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EXECUTION Dubidu's Execution....Thread :-)

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by Dubidu, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hello Ladies & Gentlemen,

    Some of you have already contributed to some of my threads but I'm setting this up for accountability and execution progress. I'd like your trademark bluntness and pearls of wisdom please.

    Background Info:

    2. Idea 1 - In progress (less capital intensive, no need to dilute equity etc.). Execution/accountability on this please!

    3. Idea 2 - In (less) progress than Idea 2 but capital intensive and most importantly I don't possess the technical expertise (market exists/makes CENTS etc). However, important to execute/be accountable for this as I go along. I have a meeting with my alma mater for 13th August where I will be working with the materials engineering department (I get the benefit of technical expertise and give back by way of funding to my alma mater; shout out to @Late Bloomer for the suggestion!)

    Other background info - I'm a lawyer on the equivalent of Wall Street. No prior experience of entrepreneurship (except learning an awful lot about API/MVPs re: an idea in 2017 before someone beat me to it!).

    Execution of Idea 1:

    1. Focused on ladies (and the occasional gentlemen!) beauty. Improvement of an existing design. Market in USD is 600m per year (in US alone). It is 'recession proof' i.e. this means people tend to buy it regardless of the economy so sales are repeatedly shown in my market research as constant.

    2. What I've done so far: the idea came to me circa April 2018. I simply never have enough confidence to go 'oh let's run with this' so I have to do my research/analysis. I took time to do this to make sure it was viable. I told my family and a trusted friend of my idea. They all agreed it was worth pursuing.

    3. I looked at two options: standalone product on Amazon or licensing.

    4. Problems with standalone on Amazon identified as follows: inventory, customer service issues, loss of control over customer experience, liabilities etc.

    5. Licensing: this is my preferred route. I would like to approach a luxury design house. Any ideas on how to do this are welcome. The average cost of the product is approx $30USD. If I can get a small slice of that for each unit sold (passive income) to then launch idea 2 - this would be great!

    6. Prototype: 2 manufacturer's identified. 3D printing doesn't work for what I'm trying to achieve. They both said they can help with refining design but would need CAD file

    7. Early July: reach out to a designer I worked with on 'failed' idea last year to see if he knew anyone who could help with CAD file. NDA signed last week (19th July).

    6. As at 26 July 2018: I am waiting for a design engineer to put forward a proposal for CAD file. I will then approach prototype manufacturer to make first prototype. They are on standby and turnaround is quick so I expect this to be done by end of August.

    7. Things I've not yet addressed: registered design rights versus unregistered design rights versus patent. Licensing - getting past the gatekeepers to get in front of a snobby design house! Liability issues etc. all the legal stuff. This is on my to do list. Today I will look at licensing in more detail.

    That's where we are right now. Please let me know what other actions I should be building in. I worry that I action-fake sometimes but then writing this stuff down I've realised between April and July I've done quite a bit. Could that have been done quicker? Perhaps but I'm analytical and I definitely need research to reassure me that I'm on the right line. I also have this gnawing sense there's stuff I'm simply missing i.e. action that I should be taking but I don't know what. I have no entrepreneur network (i.e. no one to bounce ideas off; all my friends are slow-laners although I'm changing this). I'm obviously on this Forum and it's yielded more than I could have ever expected :)

    Any input welcome as always. I'll try to do a mini-daily post as accountability but may not be able to. I will definitely do 2 posts per week re: progress :)
     
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  2. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Nice update. Glad I could help with some inspiration.

    I'm somewhat familiar with the basics of US patents. I have never before heard the terms registered or unregistered design rights. Is that a UK thing? I do know that in the US, only a patent lets you take the strongest form of legal action against someone who copies a design.

    You're the one making the plan and executing on it daily. We couldn't give turn by turn guidance, that's more specific than the one who's right at the steering wheel of your business.

    A lawyer's training and work conditions a particular mindset. A thought process to constantly scan the horizon for potential threats, and try to prepare a defense against all of them. (Or a counter-attack, or preemptive attack.)

    Be aware that however useful that thought process is in law, it's not the best for business. This is why usually businesses hire lawyers, rather than the other way around.

