-Operations

  18. Are there marketing and sales barriers

  19. Are there legal Barriers to success

  20. Is there an exit strategy


So you have an idea What do you do first? Licence or Manufacture

  • Patents,Provisional Patents & Trademarks and do you need a Patent? or shop your idea around? Both have value

    • In the USA Patent protection is given to the “first to invent”meaning the first who conceived of,Practiced, and generally came up with the idea.( You must also prove it Inventors journal)

    • In most other countries IE Australia,Japan,New Zealand, Patent protection is granted to the first to file check your local laws about provisional patents, Full Patents and Trademarks

    • Filing a provisional patent Cost is 65-150 gives you 1 year provisional patent ( enough time to create or shop your idea around) Your provisional patent can include many factors, design, appearance,Schematics, certain functions etc.

    • It is also possible to shop the idea around for licensing opportunities.( Story of guitar cleaner)

    • US Patent and Trademark

    • Hate filling out paperwork Patent Wizard is the Turbotax of provisional patents

    • Filing a full patent can cost 5k to 25k depending on the item and addendums

    • Don’t worry if someone copies you – it means you’re making money

    • If Nike, Taylormade Golf, Apple, Disney can’t fight the knock off artist what says you can

    • The truth about patent fears  and protecting your ideas easy as 1,2,3 with Stephen Key and Andrew Krauss (these guys have been doing it for years and have



  • Technical drawings and finding Mechanical Engineers/Product Designer

  • Elance.com and odesk.com finding talent to help with technical drawings etc.

  • Solidworks and Autocad is the industry standard for small parts schematics etc The work I do and the people I work with use solidworks exclusively.

  • 13 min Demo Of Solidworks

  • A good designer will charge between $20-65/per hour. You can save time by having your ideas well thought out with basic sketch mock ups using MS Publisher/Faststone capture software or Apple Notes

  • Simple cheap mock ups can be enough to sell an idea here is an idea

  • Mockups/Prototypes can be crude made of Foam Core, Silicone molds made at home

  • Sell sheets will be covered in Marketing

  • Repurposing Enter 3D Scanning

    • Have somthing thats not made any more that you want to copy,bring back to life or improve upon.

    • MakerBot.com and NextEngine.com  3D Laser scanners

    • These scans can be dropped into solidworks for schematic drawings

  • Manufacturing: Where to find and contact manufacturers and getting the 2 big questions answered

  1. Can your product be manufactured?

  2. How much does it cost? to find out the answer to both of these you need to find contract Manufacturers

  • Alibaba.com Global list of manufactureers for everything from food products to muscial insturments, clothing etc.. If you can’t find it here it probably can’t be made

  • Thomasnet.com here you can find contract manufatuerers for just about anything including, chemicals, adhesives, design services, import/export and manufacturing consulting services.

  • Private labeling ( Maybe your own music store line of hardware, sticks, guitar strings or Drumsets?)

    • Brands like Kirkland products from Costco, GNC’s Own Brand of Nutrition Products, guitarcenter Sound percussion drum accessories are what is known as private labeling 90% of the manufatueres of these private labeled products can be contacted through Alibaba.com or Thomasnet.com

  • Packaging

    • Need packaging? Don’t pay a graphic designer to build something from the ground up. Instead go on istockphoto.com and buy a template. Then have the designer modify the packaging with pictures and colours etc.

  • Distribution How will you sell your product and to who

    • Direct to customer – Amazon Services, Ebay, Direct Website Sales,

    • Direct to Wholesaler/Distributor? Kaman Music Corp, Big Bang Dist., Jam industries

    • License out your idea to a music group supplier IE Kaman Music Group Need ideas here is their 898 page catalogue Kaman is owned by Fender

  • Licensing your idea

    • Simple cheap mock ups can be enough to sell an idea


Music from this week’s Show:


In closing…

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