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INTRO 40 year old Lawyer Turned Entrepreneur?

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Dubidu

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a lawyer who works in banking and am 40 years old. I have had two ideas in the last 3 years. Unfortunately for the first one, someone else went to market before me and I was initially devastated but subsequently realised I should be proud of having my first commercially viable idea. I didn't want to compete so abandoned that. The second one is really complex and I'm not sure how to approach. I've identified a market or problem and a solution (believe me when I say I know everyone needs these). The question I have is: I would need to find someone who can assist me (I think I need an engineer as well as a designer). I'm in the UK and can draft the NDA agreements etc. but who in the fashion sector would actually be the person to approach and how do I go about finding the person to help me solve the problem - again I know the solution but I don't know how to *build* the solution if that makes sense? Many thanks for reading and I look forward to your replies :)
 

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NuclearPuma

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You need an engineer for fashion product? Is it a mechanical device?
 
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Dubidu

Dubidu

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Apr 2, 2018
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You need an engineer for fashion product? Is it a mechanical device?
Hi NuclearPuma - No it's not a mechanical device; the end product is fashion product but for that to work I need an engineer (I use the term loosely) to help with the "build" or creation of that end fashion product...I hope that makes sense. For obvious reasons I can't disclose exactly what my idea is but that's the best way to describe it. I was thinking of maybe approaching fashion colleges (St Martin's) that might be able to direct me to the right person or maybe an existing manufacturer of a similar product??
 

NuclearPuma

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So you are saying you don't have the ability to create the prototype yourself?
 

AlessioLC

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You need to talk to engineers in this field about the project, not all the details but enough to know if any of them is open to new enquiries like yours.

It's a bit like if you need to develop a physical gadget/object, you see an engineer, developper, designer..
 

NuclearPuma

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Still not sure what kind of expert you need.

Can you take some clothing and materials to a seamstress and ask her to make the thing into your idea?
 
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Dubidu

Dubidu

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So you are saying you don't have the ability to create the prototype yourself?
Yes - that's essentially the issue. I know it can be done and I've got the metrics of the whole product sorted (suppliers, all the way down to how to market/get to customer) but I don't have the knowledge to see how I can create the product! Any help from you or anyone else on this forum would be great :) Thank you
 

Late Bloomer

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Hi Dubiko,

When George Lucas had the script for Star Wars, it was full of wild fantastical magical and outer space ideas. How could he sell this? He hired a concept artist to make some paintings that demonstrated the story. With these, he was able to successfully pitch the script. Some of the concept art is exactly what the finished film looked like. Other elements were added or totally replaced by the production crew, once he had the money to make the film. Is that a relevant concept for you?

If it could be, how about going to an art school, and offering a design contest? Say, a thousand dollars for first place, 500 for second, 250 for third, for the winners of a contest open to any current student. And, the entry rules include that you get to use their artistic design in your business without further licensing costs to you. Could this give you some really killer posters, slides, examples, prototypes or whatever, that you could take into a boardroom to SHOW and demonstrate your concept to investors, who'd fund the rest of the development?

I don't know if these are the right answers, or even the right questions for you. But perhaps they'll help open some creative options? - Chris
 

Tammyanne

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Jun 18, 2017
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Hi Everyone,

I'm a lawyer who works in banking and am 40 years old. I have had two ideas in the last 3 years. Unfortunately for the first one, someone else went to market before me and I was initially devastated but subsequently realised I should be proud of having my first commercially viable idea. I didn't want to compete so abandoned that. The second one is really complex and I'm not sure how to approach. I've identified a market or problem and a solution (believe me when I say I know everyone needs these). The question I have is: I would need to find someone who can assist me (I think I need an engineer as well as a designer). I'm in the UK and can draft the NDA agreements etc. but who in the fashion sector would actually be the person to approach and how do I go about finding the person to help me solve the problem - again I know the solution but I don't know how to *build* the solution if that makes sense? Many thanks for reading and I look forward to your replies :)
If I am following it sounds like a fashion apparel or something of that nature, I think I understand...well this is off a limb is it something which maybe not that you can just reach out to someone and do the research with alibaba, I know people whom find people on there to make exactly what they are looking even seen something for hockey this young woman could not believe something was not invented so took it upon herself and invented herself. I meet people in my daily life on a regular basis just walking down the street or at a coffee place...my friends joke that I should create a website to introduce people that need what the other person is looking for...isn't this kind of like that lol anyway

Mind me asking you need an engineer because of a prototype, I am getting a bit sleepy but that is what seems to me, If it were me I have friends that help others through kickstarter projects (they love to get their hands in the pie and also love to help) I go to them one on one for advise, trust me most people don't want your product but they might want to invest in it once you create it :) keep us posted plz
 

Almantas

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Hi and welcome!

I didn't want to compete so abandoned that.
I am far from a successful entrepreneur (yet) but am pretty convinced that entrepreneurship is a never ending competition. If you hit a gold, you'll have dozens of people digging the same hole. Unless entry barrier is massive - even then there will be someone who will jump over your barrier and compete for your clients.

It's hard, but I think you have to embrace competition and learn how to be better than them.
 

Real Deal Denver

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It's hard, but I think you have to embrace competition and learn how to be better than them.
I'm facing the same situation, as far as competition goes.

I don't think it's that easy. I have a pretty extensive technical background, and I know I can develop superb products that will be vastly superior to existing ones.

Is that good enough?

I wish it was. But in reality, what I fear most is the pirates that will steal my product and launch it on a massive scale. So much for brilliance in my work, right?

I'm afraid I might be in a gun fight. Yeah, me with my six shooter, up against an entire fleet of high powered fighter jets. Fully armed fighter jets. That's what scares me!
 

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Dubidu

Dubidu

Bronze Contributor
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Apr 2, 2018
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UK
Wow - thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply! I'm genuinely touched to have found such a supportive forum. Some of the cultural vernacular gets lost on me though (being a humble Brit! This also explains the delays in response; different timezone...). I'll try to address everyone in turn:

@Late Bloomer: interesting take on the design competition. I have had this idea for a couple of years. I didn't trust myself then that someone else wouldn't have thought of it already. Having said that, I did look into teaming up with university labs - at the time they just went "no we can't really help non-students" and I didn't think about offering a design prize. I am going to look into it again so thank you!

@ Tammyanne - yes it's potentially disruptive - and I don't mean that in an arrogant/latest buzzword way. It's in fashion but in the essentials category (everyone - male/female wears it!). At the moment I'm trying to make sure I've got a prototype ready but as I said in my initial post I don't have the knowledge. I am sure however, that it can be done. I also don't want to dilute shares by getting external investors. I either want to (a) manufacture the product and get it going so someone can buy the company off me (b) trademark and licence the process. There is a comparator (completely different: the lady is doing something similar in concept but in beauty. Her audience is female-heavy whereas mine is not in beauty and as I say it's applicable to both men and women). I don't know about manufacturing via alibaba - I don't want to lose control/get someone taking my idea! I will definitely keep you posted (you might even be a customer!!!)

@Almanatas - I take your point but they had got to market before me, they were utilising the same marketing method as me and I'm not financially in a position to leave my day job to start competing. I wish them well (and like I say, it's a great idea and they deserve success)

@ Real Deal Denver - yeah, that's my view as well.

Thank you again everyone; I'm genuinely touched that you guys are so supportive and care!
 

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