Calling All Entrepreneurs: I Think I Made It, Now Make Me Finish

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
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After a dozen fully-conceptualized projects I think I have one that can catch on in the market. It's a brand new type of alarm clock unlike any other alarm on the market; one that will improve sleeping and waking for anybody. It's not the kind you leave next to your bed; there are multiple lucid twists on the product! It's actually several products in one new form and design; to buy them all would cost $300-$500+ while this will be $150 if not much lower. This has been in the back of my head for a while and now I finally have it outlined in a brilliant (IMO) way (vs the old ridiculous concept) and have a manufacturer lined up. Problem is: I've had major ideas I've decided not to fund at the last minute before.

Words of wisdom from the entrepreneurs?

It's relatively cheap to develop; it would likely cost $15k tops for the mould and app. Think it's unique enough to Kickstart as well.

I love spending hundreds of hours developing products but haven't pulled the trigger yet despite the time lost. I think it's the time...
 

sdilley14

macrumors 65816
Feb 8, 2007
1,232
190
Mesa, AZ
Dooooo it, dooooo it, doooooo it!

Then tell me how you did it, lol. I've been in the same boat before...I've had great, practical ideas in the back of my head and have never gone through will actually developing them, mostly because I just don't even know where to begin.
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
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I find your lack of faith disturbing.
I have faith; the only issue is choosing which project to take a leap of faith with first.

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Dooooo it, dooooo it, doooooo it!

Then tell me how you did it, lol. I've been in the same boat before...I've had great, practical ideas in the back of my head and have never gone through will actually developing them, mostly because I just don't even know where to begin.
You can PM me for some advice. I could at least give you some tips on beginning the concept, prototyping, and final manufacturing.
 

Astroboy907

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2012
1,387
13
Spaceball One
After a dozen fully-conceptualized projects I think I have one that can catch on in the market. It's a brand new type of alarm clock unlike any other alarm on the market; one that will improve sleeping and waking for anybody. It's not the kind you leave next to your bed; there are multiple lucid twists on the product! It's actually several products in one new form and design...
Expound, please. Convince me it's better.
:)
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,347
6,217
The Anthropocene
Words of wisdom from the entrepreneurs?
The dude quoted below clearly has it all figured out, perhaps you should ask him?

How do you become a millionaire? This is 100% serious and original advice that I hope helps someone on here.

Drop the parts of your life that don't have to do with business! What do I mean? Quit that 40-hour+ job (or get a part-time position), devote less time to friends/relationships, and don't focus on school. (That 4.0 GPA won't help you create your own business, but it'll look good if you want a 9-5 job.)

Even if you have to live with your buddy or your parents!

Personally, I'm going to keep trying business ventures until one sticks. Eventually you'll make enough to live off of, even if the first year isn't a million-dollar year.

The second you start a family and accept a 9-5 job is the second you lose any chance at becoming more than the average Joe.
 
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MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
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NJ
Kickstart it.

But note that most people use their phone for alarm clock.
There are potential plans for it :).

It has Bluetooth 4.0 so does interface with phones. It's quite convenient and unique but cost to build is a bit higher than I'd like with all the technologies inside. This costs 10-20 times more to build than the average alarm clock but I can still keep price under $100.

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The dude quoted below clearly has it all figured out, perhaps you should ask him?
Good call, he seems like a good entrepreneur :D haha.

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Expound, please. Convince me it's better.
:)
Can't do that without revealing it but it does have 4-5 technologies not normally found in an alarm clock.
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,936
165
Madison
Here is your perfect alarm clock: If its not this good luck.

Something about the size of the bose sound link mini. Equally as good looking, and with a clock display in the front. Let me adjust the brightness. Give it some good sound. and large snooze button on the top. Give it bluetooth, and an app where I can set up songs / or pandora/iradio channels to make up to. throw in options to work work with those fitbits, or whatever they are that are supposed to wake you up at the ideal point in the sleep cycle, and options that work with the HUE lights so that my lights can slowly turn on like the rising son would. Man waking up in the dark sucks.

There you have it. AND GO.

edit give it an option to talk to the Keurig so the coffee is ready is ready too.

Hey someone from NEST, we should talk. ;)
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,054
NJ
Here is your perfect alarm clock: If its not this good luck.

Something about the size of the bose sound link mini. Equally as good looking, and with a clock display in the front. Let me adjust the brightness. Give it some good sound. and large snooze button on the top. Give it bluetooth, and an app where I can set up songs / or pandora/iradio channels to make up to. throw in options to work work with those fitbits, or whatever they are that are supposed to wake you up at the ideal point in the sleep cycle, and options that work with the HUE lights so that my lights can slowly turn on like the rising son would. Man waking up in the dark sucks.

There you have it. AND GO.

edit give it an option to talk to the Keurig so the coffee is ready is ready too.

Hey someone from NEST, we should talk. ;)
Actually some of this is part of the functionality although implemented differently. I'd almost venture to say remove this haha. I can tell you it's an extremely small design!
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,936
165
Madison
Actually some of this is part of the functionality although implemented differently. I'd almost venture to say remove this haha. I can tell you it's an extremely small design!
My point was that anyone can dream. The real money is in bringing the product to market. You're only 10% there, hopefully thats some motivation.
 

AlabamaSlammer

macrumors 6502
Feb 8, 2012
371
13
Alabama
Sounds like a really promising concept. I would love to see the product in action through Kickstarter. Just be sure to get all the proper copyrights of your product
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,484
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Here is your perfect alarm clock: If its not this good luck.

