What happens when you are stranded with a flat tire in the middle of the desolate Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah? You can either wait for hours until someone passes by or you can improvise and think fast on your feet like Robert Paasch.
Robert was in luck as he drove his company truck, which was equipped with tools of all kinds. Robert was able to cut a piece of leather off a nail bag and glued it to the puncture. Then, he cut an air hose from a nail gun and affixed an air chuck onto the hose; he creatively used it to transfer air from the other “healthy” tires.
After Robert returned home from his Utah trip, he invented Super Spare so he would never have to face the same helpless situation again. It was purely out of necessity that Robert invented the product.
It took Robert two years to develop Super Spare. He successfully filed a patent in the United States and submitted an international patent application in 2011.
Robert is now negotiating with some of the biggest retail chains in the U.S. to carry Super Spare and he has set up an international sales team to distribute Super Spare in Europe, Australia and Canada.
I asked Robert to share some tips for other inventors who have an idea they would like to put into production.
Q: What advice would you give to inventors?
A: As an inventor, and now owner of a product development company, I would tell everyone who has a great idea to secure your patent pending status. This is an affordable and confidential way to secure your intellectual property rights.
At that point, you have two options:
(1) Go into production and start to market your idea to retailers, or license it out to your would-be competitors and let them worry about the manufacturing, marketing, sales, invoicing, insurances and overheads that go with running a business. If you go this route, you will collect royalties on sales.
(2) Find a manufacturer to help you develop the product. For Super Spare, I received very competitive and quality quotes from suppliers on Alibaba.com. We put an RFQ through Alibaba.com’s Customized Sourcing and within 24 hours we had 15 different vendors contacting us from all over the world.
Q: How did you source suppliers before you found Alibaba.com?
A: I will have to tell you that I really don’t know how I used to source parts, suppliers or vendors prior to using Alibaba.com. I’m certain that it was how I got all these gray hairs.
Q: What are your plans in 2012?
A: We are aggressively marketing Super Spare as we see a great demand in the market. I also have five patented products at this time. Three new products will go to market in 2012. Those products are in the medical field, bicycle after-market, home décor industry and home improvement sector.
Alibaba.com will be exhibiting at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas from May 1 – May 3. Please drop by and tell us about your cool inventions!