    Maybe once a week you could put on your attorney hat and ruthlessly go over every line item with red pen in hand. That's when to ask, "What if, what else, how could this go wrong, am I missing something?" If you think of questions you need answered, find the people who can give you the relevant facts. That done, hang up that hat and move forward, confident you're doing the best you know how to do. If you have a specific worry, deal with it right away. But if you have only a vague worry, add it to your list for next week's review session.

    It's like a brake check on a car. Your brakes should be in good working order. But you don't constantly pull over every mile to recheck the brakes. Knowing that they work, you drive on and use the brakes as needed. In business, your ability to steer, as you enter new territority, is just as important!

    I've seen the line, "Often wrong, but never in doubt!" The author means that after analysis, he will put all his emotional energy into what he truly believes in right now. If he finds something better to believe, he'll change his direction and be just as confident in the new approach.

    I recently read some information about risk management in the military. Even in the military, the current best practice is to first make a plan that could likely work. Only after that's done, only then they go back over it with a critical eye about risk management.

    That sounds like a path towards overwhelm. I think there's a good reason so many people check in with weekly updates. It's a good amount of time for some things to have happened, some lessons to have been learned, some new ideas and questions to come to mind.

    Have you joined the discussion threads of other people with a similar product/licensing business? You could see what they've done, and ask them questions directly.
     
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  3. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thanks - my mini-update as I'm still waiting for the proposal from the designer (he is currently on vacation with the family so hopefully will get the ball rolling this week) but I'll address your comments:

    1. Yes unregistered design rights are possibly a UK thing (not sure if other non-US jurisdictions have them). I also intend to file a PPA in the US but only after I've got an "in" with the conglomerate I've identified (the conglomerate is European in origin but has a world-wide footprint). If the conglomerate buys into it they may be willing to pay for patent; apparently this is not unheard of.

    2. I'm not asking for step-by-step guidance; just thoughts/responses to what I post here by those already in the fast lane or about to join it and what mistakes they made - all for the purpose of learning and as they say I'll only get there by "standing on the shoulders of giants" like @SteveO :)

    3. I'm already scanning the horizon for threats of what could go wrong/what am I missing etc. it's the slight lack of confidence in getting this thing to market (i.e. the business side) that I'm more concerned with. I drafted the NDA and will draft the licensing agreement in due course (with a specialist legal friend sense checking!). I can probably expect 5% etc. so I am aware of some commercial aspects of licensing. I'm quite good on knowing how to protect things on a legal basis but it's getting to market that I'm less sure of. I've read @Vigilante's Gold post on Licensing which is helpful in terms of just bypassing the gatekeepers of a co. and getting to the right person

    4. Nah - I'm not easily overwhelmed. I've been through a lot from a young age; stoicism is a philosophy I live by. They'll just be mini-updates in bullet points.

    This weeks update in summary then:

    1. Still waiting for CAD file designer to provide proposal on his return from vacation this week

    2. Researched PPA in both UK & US - costs determined for each and 'doable'; will choose that over registered design rights/unregistered design rights for maximum protection (perceived ownership)

    3. Started to drafted licensing agreement (thinking positive and clients have gone on holiday so had time to kill)

    4. Played beach volleyball :)

    Next update: Weds 1st August 2018 if there is something to report but likely to be nothing more than 'proposal agreed with CAD designer; awaiting design' :)
     
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  4. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    There are people that have done what you are working on with "idea 1". People are more willing to discuss specifics if this is posted on the inside. You could play around with the search function to find more specifics as well. There is no shortage of information that has been placed on this forum over the years.
     
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  5. Dubidu
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    100% agree Steve - In the short time I've joined I have learnt so much. @Vigilante's post on Licensing was reassuring. The lady who reached out to him/he helped (and in turn triggered the post) seemed to have launched, licensed (with Vig's help) and exited in about 12 months! I still think my idea is so 'obvious' why has no one else done it? There must be something I'm missing...but there is nothing else on the market. Between coming up with the idea in April and now executing it, I kept going in to stores to do a recon mission for new launches. I went to niche boutiques that have the most expensive versions to the drugstore. All have the same design (I'm interested not only in fashion/beauty but the business side of it as well so have done my research as thoroughly as I could; again not assuming I've missed something). One niche brand launched but again the core design is exactly the same.

