Inventor on the stairway to success
Anyone who has seen a new product on the market and said, “I thought of that years ago,” should learn a lesson from David L.
As the owner of his own business, David had laid a lot of laminate flooring and every time he did he faced the same problem. In order to give stairs an even, finished look he had to cut numerous small pieces. The process was time-consuming and, since he was using power tools, also dangerous.
“There’s got to be an easier way to do this,” David said.
A few years ago when he had a job that included 50 steps, David said he set his mind to figuring out what that easier way could be. Within three weeks he had an idea—laminate flooring pieces pre-cut for stairs.
David said stairs may differ in width but the depth is usually a standard 12 inches. He could create a kit of pre-cut flooring that could be adjusted for any size variables and that would come in a variety of laminate colors. The kit could be marketed to do-it-yourselfers who may not have the skill or tools to do this intricate task cleanly and safely.
“Everyone I brought it to thought it was a really good idea,” David said. “A lot of that feedback motivated me to take it to the next step.”
David sought to get his idea manufactured. Patent attorneys gave him some general information and a friend referred him to Invention Technologies, Inc. Also known as Invent-Tech, the Coral Gables, Florida company helps people get their inventions developed and manufactured.
Jorge Puertas, an Invent-Tech customer service representative, said among the roles of his company is to see if the product is marketable and can be realistically made. You never know, however, he said, what invention might grab the public’s imagination. To illustrate that fact, Puertas pointed to the Pet Rock, that sensation of the 1970s which was nothing more than a stone with eyes printed on it.
“That’s the most famous invention. God knows how many people laughed at that guy,” Puertas said.
David said Invent-Tech helped him do the preliminary work toward getting his kit into manufacturing and gave him contacts he would not have had. Right now his idea is in the hands of laminate floor makers like Armstrong to see if they will buy his idea. If they do, they will produce kits of pre-cut pieces in the colors and styles of their flooring.
David said he has had other ideas he did not try to manufacture.
“Then you turn around and there it is,” he said. “I never took the time (to develop the ideas). If nothing comes of this, that’s fine, but at least I tried.”
He said he now has a list of ideas in what he calls “baby works.” One is a specialty saw used for hanging doors.
To other would-be inventors, David said, “Try.”
“If you have an idea, no matter how stupid it may seem, put it out there,” he said.