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Werner Co.

mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I am just curious if anyone has ever worked with them. I sent them a few ladder ideas. I have to admit that their disclosure agreement is alarming. However, they are the largest manufacture of ladders so it's worth a try.

Possible Monetary Compensation Is in Werner Co.’s Sole Discretion: I agree that I shall not be entitled to any compensation from Werner Co. for its use of any unpatented idea or materials that I submit to Werner Co. If the submission is not covered by a valid patent, Werner Co. has the right to freely use the information I provide for Werner Co.’s own benefit, including, without limitation, the right to use the submitted idea and information in connection with Werner Co. products and services. A nominal monetary fee may be paid to me by Werner Co. if the submitted idea is adopted for use by Werner Co. and if, in Werner Co.’s sole judgment, the idea is original and new to Werner Co. Whether a fee will be paid and the amount of any such fee will be determined by Werner Co., in its sole discretion. I agree to accept this fee from Werner Co. at any time as full compensation and as complete satisfaction for any claims that I have or wish to make against Werner Co. relating to its use or disclosure of any unpatented idea or material I submit to Werner Co.

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sjane722's Avatargold

I wouldn't want to work with a company who had the mindset behind this policy. There must be other ladder companies out there who are more inventor-friendly.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Werner is a good company to work with as long as you have an issued patent. They really are looking for ladder accessories, but again make sure you have issued patent. 

My contact there said they have the policy to weed out the people that just send them anything. She said they get flooded with submissions all the time for ways to extend the ladder feet on uneven surfaces. And that 99% of what they get sent has already been done.

And ladder safety is one of the high  aspects that most ideas submitted fail to pass. Because most people don't understand the requirements and testing it has to pass.

Sarah Mann
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sjane722's Avatargold

Roger,

Okay, that makes sense!!! I shouldn't be so quick to judge!!!

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Ladders, kid carseats, toilets are just some of the products that have stringent safety  requirements that must be passed before the product hits store shelves. Inventors need to do their homework on these items before they approach these companies. It will save you a long wait and improve your chances of success.

Sarah Mann
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I believe that my idea is original, however, the safety aspect concerns me. I'll just have to wait and see what they have to say about it.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

I'm assuming you sent it to them without any protection. If that is the case and they decide to move forward with it you may not hear back from them since per their policy they are not obligated to do so.

Hopefully in any case they will at least give you feedback. Good luck.

Michael Heagerty
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

Thanks, yes, unfortunately I don't have a patent or anything. I look at it, that I've come up with a lot of ideas, that someone beat me to. That's just the way it is. I'd rather go for it and not have that happen again.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, did you know their policy prior to submitting it to them? I understand going for it, but if your goal is to get compensated and using that money to help others it would be in your best interest to go after companies that align with your needs. Finding a company that fits your idea/product is great but not if you get nothing at the end of the process unless you are just wanting to give them away.

Michael Heagerty
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

There just aren't that many ladder companies and I couldn't find anyone else that accepted unsolicited ideas. I really understand what you are saying but sometimes we have no choice. You have a good reputation with companies and a lot of them have their door open for you. For us regular folks that just doesn't happen.

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karenadams's Avatar

A valid concern of mine also at this point also. 

erin hoff
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, if you couldn't find anyone that accepted unsolicited submissions why send it to one that says they don't compensate you for unsolicited ideas?

Have you gone to thomasnet.com and done a search on ladder manufacturers? Or looked in Lowe's and home Depot? I saw a new company Gorilla Ladders in home Depot today that you could try. Sometimes you need to go after the medium and small company to gain a foothold. They want to be the next Werner and need innovative ideas to get them noticed. Your idea could be the one.

On the topic of myself you said I have a good reputation with companies and some doors open. That is true. What you are leaving out is I did not just start out that way. I earned my reputation by providing companies what they asked for, not what I wanted them to take.

I take the time to learn their company and approach them in a professional manner. I don't approach them  without also knowing their competition and being able to justify why my idea is unique.

I treat inventing like a business and know they value their time as much as I do mine. So when I approach them I try and put together all the info they need in a short concise manner so they can quickly GET the idea.

By doing these things you build a relationship with them and they feel comfortable coming to you with their wish list. They take you seriously because you approach them seriously. 

I know a number of Inventors that are extremely creative and have great ideas, yet they struggle to get companies to work with them. It is mainly because of them not taking the time to learn the industry and work within the system. 

The biggest difference between myself and some others is I do the boring research to increase my odds of success and others don't. They want the immediate payday and just throw any idea at any company hoping something sticks.

Getting a product licensed is work, otherwise everyone would be able to do it and you wouldn't need places like EN. 

I get emails all the time from Inventors saying I sent my idea to blank company a week ago and haven't heard anything back. Are they stealing my idea?

Or they say I sent my idea to blank and just saw on their website I need to submit it to their online system. So what do I do now?

80% of Inventors issues are generally caused due to the inventer rushing things and not doing the upfront research like finding out their policy BEFORE submitting it to them.

Look how many posts on this forum are people asking questions about the process AFTER they have already submitted it to a search. Why? Because they didn't read what they signed.

