Is 'golden age for inventors' at hand?
The Great Recession has created more opportunities for inventors, several industry insiders say.
Alan Tratner, who has run an inventors workshop since 1971, says he's seen a surge in calls from companies seeking the latest hot idea.
He says companies are looking because they're trying to lure back customers who are deserting them, and they're trying to compensate for the staff they've laid off.
"This is new golden age for inventors," Tratner says. "Companies are looking for ideas more than ever."
The demand for green products is also increasing the demand for inventors, Tratner says. Green products, ranging from cosmetic and cleaning products to solar energy products, are in demand.
"There's this whole new rich area that's developed since the late 1990s," says Tratner, who is based in Santa Barbara, California. "This is a new age of opportunity."
Opportunity may knock, but it's easy for any would-be inventor to make common mistakes, some say.
Todd Greene is the inventor of the HeadBlade, a ergonomically designed blade that makes it easy for someone to shave his head. The HeadBlade was selected as one of the 10 best designs of 2000 by Time magazine. Greene, who is based in Los Angeles, California, says he's made "millions" off his product.
But one of the most important steps Greene says he took was, simply, to act.
Greene worked out of his apartment his first two years in business and didn't take a salary. Now he can afford that fancy sports car he saw others drive.
But that's not what drove him, he says. He had a vision.
"What you have to realize is that it's always going to be harder and longer than you think, but if you're committed and you don't question those things, you can be successful," Greene says.
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