by Roy Paul Prosise on January 8th, 2016

Ideas are like a baby. You need to bring the baby out in the world, nurture it, feed it, grow it, till it becomes big enough to take care of itself. If you leave it at the stage of an idea itself, it is as good as non existent.

by Roy Paul Prosise on January 4th, 2016

​Several years ago, Easy gardener out of Waco, TX called me in what everyone else in the molding business told them was an impossible position. They needed a redesign of their new garden plastic product and production samples shipped to a potential buyer by the next day to close the sale. Easy Gardener’s buyer was Home Depot. In the morning, I designed the part. I built the molds and shot parts before the end of day and shipped overnight to Home Depot to help my customer close the deal! Normally, the lead time for this process takes 6 weeks. In one day, I had to accomplish the impossible to help my customer get to the end-zone with their biggest buyer and secure my manufacturing contract.. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do to get it done and get it done right.

by Roy Paul Prosise on January 2nd, 2016

Do you or someone you know have a new invention idea and don’t know where to go for help? Beknown can help! InventBeknown.com is an invention service portal that will help you patent, engineer, prototype, develop and submit your invention ideas to companies and Investors!

by Roy Paul Prosise on December 14th, 2015

​Many inventors who come through our doors do not always have the visual tools required explain their design concept. Many inventors who come through our doors do not have the funds required to develop, manufacture and distribute their product idea. Without a design concept presentation you will struggle to raise the capital required to get your product idea to the shelf. Designers have a calibrated eye to “see” your design in abstract space during discussions, however many investors need graphic aids to help convey your idea or they will not fully grasp the big picture. The pitch is best coming from the inventor as you are the most passionate person about YOUR idea. But a pitch is useless without an investor deck to present to investors. Granted, you can always lean on friends and family to raise start-up capital, but eventually you will need to gain outside investment to take your product to the finish line. I always tell inventors “if your product fits your hand, the cost to validate your product idea is half a million dollars.” This means you will spend $500k by the time you design, prototype, tool up for mass manufacturing, build sales platforms and have a small inventory to get real market feedback.  If your funds do not foot the bill required to take your product idea through development process, the best strategy is to spend money to go raise money. For example, if you have only $20k to invest into your product idea, your money is best spent securing your IP and doing some design exploration to wrap up into an investor deck presentation with a solid business plan and investor options so you can go raise the rest of the money you need to make your idea a reality. If you have a team like Beknown involved in your development, you do not need to have to justify to investors how you are going to handle your manufacturing, supply-chain management and distribution because you have a professional team on-board. The investor deck is a great tool for getting your product company to the next level, especially when the investors know you have a team like Beknown® behind you!

by Roy Paul Prosise on December 8th, 2015

​Your friends and family are unlikely to tell you if you have an ugly baby.  Same thing goes for your inventions and product ideas. They don’t want to hurt your feelings or crush your dreams because they care about you. This bold-faced lie your friends and family are telling you is only going to hurt you as you continue to spin your wheels in the wrong direction.
We will tell you out-right if you have an ugly baby. You are better off in the long run knowing that your baby is UGLY and there is no future for that baby when it gets out into the real world! We will also tell you if you can do surgery on that baby or if you should just let that baby go.  Most product ideas have a successful future with the proper care and nurturing even if it didn’t start out that way. We will tell you that we can put your ugly baby under and with a little Beknown surgery, creative spin and re-design, we will make your baby beautiful.

by Roy Paul Prosise on December 4th, 2015

​New product ideas have a little Twain paradox in it. New products are easy to sell. New products are hard to sell. For a new company with a new brand and a new product, it can be the best of times and the worst of times.
The double-edged sword is that consumers want to buy the next new thing on the market, but no one can buy a new product if they do not know it exists. New products are fresh and trendy. New products are cool! And still, nobody will know why they need or want to purchase your new product if you do not educate them. It is expensive to tell your story to consumers. Marketing, PR and advertising campaigns are like running for presidential elections: You can throw a lot of money at it and still not get into the White House.  Do not just build it and hope they will come! Launching a new product is a system of moving parts. For example, you need market validation before your go all in with mass-manufacturing and marketing, but how much marketing should you spend for a what volume of sales? At some point, you will have to stop dilly-dallying and make a decision or somebody else will bring your idle product idea to fruition. Only when you go all in, can your brand get the exposure and recognition required to generate the buzz and sales and success that you envisioned. It is absolutely an art to making new product ideas come alive. Be warned, you can get cut if you don’t do it right!