This is the difference that can make or break your success. Anyone can do it if they put forth the effort.

Michael Heagerty
Sarah Mann
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I couldn't locate anything regarding Gorilla Ladders submission process. They had an address in the states and also in Australia. I'm not sure where they are based out of. As for submitting to Werner, again it was a chance worth taking, since I am not out for any compensation anyway. At least, if they did use the idea, I can say it was mine even if only I know that. If they were to offer compensation then I would just ask them to send a check to St. Judes. I really need anything I can get to build some type of portfolio. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I'd like to better myself with a good job and be able to take care of my family and not struggle. I really need to have a product be used by a company in order to do that.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, your statements are kinda of contradictory. On one hand you say you want to have money come in so that you can have the royalty checks go to St. Jude's and down the road have one provide money for your family so you don't have to struggle. Both of which are great goals. 

Then you say you wouldn't mind if the company took your idea and used it without compensating you as long as you could know the idea was yours.

If your primary goal is St. Jude's and your family then I would avoid the giving away aspect and concentrate on the companies that will pay you. If you can't find a company to go after with your idea put it on the back burner until you do find a company to pursue. Until that time jump to your next idea and go after it. You seem to have a number of ideas always in the works, use that to your advantage.

But do your research upfront take your time and put your best foot forward and see if you get better results.

I have done it 11 times and have 12 and 13 coming close to fruition. It can be done.

Michael Heagerty
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I want the money to go to St. Judes for any royalties. I would feel bad taking money from a company for just an idea. I have lots of them and they come to me easily. I really don't consider that work. I would like it to lead to a job since my dream is to work for a company as a designer. I don't have the education or experience. If I had a product on the shelves, that may open the door for me, for my dream job.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, you will find that you can have a drawer full of ideas. The trick is getting others to think they have value. Because no one thinks your idea is as good as you do. You also have to learn that if they are the ones paying for it, they are the ones calling the shots. I have seen an inventor get a deal on one of her ideas and she was doing her best to get them to go with a different idea she showed them they passed on. She insisted the other idea would sell better and that they were missing a great opportunity. She almost lost the other deal because of her arguing.

You will find that ideas you think are great and others you have that you think are marginal will sometimes be the ones others like the most. LOL

Sarah Mann
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let-them-fly's Avatar

Hi Erin; you said: "If I had a product on the shelves, that may open the door for me, for my dream job."........... earlier you said: "At least, if they did use the idea, I can say it was mine even if only I know that."

Theoretically then, you can go ahead and claim any product currently on the market as being originally yours in a job application, but you'd have better luck finding a three legged ballerina than you would an employer who would take your word for it, with no documentation stating otherwise. 

Not trying to be rude, but that's exactly how a potential employer would greet that type information on an application.



Michael Heagerty
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Frank is correct. It is not hard for a company to do a check on you and your success in the market. I would say 80% of companies I contact for the first time and are talking with them on the phone either have already gone through my website or are looking at it and asking me questions while we are on the phone.

Keep in mind companies go to trade shows constantly, they meet their competitors there, they talk to each other, they change jobs within that industry. It is a smaller community than you think due to all the social media and other media sources. Which is what prompted me to write the thread below.

Also, consider if I own a company and you tell me you gave away your idea to company X, why would I be inclined to now pay you a royalty for your idea? I would simply tell you to give me the idea for free. Which would preclude you getting any compensation for St. Jude's or yourself.

As Frank said, not trying to be rude. Just want you to see the bigger picture of what you say want to do versus the approach you are taking.

LESSON # 103 YOUR GOOD OR BAD REPUTATION WILL FOLLOW YOU MORE THAN YOU KNOW

https://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics/l...

Michael Heagerty
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sjane722's Avatargold

Erin,

I think it's great that you have a strategy, and I believe that changing careers in your forties is very acceptable and that doors could open for you.

If I were you this is what I'd also do:

1) Research companies I'd like to work for and set up Informational Interviews. A primary goal of the interview would be to find out exactly what qualifications you need for the job you're seeking. I think it's very likely that no matter how creative or inventive a mind you have, other skills would be needed for just about any position.

2) If you're told you need qualifications or knowledge or skills you don't have, find a way to acquire them. It might mean a two year educational program, adult ed classes, or youtube videos, or online or independent study. 

3) Attend industry networking events, and talk to as many people as possible.

4) Attend Industry trade shows, make as many contacts as possible, and keep your eye open for opportunities or positions you might not have considered.

5) For the above two- make sure you have an interesting, eyecatching, memorable business card and hand them out readily. Also, get as many names and numbers and emails as possible.

6) Follow relevant individuals and companies on social media.

7) Start your own blog or vlog or twitter or IG or FB account pertaining solely to the work.

8) Tell everyone you know what you want to do, and what your goals are. You never know who knows who. Connections are often less than "six degrees."

Bottom line- I STRONGLY believe in the power relationships have in manifesting our goals. It's all about relationships!!

Michael Heagerty
Thom C
Thom C
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sjane722's Avatargold

9) Join an inventors group in your area.

10) Follow up on all contacts you get. Meet people for coffee. Ask outright if they know of any positions that might be open. Be positive and helpful to individuals you meet. Volunteer to help at functions.