Something about the size of the bose sound link mini. Equally as good looking, and with a clock display in the front. Let me adjust the brightness. Give it some good sound. and large snooze button on the top. Give it bluetooth, and an app where I can set up songs / or pandora/iradio channels to make up to. throw in options to work work with those ...
Actually some of this is part of the functionality although implemented differently. I'd almost venture to say remove this haha. I can tell you it's an extremely small design!
Um, I think I've got one of those already … though it relies on phone or iPad via bluetooth to provide the playlists. Otherwise it has 6 radio station presets in case I don't have a device paired with it. Oh, and it doesn't do the lights. But it cost me only about $60CDN.

And it's small. And the sound is pretty good, it has better reception than my old alarm clock.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
It's actually several products in one new form and design; to buy them all would cost $300-$500+ while this will be $150 if not much lower.
You do know that the actual production cost of a device that retails for $300 is usually somewhere around $150 at most, right?

With your feature list have you really rationalized your BOM+labor+overhead cost in the volumes you can realistically expect to build at first?

A small run (say 100) of prototype boards for such a device can easily cost $150 each, at least many of the pretty simple boards I've designed have ended up costing that much even if ultimate the volume cost might be $25. That's $15K right there.

You've mentioned Bluetooth 4.0 as a feature. Looking at available transceivers I see costs of ~$15-$25 in small volume (1-1000) for just that feature. http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?pv205=143&FV=fff40036,fff803ec,fffc05a6&mnonly=0&newproducts=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&chp=0&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=25

Do you really know what's entailed in doing this?

B
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
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NJ
You do know that the actual production cost of a device that retails for $300 is usually somewhere around $150 at most, right?

With your feature list have you really rationalized your BOM+labor+overhead cost in the volumes you can realistically expect to build at first?

A small run (say 100) of prototype boards for such a device can easily cost $150 each, at least many of the pretty simple boards I've designed have ended up costing that much even if ultimate the volume cost might be $25. That's $15K right there.

You've mentioned Bluetooth 4.0 as a feature. Looking at available transceivers I see costs of ~$15-$25 in small volume (1-1000) for just that feature. http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en?pv205=143&FV=fff40036,fff803ec,fffc05a6&mnonly=0&newproducts=0&ColumnSort=0&page=1&chp=0&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=25

Do you really know what's entailed in doing this?

B
I have a prototype built already lacking some features but it's got the size I'd like and Bluetooth 4.0. Also know the exact production cost. The app will be the most expensive part from here.

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Um, I think I've got one of those already … though it relies on phone or iPad via bluetooth to provide the playlists. Otherwise it has 6 radio station presets in case I don't have a device paired with it. Oh, and it doesn't do the lights. But it cost me only about $60CDN.

And it's small. And the sound is pretty good, it has better reception than my old alarm clock.
Name of it?

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My point was that anyone can dream. The real money is in bringing the product to market. You're only 10% there, hopefully thats some motivation.
Got a prototype already of the hardware :). Out of curiousity, what would you pay for a device with half of those features you listed?

It's not exactly a traditional alarm clock though. As a "feature" there is no time display; just on the app. This is to prevent people from sleeping longer than they intended. Maybe one will be added but it's actually an expensive addition in a device as small as this.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
963
New England
I have a prototype built already lacking some features but it's got the size I'd like and Bluetooth 4.0. Also know the exact production cost. The app will be the most expensive part from here.
Great! As long as you have the numbers and have run them by someone with more experience than you that doesn't have a dog in this fight. (i.e. NOT your manufacturing partner).

My experience has always been that the production cost of anything is only an estimate good at a particular instant in time. So, saying that you know the exact production cost seems a bit naïve.

All it takes is one lousy component to become supply constrained to throw a monkey wrench into product release plans.

B
 

MICHAELSD

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
3,693
1,054
NJ
A company took what is essentially my device without the clock display on it and have raised over $10 million already! Was preparing an order of a prototype or two but I'm not sure what to do now... Their Kickstarter is approaching a million! With proper marketing this would've been my device. Same execution and similar design as well! They just beat me to the punch. Wow; if I had spent money to expedite the process this would've likely been my product being crowd-funded first. It wasn't even an abstract idea that more than a few people would have bad; this was my device and I knew exactly how to bring it to market cost-efficiently. Great. :eek:

(No links to this product please.)

Yes, it was my fault for not moving fast enough in development but this product is so similar it's almost as if they took all my notes on it and developed based off of those. I also realize that these are two different companies so it wouldn't have turned out exactly the same but their product is basically what mine was supposed to be, and it was a specific idea that very few visionaries would have had.
 
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GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,743
141
A company took what is essentially my device without the clock display on it and have raised over $10 million already!
I call absolute BS. I did some research. I found 8 funded kickstarter projects where only one hit just under $100k. So no, $10mil from Kickstarter for a clock that interacts with your cell phone? Nope.

(No links to this product please.)
Because it does not exist on Kickstarter if the primary function is a clock. If it is something else then perhaps that is possible as I didn't look into it. Your description weighs heavily on it being some kind of alarm clock from what I can ascertain. Still, $10m, we would have read about that happening because it would have been a pretty huge event for Kickstarter and the people who are looking for the funding.
Yes, it was my fault for not moving fast enough in development
When you lack focus, drive, know-how, and most likely funds to produce even a working prototype (not one lacking many features as you described above), you will fall short. You have to move fast, move smart, and move first.


And why is that?

This wouldn't happen to be it, would it?
I suppose he could mistake $10m for just under $700k :D
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,853
30,369
Boston
A company took what is essentially my device without the clock display on it and have raised over $10 million already! Was preparing an order of a prototype or two but I'm not sure what to do now... T.
They took your idea or developed a similar product independently?

Tough spot to be in, you don't develop a product fast enough someone else will.