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manufacturing question

so i'm developing a consumer electronic in my spare time. the underlying software for it is about 50% finished. once the software is ready i'll put together a prototype, which shouldn't take too long. i don't know if it will actually sell at all but i'd like to continue with it as a project for personal growth and as a personal challenge.

my question is how would i go around mass producing it if i find that there's actually a market for it?

i probably would have to go to china but does any one know about minimum quantity issues? like would a chinese factory not even bother talking to me unless i ask them to build 100k units? at this point would i simply take out an SBA loan, manufacture a whole bunch of units, and if they don't sell can i simply file for chapter 11 for the company? this doesn't effect my personal credit, right?

is all of this handled over the phone or would i have to actually make a trip out there to ensure the manufacturing is a smooth as possible?

now what about distribution? once i have them all ready do i rent out a warehouse stateside?

what price do i sell it to the store(s)? they'll have an MSRP that they'll mark up at their own places, but obviously i have to sell it to the actual stores at a wholesale price for a profit on my end right? because once they have it in their stores it's out of my hands, right?

what about the trademark, copyright, patents, etc.?

the software and prototyping isn't much of an issue at all for me, but i'm more or less completely lost when it comes to the actual manufacturing and distribution end....
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:38 PM Redrum is offline  
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Phil Taylor
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they already invented dildos that emulate being buttfucked by a big black man, sorry.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:40 PM Phil Taylor is offline  
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post a picture and i can help. we can just print them on my 3d printer.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:42 PM acidfast7 is offline  
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BlisterDick
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if you actually have something feasible see a lawyer
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:47 PM BlisterDick is offline  
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patent lawyer you mean?

as far as manufacturing goes it'd be relatively simple, none of the components are particularly crazy complex, i just have trouble knowing where to start as far as actually filling an order out goes....

stupid question probably but programming code can't be patented can it? only protected via EULA, right?
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:48 PM Redrum is offline  
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patent lawyer you mean?

as far as manufacturing goes it'd be relatively simple, none of the components are particularly crazy complex, i just have trouble knowing where to start as far as actually filling an order out goes....

stupid question probably but programming code can't be patented can it? only protected via EULA, right?

you can patent genes, why not code, one's genetics, one's not.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:53 PM acidfast7 is offline  
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You tried the kickstarter.com forums?
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:58 PM Typhoon43 is offline  
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You tried the kickstarter.com forums?

thanks for the link!
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:00 PM Redrum is offline  
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When I was in college a guy I knew had an idea for a windshield sunscreen..the idea itself wasn't new, but the way it attached to the window was. There was a korean guy that caught wind of it and said that his family had a couple of small manufacturing plants (mostly made trinkets and cheap useless gadgets) back in the homeland and could make them with the right materials/design for cheap. Well, the finished product was surprisingly good...but it turns out people are too lazy to use a screen on the outside of their window. They mostly only sold in northern states where people used them to keep snow/frost off the windows overnight. Bottom line is...they didn't sell very well (no large retailer would take them) and everyone involved (including me ) lost all the money that was put up.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:03 PM joemama is offline  
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When I was in college a guy I knew had an idea for a windshield sunscreen..the idea itself wasn't new, but the way it attached to the window was. There was a korean guy that caught wind of it and said that his family had a couple of small manufacturing plants (mostly made trinkets and cheap useless gadgets) back in the homeland and could make them with the right materials/design for cheap. Well, the finished product was surprisingly good...but it turns out people are too lazy to use a screen on the outside of their window. They mostly only sold in northern states where people used them to keep snow/frost off the windows overnight. Bottom line is...they didn't sell very well (no large retailer would take them) and everyone involved (including me ) lost all the money that was put up.
meh. i don't really expect to become a millinoaire with this idea, maybe supplementary income.

i'll be ultra cautious before i place any massive orders.

maybe i'll even make the first few 100 units by hand so i can establish a market presence and gain momentum before i go all out and order 100k from china.

and to be fair in my situation the pervasiveness of the internet allows niche products a whole new level of marketability that was lacking in your college days (early to mid 90's i'm assuming)

if you don't mind my asking how much money did you put up, and what was your actual source of funding? i wouldn't invest much personal cash in this and would try to keep all costs via sba loans, loans that i can file for bankruptcy with to protect my personal credit record.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:11 PM Redrum is offline  
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joemama
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meh. i don't really expect to become a millinoaire with this idea, maybe supplementary income.

i'll be ultra cautious before i place any massive orders.

maybe i'll even make the first few 100 units by hand so i can establish a market presence and gain momentum before i go all out and order 100k from china.

and to be fair in my situation the pervasiveness of the internet allows niche products a whole new level of marketability that was lacking in your college days (early to mid 90's i'm assuming)

if you don't mind my asking how much money did you put up, and what was your actual source of funding? i wouldn't invest much personal cash in this and would try to keep all costs via sba loans, loans that i can file for bankruptcy with to protect my personal credit record.
Late 90's, and the internet was actually less crowded back then...but people weren't used to shopping online (other than Ebay) as much as they do now. My share was only about 2.5k (from personal savings) but as a college student that stung quite a bit.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:44 PM joemama is offline  
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Late 90's, and the internet was actually less crowded back then...but people weren't used to shopping online (other than Ebay) as much as they do now. My share was only about 2.5k (from personal savings) but as a college student that stung quite a bit.

how many units did he actually end up ordering? what was the total cost?

what became of all the crap he just couldn't move?

so you're saying this all came out of cash savings? why not use SBA/personal loans?
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:46 PM Redrum is offline  
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If you're making a gadget with a plastic enclosure, a populated PCB, pushbuttons, etc... and it's eventually going to be a consumer device, going to China is pretty much your only option. Otherwise it'll cost too much, or you will have zero margins on the thing. And setting up bulk manufacturing of the thing will cost a ton of money.

Unless it's a very niche product and you can afford north american manufacturing, or you can forego an elegant design - eg, the nixie clocks I had going for a while.

As for code, you can copyright it. If a competing product lands on the scene which is a clone of yours, and you can prove that the code is the same via reverse engineering, you can sue for copyright violation.
Old 08-22-2011, 02:53 PM gee is offline  
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joemama
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how many units did he actually end up ordering? what was the total cost?

what became of all the crap he just couldn't move?

so you're saying this all came out of cash savings? why not use SBA/personal loans?
It wasn't my idea or my venture...I was just trying to get a small piece of the pie during the internet gold rush. Those were the days when venture capitalists were giving mind boggling amounts of money for even the craziest ideas. The bad thing is...even the most loose cannon VC still wants to see the product they invest in sell really well. I think in the end the guy that started the thing ended up taking down the website and sold all the remaining stock on Ebay. I can't recall how many were actually produced overall, but the original order was for 100 units as a test run.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:57 PM joemama is offline  
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only 100 units and it cost THAT much?



how much were they retailing for?

i think your friend may have gotten jewed by them norf koh-reans
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:59 PM Redrum is offline  
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