    My first 'failed' idea was last year when someone else got to market just as I was about to sign terms to get the MVP made. In hindsight I was lucky that I did not lose money but it definitely makes me think: what if someone else has thought of this one too and gets it to market first?? :(
     
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  6. Dubidu
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    Update as at 1 August:

    Apologies for delay in uploading update - I was quite poorly yesterday. Semi-good news: agreed proposal with CAD file designer so waiting for his design. I have also got a meeting lined up for October (there is a Licensing conference in London that month) and have decided to set that as my deadline for getting the protoype finessed and ready to discuss!

    I've also been reading a lot and wondered what everyone's thoughts were on not approaching the top 2 companies but the one who is top 3 in my field. I was listening to a lecture and a very successful guy (legit businessman i.e. not a guru) said that is what his business did; they knew top 2 in the niche wouldn't be interested so they approached number 3 with the promise of their USP potentially getting the company they pitched to up the rankings. It worked!

    I'm taking a few days off so next update will be Weds 8th. I've also got a meeting with a very interesting client who is IPO'ing soon. I'm hoping to learn a bit more from him - he's not exactly in my field (he's in fashion rather than beauty) but you never know what you might learn :)
     
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  7. Dubidu
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    Hi Everyone - a day late and hopefully not a dollar short :smile2:. My update and request for advice/thoughts please:

    CAD file designer has got my brief wrong.

    Lessons learned: be explicit and in writing. He wants to do more than I think is required (and therefore charge me more to produce the CAD file. He is asking for $12,000 to just produce the CAD file to submit to prototype manufacturer!!!). For the avoidance of doubt: there are 3 core components to the product. It is not electrical/technological/complex and can be used by a child it's so small! I expected the bulk of the costs to be for the production of the prototype.

    I have followed @Vigilante thread on licensing as well as Stephen Key's books etc. and I want a rough and ready prototype that essentially demonstrates the design. He says I should have something whereby I can demonstrate the thing I'm designing (and want to licence) fits exactly into the existing model. I know it will but for the purpose of licensing I don't believe I need to refine it to the nth degree and incur unnecessary costs. Stephen Keys gives endless examples where he simply provides a sheet with a rough idea to the company and the product development team finesses it; essentially he submits a concept with a core idea rather than the finished product. His most famous example of this is the Wall Ball where he used a footballer's picture and put a basket around it to demonstrate the concept and it was one of his most successful ideas. He didn't produce it to exact scale/specification. Am I wrong? Have I misinterpreted this?

    Many thanks in advance to anyone who responds to this. I have approached another company and am due to speak to them next week. I will be more explicit in my request for them to produce a proposal based on what I actually think I need rather than what they think I need for the purpose of licensing but want to make sure I'm not being silly.

    Idea 2: Have a meeting with the university on Monday and will report back on that. Idea two is very much on the back burner but as I have capacity at the moment I thought I'd try to progress it while I have nothing better to do!
     
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  8. Dubidu
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    Hi everyone,

    Today is a bit of mini 'feelings' update as well as what has happened since Weds; hopefully no one will mind.

    I have felt low for the last couple of days - no reason but just feeling like it's a bit of a slog and feeling like a failure in my personal life (discussed on another thread and despite taking every action I can think of, we are mid-way through the year and I'm nowhere near to reaching those personal goals). And I generally feel like at the age of 40 I've failed at everything or I'm just not getting some secret that every person (from super successful to the average Joe) seems to know and 40 years of trying but I'm none the wiser.

    Anyway, I learnt a lesson with the CAD file designer. As per my previous update we had a call on Thursday and it became apparent that his interpretation of my brief wasn't what I wanted. I have since approached two other companies and will make sure my instructions are both explicit and in writing so there is no room for misinterpretation which has caused in total about 2.5 weeks of unnecessary delay. I have one meeting with design company number 2 hopefully this week and another (frustratingly they are a 3 hour train ride each way so I will have to schedule time off from work to attend).

    Plus a Skype teleconference with my university tomorrow afternoon on idea number 2. Hopefully mood will improve and I'll be more enthusiastic later this week.

