Every time I make a new prototype for my invention, it gets a little easier. I get it more refined, the material becomes easier to work with, techniques start to stand out and I achieve a little bit more success. So far my investment in material for prototyping is under $10 which I think is pretty damn good. I've used and wasted a TON of material and still have plenty left so my finished product will likely cost more to manufacture than it's materials will be worth.
While my infant idea incubates in the lab, I finish my coffee and light a cigarette. It'll be a while before I can take my first run at it with the dremmel and make it look sexy. Time enough for some speculative contemplation about exactly what my next move will be once it's finalized. Without giving too much away I can say that my product is very simple, requiring very little material, and with a whole lot of potential uses. However simple it may be though, the actual shape of it limits the methods I can use to produce it. I've done some research into silicone injection molding, and I'm pretty sure it will be excessively complicated to go that route to produce this shape. Silicone extrusion looks promising but I'm not sure if it's ideal for this application because it would require curing the silicone extremely quickly to maintain it's shape.
Images conjure up in my head of a crazy Rube Goldberg contraption, towering high with drive shafts, gears, timing chains, and whirling blades. This machine could work, if traditional established methods aren't ideal, I'll just have to come up with my own damn methods. Next thing you know it will be spitting out mountains of my product, emblazoned with prestigious names. Two to be included with your next phone, one with your headphones, one with your charger. One to be included with your gaming headset. One to be included with your wired mouse, or one you can buy separately for the mouse at the office. Maybe even a nice big one to be included with your next power tool. There are so many steps between here and there, it boggles the mind.
A few months ago I spoke with an old friend of mine who's been lucky enough to enjoy great success in the past few years. I say lucky, of course luck had nothing to do with it, he worked hard and gave up a lot to get where he is. He was always someone I admired and respected, so it was great to see him again and catch up a bit, but i just couldn't help turning it into a pitch session...whoops! I hated myself for doing it, partially because i was actually really baked at the time, but I knew how busy he was and didn't want to miss my chance to pick his brain about a few things. What I wasn't entirely expecting was how clearly he saw the potential in my product, and almost instantly jumped right to the same page I was on as far as how to position it in the market. I left feeling a renewed confidence, passion burning hot, armed with a little more insight into the business side of things and determined to make things happen.
And then bills came. All the bills, and no work. You see I've been laid off since about a month before that meeting, and I've been collecting less employment insurance than my monthly expenses so things have been tight. My savings helped to get me through the first few months. I had to sell my SKS to keep my gun club membership up to date. I just sold a motorcycle to make rent, good thing the owner doesn't know. (kidding, it was a project I had tried to sell in the fall). Now I'm in a stalemate with my company trying to sell my shares which will balance my books, finally. With a little luck that will happen later today, as long as they've set the share prices. Even then, share prices have dropped so much they're actually worth considerably less than when I was first given them through our profit sharing plan. Also, I owe $100 on my taxes, and my car's probably going to blow up soon, so yay me.
The difference now is that I'm not letting money problems be a distraction, I'm using this as encouragement. I'd rather be spending my time accomplishing something, learning, creating. It took some seriously sketchy math and planning to make it this long on ei, and even with my shares selling a full month later than planned I haven't defaulted on ANYTHING yet. I honestly couldn't have done it without people close to me helping out, mostly with fun things I don't have in the budget on my own, the things that keep me sane. I appreciate it so much, and when my invention makes me a kabillionaire I'm going to relish in paying back everybody who's helped me along the way. Ideally I'll get the chance to help them reach their own goals, and follow their own dreams too! First, I better call my employer and sell my shares...right after I schedule a bill payment to get my phone reconnected.