It was seen that the works of founders of States, law-givers, tyrant-destroyers, and heroes cover
but narrow spaces and endure but for a time; while the work of the inventor, though of less pomp,
is felt everywhere and lasts forever.          - Francis Bacon Preface to a Treatise on Interpreting Nature




The Design of Everyday Things

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How to Design Breakthrough Inventions

A CBS interview of IDEO founder David Kelley


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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

February 2008 Summary

Ms. Nikki Lewallen (Rainmakers Director of Membership Development) introduced us to Rainmakers, an organization dedicated to helping people establish strategic business relationships. Rainmakers helps inventors (among others) succeed by presenting informative business programs and by helping members meet those who can help them. The effectiveness of Rainmakers is evident from its rapid growth in membership - doubling every year (since its founding 5 years ago by Tony Scelzo) to 1200 members today. Through its philosophy of winning and putting others first, Rainmakers:
  • S - creates Strategic relationships
  • H - creates a culture of Hospitality
  • A - has members hold each other Accountable to a higher standard
  • R - is always Recruiting new members
  • E - Encourages and inspires members to achieve their goals
How does it work?
  1. Sharpen your focus. Create a message that identifies, as specifically as possible, what you need and who you want to meet.
  2. Find your power circle. Attend a meeting and introduce yourself to a meeting organizer (someone wearing blue beads). Based on your focus, the organizer will help you find people (at that meeting and at meetings held in other locations) you can work with to solve your business problems. For example, a photographer and a baker may collaborate to promote weddings or anniversary celebrations.
  3. Establish relationships; don't sell. You want referrals from a lasting business relationship.
  4. Understand your target market. You and your closest competitor may want to specialize within a market so that you both benefit.
  5. Get personal. Get to know those in your power circle by sharing recreational activities.
  6. Customer service. Do your best in all work referred to you - reputations (yours and the referrer's) depend on it.
  7. Continue promising relationships. After the meeting, call someone with whom you would like to collaborate, and set up a meeting. Even though it may be months before you can collaborate, be patient and stay in contact.
Rainmakers offers several meetings each month in a variety of locations throughout Indiana, with at least 40 members attending each meeting. Members at each meeting have varied interests - inventors, business people, attorneys, job seekers, etc. Membership requires a $95 initiation fee and either $35 per month or $449 per year. Although face to face networking is often most effective, we can also benefit from online business networking sites such as LinkedIn, NotchUp, Hoovers Connect, Ryze, and Smaller Indiana. We sincerely thank Ms. Lewallen for informing us about this valuable tool for success.

Patent Drawings by Richard McVicker

Some inventions patented by our members:

Bob Brand
3,179,907 Tuning system for television receivers
3,219,933 Television tuner switching system
3,241,072 Tuning control system
3,538,466 Television tuner cast housing with integrally cast transmission lines
4,503,740 Optical cutting edge locator for a cutting apparatus
4,503,896 Dog system for veneer slicer
4,601,317 Veneer slicing system
5,511,598 Veneer-slicer with remotely controllable blade angle adjustment
5,562,137 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,590,700 Vacuum flitch table with self-cleaning vacuum valve
5,678,619 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer from a tapered flitch
5,680,887 Veneer slicer with timing belt
5,694,995 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,701,938 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
5,819,828 Method and apparatus for preparing a flitch for cutting
5,868,187 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,395,843 Method and apparatus for retaining a flitch for cutting
7,552,750 Method and apparatus for cutting veneer sheets from a flitch

Rick Hanson
6,240,579 Unitary pedal control of brake and fifth wheel deployment via side and end articulation with additional unitary pedal control of height of patient support
6,253,397 Deployable siderails for a wheeled carriage
6,256,812 Wheeled carriage having auxiliary wheel spaced from center of gravity of wheeled base and cam apparatus controlling deployment of auxiliary wheel and deployable side rails for the wheeled carriage
6,264,006 Brake for castered wheels
6,507,964 Surgical table
D474,446 Sterilizable battery component

Bob Humbert
4,281,368 Keyhole illuminating apparatus

Ron Jackson
4,886,110 HVAC zone control system
4,943,039 Adjustable clamp
4,987,409 Level sensor and alarm
5,132,669 Level sensor with alarm
5,381,989 Adjustable spring clamp
5,944,098 Zone control for HVAC system
6,145,752 Temperature monitoring and control system
6,322,443 Duct supported booster fan
D347,596 Audible security alarm
D376,747 Door security device

Jerry McQuinn
D689,343 Universal Nutcracker

Richard McVicker
3,261,937 Three position snap switch utilizing interference blade means
3,319,477 Timer Escapement
3,332,704 Manually propelled treadmill vehicle
4,625,616 Thumb pick
6,309,076 Light barrier, screen or reflector
D240,237 Sculpture or the like
D356,653 Yard light
8389839 Thumb pick

Bill Pangburn
5,943,831 Device for Hauling Objects

Al Robbins

3,882,960 Ride quality control for surface effects craft
3,946,689 Air dynamo pressure regulation and modulation device for surface effect ships and air cushion vehicles
6,588,702 Lighter-than-air device having a flexible usable surface

Matt Thie
4,844,446 Multiple-compartment currency stacker-sorter
4,940,162 Rolled coin dispenser
7,298,280 Lighted fluid flow indication apparatus
7,617,826 Conserver

Richard Tucker
5,833,751 Powder coating booth having smooth internal surfaces
6,840,367 Material handling and manufacturing system and method
6,976,835 Manufacturing system and process
7,018,579 Manufacturing system and process

Don Walls
D707090 Torque key lever
RE36209 Door lock apparatus

Dave Zedonis
5,637,926 Battery powered electronic assembly for wheel attachment

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