I'm sure others can add other suggestions!!!

Changing careers in your forties or even fifties is completely doable.

Michael Heagerty
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sjane722's Avatargold

11) Create a very professional ( visually exciting, well organized, easy to handle) portable (small- something that you can tuck away in a large purse or tote) portfolio of your work to take with you to shows and events. 

Michael Heagerty
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sjane722's Avatargold

12) Talk to a headhunter or a Temp agency. A headhunter might be able to place you, and temp jobs often result in permanent employment.

13) Consider taking a less ideal job at your ideal company. Start as a receptionist to get your foot in the door, then through good job performance and connections, move up eventually into the position you want.

Michael Heagerty
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Sarah, sound advice. Erin, go here to find an Inventor group near you.  http://rogerbrown.net/find-an-inventor-group-near-...

And if they are not within driving distance contact them about attending their meetings via Skype. That is done all the time. They could be a great resource for you. And as Sarah said it helps build relationships you may need.

Sarah Mann
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sjane722's Avatargold

14) I don't know if you have personal history with St. Judes, but if you do, you could offer them your services as a speaker, where you would tell your story to help them fundraise. In your speeches you could include the part of your story that involves your inventions, and wanting to make products in which proceeds go to them. Again, you never know whose interest it might spark.

Michael Heagerty
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sjane722's Avatargold

15) Do a YouTube search for: switching careers at forty.

A number of hits come up that look promising!

Michael Heagerty
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

The main thing to take from all of this is that it is achievable, but it depends on you being proactive, going outside your comfort zone and doing the boring research to find what works best and making informed decisions.

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sjane722's Avatargold

16) Write a book. It just hit me- I can see this!

The title is IDEAS FOR SALE. It's an illustrated kids' book.

A little girl has what looks like a lemonade stand, but it's IDEAS FOR SALE.

People go to her with their problems and MAGIC, she manifests her solution for them- the walls that paint themselves, etc.

Each chapter, or each little book, is a story about that idea.

How fun would that be?

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sjane722's Avatargold

Roger, 

I actually don't think this kind of research is boring. It can be quite exciting to uncover possibilities and potential for reaching a goal!

It can also be a satisfying accomplishment!

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sjane722's Avatargold

Also, the more you know, the better you can actually visualize the end goal.

It sounds new-agey, but visualization has repeatedly worked for me, even when it wasn't conscious. 

I do believe that what we each envision for ourselves is our own individual and particular path- what we see is meant for us!

Pretty much everything I've envisioned for myself has come to pass. I wish I'd done a better job of imagining the outcomes of things, Lol, but still...!!

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Sarah, I agree, I don't find the research boring, but the majority of Inventors I have talked with seem to consider it unnecessary until they find themselves in debt or stuck what to do next. Most are rushing head first in any direction they think will get them richest the quickest. That is why so many of these companies selling services and lawyers doing patents are doing so well.

Sarah Mann
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sjane722's Avatargold

Wow. The internet is a creepy place. I just got an email with a job listing, supposedly in response to my resume on Indeed.com. I don't even know how many years ago I posted my resume there!!! 

SO--were my YouTube and Google searches for 'career change after forty' tracked ? Are keywords from this forum used ? How do they do it?? Lately I've even seen private information I've shared in emails come up in google searches.

ANYWAY

17) Update and perfect your resume. Get professional help for that if you need to. Also, post your resume on Indeed.com. Lol.

18) Don't rule out online recruiters that specialize in creative jobs, or freelance sites. Freelance work is another way to build a resume.

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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

Thanks, Sarah, for all of the information and advise. I need to sort out everything as that is a lot to digest and figure out.

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sjane722's Avatargold

Looked into the email, I think it was a phishing message!!!

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sjane722's Avatargold

Erin,

It is a lot! I didn't mean to bombard you!

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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

No worries, I appreciate the help.

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sjane722's Avatargold

Erin,

This might make it seem less daunting: Each suggestion can be put into one of the following five categories:

IRL Meet and Greets

Recruitment Options

Social Media

Online Research and Opportunities

Promotional Materials

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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I was recently selected to present an idea for my company and we have a training session in a few weeks that will teach us some of these things. I am really nervous speaking and being around people so I hope this training will help.

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sjane722's Avatargold

The first step is to focus on your portfolio, resume, and business cards.

At the same time you can do online research.

One thing will naturally lead to another. Once you have your materials and learn more, you will probably find yourself excited to take the next step!

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sjane722's Avatargold

And see what happened as a result of talking about your goals on this forum? It was an excellent first step! Keep reaching out!!!

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sjane722's Avatargold

Erin,

I just now saw your comment about presenting an idea to your company! What do they want you to talk about?

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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I work in customer service for health insurance. I was one of five chosen to present my idea in front of some pretty big shots. I can't disclose it but it's related to the health industry. I was so excited when I was chosen because this is the furthest I have ever gone in realizing my dreams. Now if were only toys instead of health care but it's a start.

Sarah Mann
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, use those opportunities to hone your skills and gain confidence so that you can speak to anyone and not feel uncomfortable.

Sarah Mann
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