    Thanks so much to @Vigilante and @SteveO for liking my posts. It means more than you both might know and makes me think I'm not completely off in my thinking/updates and just need to keep going to see if I can succeed like you both :smile2:
     
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  9. Dubidu
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    I'm learning a lot! I learnt the first guy was not particularly professional and took offence when I said I didn't think we were a good fit and I'd be asking for other companies for quotes (a lesson by him in how not to do customer service!).

    The other two companies are considering my NDA (one company which was small wanted me to sign theirs but there's understandably had a clause in there saying if there was a competitor who had also instructed them, they were not beholden to me to not take that work; I for obvious reasons couldn't risk inadvertent disclosure of elements of my design and so decided not to work with them). It's all good practice and I'm talking to them on the phone first before sending NDAs based on some of the threads I've read here which say people use email to avoid picking up the phone so good practice to implement that now before I call the actual companies to pitch the design/product for licensing.

    Current state of play therefore:

    1. Awaiting agreement to NDA from one company (and then provide proposal)
    2. Waiting for meeting date to be scheduled by another company (to provide proposal)
    3. Idea 2 Execution - initial meeting was scheduled for Monday 13 August. However, they had to reschedule so it is now on Friday.
     
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  10. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Great updates! Don’t sell yourself short, you are providing at least as much if not more in value to those who read your thread as you’re getting from the forum.

    Keep posting, I’m a follower!
     
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  11. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thank you! It means a lot that someone thinks they are learning something from my posts...so I'll keep updating :)
     
  12. Dubidu
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    Amazing: I drafted a robust NDA (protecting both parties) and the company who apparently has their own General Counsel (who presumably specialises in this stuff, unlike me), changed my 3 year clause to 3 months!!! They sent me their 'mutual NDA' and in there is a clause with non-compete (i.e. utterly irrelevant to my situation as I'm not competing with them, I'm getting them to design my prototype because I don't know how to do CAD file for prototype!). I also pointed out further along the NDA that their mutual NDA ironically binds both parties for 5 years (two years longer than mine). I think their GC is stealing a living...:smuggy:

    So I won't be going with that company which leaves the last one that is a 3 hour and a day off work train ride away. I've scheduled that for Friday of this week.

    Idea 2: I spoke to my university - I don't think they have the expertise in materials engineering in the area & specifically product I'm looking for but she said she'd ask a couple of academics. I have found an alternative institute that I tried to call on Friday but couldn't get through so will email and then follow up with a call.

    I'm getting a bit frustrated because I set myself a deadline of October (when the Licensing conference is in town) and I'm 6 weeks away from that but I've got to keep going and hope I can get the prototype done/PPA filed...
     
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  13. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Best of luck on the third company! So what is your plan if you can’t get the NDA signed with them given your timeline?

    In an earlier post you mention being afraid of somebody else coming to market first...have you given consideration to taking a leap of faith with a manufacturer that they won’t copy/steal the idea? Ideally a local one who wouldn’t want the bad publicity that would come with such a move?
     
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  14. Dubidu
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    Hi MT - thank you!

    Sorry if I wasn't clear but this is the timeline:

    1. Approached the guy I worked with on 'failed' idea last year to see if he knew CAD file designer (company 1). Guy wants to charge me approx $13,000(!!!) to produce file for a very simple 3 component/no tech/no electronic product and he misunderstood brief. By the way, the idea only failed in that someone else got to market first (complete co-incidence and just one of those things; I'm just grateful that I didn't lose any money on it)

    2. I then immediately approached two other companies (at the same time to avoid wasting time). Company 2 is the one with the useless General Counsel changing standard NDA clauses to random ones whilst providing me with their own 'mutual NDA' which binds both parties for longer than mine did. So nixed that company. Third company said OK to my NDA (downside is that it's a real schlep to get to and I will lose a whole day but I can at least read on the train!) and we were going to see each other on Friday but I now can't attend that meeting so we have arranged for next Wednesday.

    Hopefully that's all clear but here is current update: I was speaking to someone in the licensing field and he thinks the following:

    1. I don't need a CAD file as it is a lot of cost upfront
    2. I should approach a company first and only start producing CAD file/prototype once I have interest confirmed
    3. I shouldn't take a prototype to the Licensing Conference but a teaser/sell sheet only.