by Roy Paul Prosise on December 3rd, 2015

​There are countless bone-chilling, horror stories of US companies out-sourcing their manufacturing and production to Asia and being turned upside down with production issues and hard assets being held ransom. Google it. Then why do people outsource to Asia? Cheap tooling and labor. What are the issues with production in Asia? Shipping cost, delivery time and quality control? How to resolve shipping? Production orders by container volumes and good time management. How to manage the QC? Establish yourself in China. These off-shore nightmares have a common denominator: The US Company has no real presence in Asia.
We have seen many US companies who contact Asia suppliers direct on Alibaba expecting dirt cheap production with US quality. The US company corresponds with the Asian “factory” on email or Skype to get a few samples for approval, pulls the trigger on an MOQ and expect the same quality of production as the samples they received. You might end up with the expected quality product, you might not. First point, when you think you are sourcing and dealing directly with an Asian factory, you are probably dealing with a broker. The broker is going to find a Chinese factory that supplies a product like what you want. The broker has no control of the manufacturing process, production line, testing, QC, etc. In other words, you are not dealing directly with the Chinese factory that is making your product like you think you are. Second, when you base the quality of a new production run by shipping and inspecting a few samples or a previously successful production run, the US quality product you expect will turn out for the worst. You know why? You are not there to inspect the parts. You did not go to China, get drinks and build a relationship with the factory manager. You do not have a US manager on the ground in Asia constantly checking up on the production lines, continuously inspecting product quality and confirming materials before each container ships. The Chinese company is just trying to find a way to squeeze out a few more pennies since you have already beat them down on price. They are not intentionally trying to sabotage your business- they are just trying to make a living. Mostly.
So who is at fault when it inevitably goes wrong? The Chinese factory? The Chinese broker? Moral of the story is that you cannot throw operations over the pond and expect it to come back to your standard when you do not manage it correctly. You have to constantly plug in communications day in and out to keep up with your operations in Asia. Even with managers on the ground in Asia, you are going to have issues. In that case, at least you can resolve these problems before container lots of product ship to the US. If you are the US company that had epic failures in Asia, call Beknown and we will come bail you out.

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 29th, 2015

​There are a million ways to make a million dollars. The cost to make a million dollars is a million dollars, and the reason it takes money to make money is because there is no free lunch in the business of business is business. Who wants to be a millionaire without doing any work? Everyone! Who do you know who has become a millionaire without putting in the time and money to get there? Inventors tend to think that the idea has all the value. Just because you think of an idea that you cannot search and find a similar product on the internet does not entitle you to worth. In other words, just because you have a “million dollar idea,” your idea will not make you a millionaire until you take your idea from concept to market. Now if you put the money and time to build a strong patent around your million dollar idea, you might have a little worth. If you put the money and time to design and prototype this idea of yours, you might have even more worth. If you put the money and time to set up an outfit and process to mass-manufacture your idea, and the money and time to product your idea, now you have some hard assets and a sellable product, but what did it take to get there? Money and Time. Even with an inventory of retail-ready product and means to mass-manufacture and distribute, how will anyone hear about the product? You need more money and time to get the word out to consumers. If you are selling your product for a dollar, you need to sell a million to gross a million dollars, but what was the cost of initial investment, manufacturing, labor, energy, shipping, taxes? You can see that making a million dollars is not that easy, and that the idea alone is not as valuable to a product company until you have some hard assets to sell the idea. So back to the point, it takes a million to make a million. Once you have a grasp on the Million for Million concept, you can start to think about OPM.. Other People’s Money. Just because it takes a million to make a million, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is your million dollars you are spending!

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 27th, 2015

​What you know about Albert Einstein and what you can find on the Internet most likely includes topics such as the quantum physics, theory of relativity, the creation of the atomic bomb, philosophy of science and so on.. What you don’t know about Einstein is that he uncovered a secret formula for true creativity and profound success that has been hidden from the modern world. He called it the BeKnown® Theory. Surely there is a lot of math derivations and lengthy experiments that prove the BeKnown® Theory, but we cannot get tied up in these trivial matters that only evade the main point! The main point is simple formula E = m(BK)2 that Einstein revealed on a chalk board next to his death bed and the impact it can bring to the world!

