My perspective will come from my 20 years of experience selling inventions and new products via Electronic Retailing, which includes television (infomercials, home shopping), the telephone (telemarketing, Teleseminars), and the internet.
I won’t comment on EVERY invention shown on the program, as some are so bad, they don’t even require the time to discuss them.
I will focus mostly on the following:
#1 –Inventions I think would be good for Electronic Retailing
#2 – Inventions where I think the judges got it wrong
#3 – Miscellaneous thoughts
So, on with the review of Episode 1:
Inventor: Debbie Soloman
Summary: A bib you wear when you are eating in your car, to keep food and drink off your clothes if you spill.
Comments: This isn’t an electronic retailing product, but I do think it’s a good invention. McDonalds or Sonic should be calling this lady and getting an exclusive on this invention as a giveaway (or upsell) to their customers.
Invention: Motion Flag
Inventor: Not named
Summary: An American flag on a motorized pole which moves so the flag waves even when it’s not windy.
Comments: The judges said no to this, as they thought it was a stupid idea. The VERY NEXT DAY, I saw this item for sale on the shelf at WalMart. Shows you how much the judges know.
Invention: Therapy Buddy
Inventor: Peter Kopelle
Summary: A stuffed animal for adults that plays a recording over and over “Everything is going to be alright”
Comment: This product was turned down in last season’s American Inventor, but the judges let it through this time. It’s a weird invention, and I can’t imagine it will make it very far in the competition. What were they thinking?
Invention: Guardian Angel
Inventor: Greg Chavez
Summary: A fire prevention item. Consists of a tree-top Angel which dumps water over your Christmas tree if it catches on fire. Invented by a fireman tired of seeing people killed at Christmas when their trees catch fire.
Comments: This is a good invention, with a GREAT back story. That’s half the battle right there. If you can tell a good story, that people can relate to, you can sell product.
Traditionally, “preventative” products do not sell well on TV, and they are a tough sell overall. (For example, how many of you have a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, even though you KNOW you should have one handy?) However, this item has a lot of elements that could make it successful if done just right.
Bottom line, there were only a couple of mildly decent ideas on the show, with no “aha” moments yet.
Stay tuned for more after Episode 2…