    I'm now a bit confused because I thought a company would only be interested once I have demonstrated the improvement to the existing design even if it's not exactly polished to the nth degree. This guy is a respected consultant in the licensing field and has offered a consultation for $500 to go through the idea and what my options are. Not sure if I should take it or press ahead alone with the CAD file/prototype/PPA (i.e. my original plan). I do agree that I don't need to demo the product at the Licensing conference in October but take a teaser/sell sheet for companies to hopefully bite.

    Any thoughts welcome as always! :smile2:
     
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  15. FastNAwesome
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    FastNAwesome Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Yes, when outsourcing it's best to be as specific as possible.

    It helps in getting exactly the output you want, and helps prevent misunderstandings.

    Even when someone's is keen on going above and beyond for your project (and not just checking it off as another task), the extra work they do out of best intention may simply not be in the direction you wanted.

    Please don't allow yourself to feel like this.

    Don't think others have it figured:)

    Many have a hard time, but it's not obvious by their appearance or demeanor. Others have settled for way less than they desired. And yes, some are very successful, but everyone gets there in their own way, and everyone has their own challenges.

    You have absolutely NOT failed at everything. You are a professional in a highly respected, well paid profession.

    You are a fighter and a dreamer, the type of person who dares to face what they're unhappy with, and then seek solutions.

    You are an aspiring entrepreneur. You're already working on your project. It takes courage, initiative, creativity. It's not something everyone can do. But you're doing it.

    I don't know you, but I'd bet you have many more accomplishments in life, that you're not crediting yourself enough for, and many qualities as a person.

    Back when I was still looking for a job, I decided to put together a really comprehensive CV, and when I looked at it, I was surprised! I thought to myself "wow dude...you're really something!"


    I don't know anything about this, or about your product, so please take this opinion with a big grain of salt.

    It's simply my intuition that if you can stir the interest/get market validation without spending $10k+ on it, then it's a good thing.

    And maybe that market feedback could bring you clarity as to direction you should take things, and what should the next step be.
     
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  16. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    My thoughts exactly, I am by no means a licensing expert but I agree that it’s possible to get an indication of interest without spending all the money upfront.

    What is your gut telling you to do? I’m always wary of the “consultant” who offers his services for for compensation up front but perhaps it is a risk worth taking? I would structure it so he got 50% up front and 50% upon completion of his consult so you are partially covered in what your capital need would be there.
     
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  17. Dubidu
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    Thank you so much FNA (if I may be so bold as to abbreviate your name :)). This to me represents the best of this Forum - helping each other and showing heart whilst we're at it; I'm really grateful for your kind words - they mean a lot.

    I am in two minds - part of me thinks I should press ahead with CAD file etc. because I simply don't know whether I'll be laughed out of town if I approach a company (the companies that would be interested are either high end designers with a foothold in the beauty industry or drugstore brand with a simple 'concept' of improving a component of the product. A part of me is still being a lawyer and thinking I should file/protect the IP etc. rather than approach them 'cold' because they'll just take the idea and run with it and I'll lose out.

    I'm addressing @MTEE1985 's comments as well (thank you MT for your input; gratefully received as always): my gut instinct says it's worth paying the consultant. He's legit - businessman rather than guru etc. and specialises in licensing. He can do an evaluation of the idea and without my asking him, he was the one who gave the advice for free - usually a good sign - with no hard sell. I can then clarify my thinking further whilst still going ahead with meeting the product company next Wednesday.

    I don't think there's a huge difference between the UK/US market in this instance other than PPA protection which has some variances and the two biggest companies I would approach in this sector are European rather than e.g. US or Australian/Asian anyway.

    On an off-topic note: I've been approached for a job today. I have said yes to speaking to them even though it's slow lane ultimately but if I can get a slice of the deal origination (which is my strength) then it may be lucrative. Let's see how it goes.

    Thank you again to everyone who takes the time to like, reply, provide me with their thoughts and invaluable input. One of the best things I've done this year is to join this forum :). @SteveO was right: it's a tribe and I'm very much starting to feel like a part of it.

    I don't expect to have a lot to update on Sunday but I will now email the consultant to arrange a time to speak - if I can get that in the diary before the weekend I'll obviously post on Sunday but otherwise next update will be Wednesday.
     