In the BeKnown® formula, E = m(BK)2
m ≡ human subject with a need
BK ≡ BeKnown® constant
E ≡ Everything you need for creative solutions and profound success


The formula has been staring mankind in the face for decades and will most likely remain underground, lost and unheard of, but the few men willing to square the BeKnown® constant can attest to the power and riches the equation can yield. Ask yourself this question before you go any further in your life journey: Do you want to Be Known?

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 25th, 2015

Many people who think they want to be entrepreneurs are just unhappy in their current job working for the “Man.” If you are serious about bringing your own company to the service world or the “million dollar idea” to the marketplace, you have to find the capital, time and energy to build it. Developing a complete business plan can help you avoid any impulsive decisions because in all honesty, your day job is still paying your bills! In addition to wanting to quit, you have to have a viable idea and an effective sales, marketing and operations plan. Many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that if you are serious about your own company, you should be prepared to quit your day job and work full-time on building your new company. This is bad advice! I always encourage inventors to work two jobs as long as they can until their new company to make as much income as their old job!

Ask yourself these questions:
  • How will you raise money to keep the business going?
  • Are you willing to wear many hats?Manufacturing? Supply-chain management?? Distribution??? Social media???? Sales?????? Marketing????????
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Who are your customers and competitors?
  • Have you factored in possible unforeseen costs?
  • What will your new day-to-day routine be like?
  • Is your support network on board?Do you have a backup plan and options?
  • How will you avoid burning bridges?
  • Have you quit your job yet?

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 23rd, 2015

​Have you ever woken up wondering what the hell is going on with your business?  Lots of entrepreneurs do. It happens to all of us at some point in our lives, and often multiple times. If there is no clarity to the path you are taking with your product company, then you are most likely on some other company’s path or plan! Sometimes you need to step way back and get another higher perspective.

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 20th, 2015

​Many promising companies with new product ideas struggle to turn prototypes into products that grow their business.  They lack the commercialization resources needed to efficiently design, build and test a beta product, conduct market opportunity assessments, scale-up manufacturing or train employees. This is a growing problem in a rapidly changing global market place, where speed to market may dictate success or failure. Typically, large companies take too long due to corporate red tape and approval protocol, and new companies lose time in the learning curve to commercialize their products may fail to capitalize on a narrow window of opportunity before competitors swoop in and pass them by. The Beknown System hinges on its speed to market with the commercialized resources and proven strategy. The Beknown commercialized system has been tried, proven and refined with the successes and failures of Beknown in-house product lines to its current format of evolved efficiency. In layman’s terms: we understand that speed kills.

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 17th, 2015

​The founders of SOOMR LLC came to us with a working models for us to help improve the design functionality and strengthen their patent claims. We designed for mass-manufacturing, built the injection molding tools, created sales and marketing materials, and in 3 months the RoomDefender™ is available to purchase at www.stayoutofmyroom.com!
You probably have a room in your house that you don't want others to enter. For most, it's your master bedroom where you keep jewelry, cash, prescription medicines, firearms, and other private items. Whether you're entertaining guests, leaving your kids home alone, living with a roommate, or participating in vacation home sharing, you need a way to secure these rooms.

The RoomDefender™ is the world's only entry deterrent system designed for interior doors. RoomDefender™ is an easy to use and portable device for securing bedroom doors and protecting your valuables.
 

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 13th, 2015

​Tradeshows are a great place to spend all your money! Booth design, Booth construction, tradeshow fees, shipping, set-up, labor, give-away samples, hotels, travel, meals, and other supplies can really add up. The first show is always the most expensive to cover the booth materials, but even after the first show you can spend $20-30k per show.
The real question is are you getting the exposure, sales, new relationships to justify that investment you put into a tradeshow?
Probably, definitely not! Granted, it is hard to really quantify the future value of relationships you make at a show unless you are taking hard purchase orders, and sure, it is a great environment to launch a new product with professionals able to validate your product. But there are much more effective ways to spend $30,000.00 for better results. At the end of the day, what you really want out of a tradeshow is sales. After doing our fair share of tradeshows, we found that it is more cost effective to send a sales rep with product to walk the tradeshow that way you are paying for the badge and not the booth, but still able to have a presence.