  18. Dubidu
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    Hello everyone!

    Hope you're all enjoying the tail end of summer :)

    Quick update:

    1. Approached company and just had constructive meeting - having learnt from company number 1 and their initial proposal I was much clearer on what I wanted from them. Two proposals: one based on a rough prototype with zero design input from them and one based on high end (end product level) with design input. That way I have a comparator. I wanted to get this ready before...
    2. I decided to speak to the licensing expert/consultant who says the above is not necessary and that I should approach companies to see if there is even appetite for the product first because CAD files are expensive (I learnt that they are!). The reason for this is because I thought there is no cost to getting proposal from the design team. I can then say yay or nay with proceeding with the design/cad file. I am hoping that the licensing consultant and I can speak on Friday so I can get beyond proposals and actually get towards fruition of the product and move towards licensing. I've still set myself the October deadline for getting things on the road but have decided not to produce anything more than a teaser/sell sheet to take with me to the conference.

    Next steps:

    1. Await proposal from (new) CAD file designer
    2. Await confirmation of meeting from licensing consultant
    3. No update on Idea 2 because having spoken to my university (they said they didn't have the requisite expertise) the Institute I contacted is an academic one and although I emailed them, their out of office says they are on their summer break until 15th September.

    Next update probably next Wednesday as there isn't likely to be much to report until I've secured time/date for the meeting with licensing consultant and received proposal. If both happen before weekend I'll update on Sunday :)
     
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  19. MTEE1985
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    MTEE1985 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Way to keep it up! I’m fully expecting a success story out of you.
     
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  20. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Thanks so much for caring MTEE; here's hoping! :smile2:.
     
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  21. Stargazer
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    Stargazer Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    He is correct.

    It might seem obvious when I tell you why. This covers 99% of the time (in my untested opinion)

    Whenever anyone is proposing something to 'true experts' in a market, they will immediately 'get' the concept you are describing and their line of questioning is to clarify it in their minds while the cogs are turning. They will have a good hunch on it's feasibility.

    If you proposed a new gun to mates down the pub they would not 'get' it so comments would be neither here nor there.

    If you made the same proposal to MOD Generals they would not need a prototype to look at. They would get your idea immediately and question you to clarify.

    I am not sure what your idea is but if you pitched to me I might need a drawn out explanation, diagrams and product demos to even get what you are trying to solve. And then I would be unsure.

    Chanel would not require this level of detail to understand what you are trying to do and no they would not steal your idea either. They would get it immediately. And understand it's potential or lack of.

    Make sense?

    Dan
     
  22. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Nice to see a fellow Englander on the Forum!

    It's not that I don't understand or that it doesn't make sense to me - it was more about protecting the IP and taking a legal/protective stance before approaching a company. I'm comfortable with my market analysis based on sales of existing products: all I'm doing is proposing (a significant) improvement to an existing design so I know e.g. Chanel would understand which is why I didn't want to go with initial CAD file designer who wanted to charge a LOT to produce end retail-level of the product which I do not consider necessary.

    I'm hedging my bets by getting the proposals for the CAD file and having a more formal meeting with licensing expert so feel comfortable about that. A lot of the legal/protective stuff I can do myself or rely on mates rates from those in my network so it's not burdensome.

    I'll update once I've spoken to the expert (meeting is tomorrow so I'll have time to crystallise my thinking before update on Sunday).
     
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  23. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Very brief update:

    1. Idea 1 (Friday's licensing meeting now rescheduled to Wednesday - the guy couldn't make it) so update is basically "pfft"! :smile2:

    2. Idea 2 (I'm thinking about changing my approach: initially it was to 'build' a new material that will enable the product to be better but I wonder if I can instead find a way to reduce production costs of existing product (currently circa $6000-$7000USD per product) - if I can it will be the fastest method to the Fast Lane than building the material given that I really don't have expertise on that. I don't have expertise on reducing production costs either but there is an existing entrepreneur who has done it in the realm of beauty where they essentially go direct to manufacturer (my Idea 1 is in beauty but Idea 2 is not in beauty - same principles can apply though, I think). That's all my thinking on this so far - I will explore how reducing costs is done this week. Any ideas on this would be very welcome as ever!