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 13th, 2015

​You might not be designing a multi-million dollar home or yacht, but product designs are just as highly regarded and judged throughout the world. International design awards recognize excellence on a global scale. At Beknown, we design for mass-production.. and we also design to compete at the award-winning caliber in terms of functionality, simplicity and aesthetics. Winning a design award through an accredited organization is not only personally rewarding in the recognition of a great design, but can also be profiting as a platform for residual exposure and world-wide publicity. A winning design is likely to hold real estate in magazines, newspapers, online articles, online galleries, eNewsletters, and social media outlets throughout the year. If you are interested in submitting your product designs you can learn more about registration fees, deadlines and design submission requirements and guidelines at the links below:
IF Design  -  http://www.ifdesign.de/
Good Design  -  https://www.good-design.com/
Red-Dot  -  http://en.red-dot.org/
Although IF design award registration is closed for 2016, however there is still time to register for consideration for product design awards with Good Design and Red Dot. 

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 11th, 2015

​Why would you not be able to manufacture an inventory of product for dirt cheap in a Chinese factory and convince a retail chain to buy your product for every shelf in every store? Your company buys each unit at a dollar, sells at $10 over 100,000 units a month and you make a small fortune.  Once you have the framework in place, you are able to groom a motivated college graduate to run your business operations so you can retire early with a fat paycheck in the mail each week. The American Dream can become reality but getting there is never that easy!
First you must develop a strong relationship with your supplier. If you want the lowest unit cost and there is labor involved in making your product, you have to be in Asia. When your supplier holds your tooling assets in a foreign country, it can be difficult to know the safety and security of your assets on this side of the pond! Your supplier can change materials or quality of components without your consent to save a few pennies on each part. If you are not constantly validating your production with QC, you might end up with a container of useless product in the US. Who is going to pay you back, the Asian supplier?
The cost to educate yourself in product development can bury you if you’re not careful. Piggy back on a real expert. Ideally you want a professional to design and prove your product and product specifications. You want a professional to build your internet presence with a website, e-commerce, SEO and social media. You want a pro to run your PR and marketing campaigns. You want a veteran sales representative to lock down new accounts at a low commission rate. You can always try to offer a trade to acquire the development tools you need for a percent of equity or future revenue shares. This way your partners “get some skin in the game” and have real incentive to help you help them make profit. You don’t have to learn the hard way, but you don’t want to give up the entire piece of the pie so make sure to set a limit of how much stake in the company you are willing to give up. Trust but verify your business relationships. The last thing you want to do is get in bed with an unreliable or unethical partner, and find out after the damage is already done.
The point is that there are many stumbling blocks on the road to take your concept to market and be able to live the success story.

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 9th, 2015

​Vulgar slang used to convey that someone should stop wasting time and get on with something. Usually used in the context of doing something, or I guess lack of doing something. It could also be said in this way, "Either go for it or stay out of the way….." When a decision takes too long to come to a point, it relays a level of uncertainty to others.  

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 8th, 2015

​The Idea to be an entrepreneur sounds exciting but it actually takes hard work, planning, persistence and the support of others. There is an extreme emphasis on others! “Others” are typically people who have done this before. “Others” can be your vendors, mentors, family and staff. I always say, “Why finance the learning curve, It’s too darn expensive!” Mitigate your risk and hedge your investment into your own self by Sponging off “Others” that are smarter than you in the areas of business development you are not! 

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 6th, 2015

​At the end of the work week, I always tell my key employees, “if you’re going to be late on Monday, you better have been up late working the night before.” You have to work when the rest of the world is working to make real progress in this business!

by Roy Paul Prosise on November 5th, 2015

With limited time, energy and capital to develop a new product idea or invention, you have to make a decision on your plan of action and exit strategy.
 
Do you want to secure the intellectual property (IP) rights to sell your idea or build a company to sell the product?
 
You would most likely need to do the former to have a lasting success in the latter, but making this decision early in the early stages of product ideation will assist you with properly allocating your efforts. Eitherway, both end goals require tools and both require work; however the specific tools required for each path can be optimized! It is very important that you balance your investment put into securing your IP with the overall budget you have for product development, product validation, marketing and sales efforts. Sometimes it is not worth spending too much on the IP as there is already a saturation of existing products, technology and IP in the marketplace. In this case it is probably better to focus your finances and energy on development of a better product than competitors, sales tools and marketing campaigns.
 
Here are a few key questions to ask yourself in the early stage of product ideation to decide the best strategy to take to reap the maximum output.
 
1. Do you have the adequate budget of time, energy and capital to build a company around a product idea? Product development costs can range from $250K to $5M. 
2. What is the product life on the market? Some products have very high level of success for 1-3 years and sales plummet as soon as competition saturate the market. 
3. How well can you secure the IP? Is it easy to knock off? Is there already similar patents that have been filed? Patent filing can get very expensive, very quick.


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