    Off Topic: I've decided to pay off the mortgage on my apartment. It means short term illiquidity but I think I can build it back up in the next 6-12 months (all being well/me having my health) and it means one less thing to think about.

    Feel a bit low about personal life as 41 years old next spring and not sure what else to do to make it happen. I have quite a few events coming up: going to New York for work in November and also Paris. I attended a conference in Monaco early Summer and got asked out but it lead nowhere.

    Am taking a cooking course (already a decent cook but this guy who runs it attracts a lot of guys wanting to cook apparently!). I have started playing tennis again but the place I joined is definitely full of super-slow-laners! It's just to build up my skills again after which I'll join a 'better' club.

    As ever, thoughts on my ramblings on any topic mentioned in this post are always welcome. Until Wednesday, have a good Sunday everyone :)
     
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  24. SteveO
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    SteveO Legendary Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    The part of this post that I really like is where you talk about decisions that you are making and the changes that accompany them. The part about where you are putting yourself out where things can happen.

    Where it seems to hurt is where you seem to feel unfulfilled. Or searching for something that you feel is beyond immediate grasp.

    The grass is not always greener on the other side. How many people are in relationships they want to get out of?

    Keep working on you and what you enjoy. Gather up opportunities as they present themselves. Focus on what you have and what you want to do. Keep your thoughts off of what you don't have.

    As for the business direction, I don't know enough about it to give you any guidance. But I do have general thoughts about business.

    I personally like to improve what someone else has mismanaged. Mismanagement shows up in many forms. So, I selected a couple and focus on them. Opportunity can be found in the vortex. The slow flushing from people being too cheap to inject capital when needed. I personally benefit from injecting funds to improve. Once it gets to the time for cost cutting and making efficiencies, I get bored. Then I sell and move to the next project.

    The buyer sees opportunity for improving value and cashflow by cost reductions and I may have a shot at buying this again down the road. :)
     
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  25. Dubidu
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    Dubidu Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    @SteveO - thank you for your kind words as ever; you motivate me to carry on more than you'll ever realise!

    I do know about people in relationships wanting to get out or generally being miserable in their slow lane but not doing anything . One example sticks out: one guy at my current place of work has been there 10 years! But he is lazy, presents badly (he's a good guy though) and unmotivated (Slow Lane Extreme if you will). We were talking about death and he said if he died tomorrow (he's 40 as well) his tombstone would say "what a waste" (i.e. he knows he's wasted his life so at least he's self-aware...). I said mine would be: "what a crying shame" because I feel like I've done everything I can to make stuff happen and it's not worked yet no-one can tell me where I'm going wrong either. Sometimes this plays heavier on my mind than others - I spent the day in the park today; just returned and the amount of families/babies/children/couples I saw made me think of what I don't have despite having a lot to offer someone. I have had moments of sheer gratitude as well though, for what I have achieved, pretty much solo.

    Re: your businesses - you kindly posted your business MO (I remember the purchase of the golf club :smile2:) in response to one of my other threads when I first joined the Forum about whether it was possible to invest in other businesses as a way to Fast Lane as I'd had a couple of clients who'd bought 'distressed' businesses, tidied them up and then exited (these were entrepreneurial individuals rather than Private Equity guys); I remain on the look out for one myself but I have to confess I've not been active at all on that front.

    One thing I forgot to ask is: what do you/people feel about pursuing a number of ideas at any one time? I was reading this thread (you get a shout out there as well @SteveO!) GOLD! - Today is my 1 year TMF anniversary and when I spoke to a friend of mine about the fact that I have two more ideas in addition to Idea 1 & 2, he told me to focus on one thing at a time. However, I feel I have the capacity and the ideas are really interesting - one is about addressing an employment issue and the other is replicating an existing model in another continent to either here in the UK or Europe (I find the the 'Continent' model a bit difficult, despite seeing its huge economic potential as the sector is not unethical per se but I don't particularly like it - it would be in gambling). Anyway, in the above thread - the poster mentions working on 6 business ideas (albeit 5 failed)...so I just wondered if I should try to pursue the employment idea as Idea 3 in this execution thread...
     
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