Our InvENtor Spotlight for April is on Chase Fisher! Chase has been a member of the Edison Nation community since 2011 and is an active Insider!
Where is your home town?
I was born on the West Coast but spent most of my life in Northeastern Indiana.
Where do you currently reside?
I currently reside outside of Zurich in Switzerland. My wife and I live on a small family farm with cows and horses. I travel back to the USA several times a year though and always look forward to speaking English, instead of German.
What is your professional background?
My professional background has varied a bit. I have worked in Sales, Manufacturing, and Real Estate: Property Management. I have also bought and rehabilitated a few houses over the years, which I really enjoy. I have been in and out of college for years and as of recently, I have finally been finishing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management. I am very excited to be finishing soon, as it has always been a personal goal for myself.
How did you initially hear about Edison Nation?
I don’t remember exactly when I found Edison Nation, but I do remember it being somewhere around 2012-2013. I was doing tons and tons of reading and research on how to invent and bring to market a new product and found EN somewhere along that journey. I never saw the initial television show but at some point, I would like to watch it.
Initially, I did not consider EN as partner simply because I thought a 50/50 split of revenue was too much to ask. I slowly began to reconsider that as I attempted to sell an unrelated invention myself. I struggled to get the attention of major manufacturers or even a simple returned email about information I had sent them. It’s a tough game to be a small independent inventor. I realized that I would love to have a partner that has some clout in the game, knows what they are doing, and has established contacts at companies that can make it happen. I then became of the mindset that 50% of a deal is much better than 0% of no deal.
What inspired you to start inventing?
Truthfully, I would have to say a bit of jealousy on my part in 2011. I remember one day talking to my mother and she explained to me that she had ran into a guy that I was childhood friends with (30 years ago) and he had invented a new type of tool accessory. He initially sold it himself and then eventually sold his IP rights for the product to a major tool manufacturer for several million dollars. I guess the realism of him being just a regular guy like myself who came up with a simple, clever idea that made someone else’s tough jobs easier really inspired me.
I have always had a naturally creative side and have the habit of trying to always make things more efficient or better somehow. It was not until after 2011 that I considered that maybe one of my own ideas could help other people.
Do you find that invention ideas come to you or do you have to go after them?
I naturally just have stuff pop into my head sometimes. I tend to be a good problem solver, so sometimes I have ideas spark from regular, normal tasks that we all do. Sometimes I have dreams about objects, ideas, new concepts, etc., and I keep a small pad of paper next to my bed to write them down or draw them if I can. I tend to think of ideas at night, in the shower, or after about 2-3 beers, LOL.
When did you come up with your first great idea?
Hard to say exactly, I believe the idea I currently have submitted with Edison Nation is a great idea but I guess we will find out if a manufacturer thinks it is a great idea! ; )
Have you ever collaborated with another inventor(s) on a project? If so, how was that experience for you?
No, I have not worked with another inventor on a specific project. However, I was mentored a bit by my childhood friend that became a successful inventor and he offered me advice, strategies and helpful suggestions to get a product to market.
What are some general industry trends you have noticed recently?
Some of the general industry trends lately have actually not been positive for the United States. Without going into great detail, there has been significantly less patents filed in the United States in 2017 and 2018 and more and more blatant ripoffs of American ideas from China. In fact, it’s so bad that I have read many articles about people personally investing significant amounts of money in launching a product and getting it manufactured in China, then having the manufacturer go behind their backs and ripoff the concept. It’s worrisome as a whole and I believe that U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is facing a lot of skepticism and criticism right now on several issues.
You have been an EN member since 2011, can you provide us with some details around your experiences and journey to date?
I have been an “official” EN member since last year, but have been reading the forum on and off for a handful of years. I really love that EN has forums that allow you to connect with other creative people around the world. I would like to personally post more myself as I come across information that is relevant or helpful to people that read the forums.
What advice would you tell others embarking on their own invention journeys?
READ, READ, READ! I cannot even account for how many hours I have spent before bedtime reading books, internet forums and material related to business, inventing and product licensing. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power and that the more knowledgeable one is about that what they are attempting to accomplish, the luckier they will be.
If I could go back in time and focus on the right material to study at the beginning, as far as general knowledge, specific details of how the patents work, the industry as a whole, and tidbits of knowledge, I would. I recommend Stephen Key’s material. I am not a student of his, but he does offer a lot of helpful and easy to understand material for free along with YouTube videos.
- Tamara Monosoff was very inspiring for me to read.
- “Profit from your Idea: How to make smart Licensing Deals” by Richard Stim was also a valuable read.
- “Patent it Yourself” by David Pressman is practically like a bible for inventors and contains a lot of nuts and bolts of how patents work and how patents are written.
I have not read Louis Foreman’s book yet but plan to at some point this year. I would obviously recommend Edison Nation’s forums for knowledge and as a partner that can do the heavy lifting of going from concept or prototype to a signed deal.
What would you consider as your biggest failure and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failure is likely my own mindset several years back. By mindset I mean, the lack of patience I had in some cases and having unrealistic expectations at times. I am bit embarrassed to say it, but my first attempt at licensing a product idea to a manufacturer (3-4 years ago) went pretty badly. They actually did give me the time of day and took the presentation to their monthly new products meeting. So of course, what did I do? I pestered my contact with results information. How did it go? What did they say? Are you guy’s buying this idea? Are you guy’s going to make this idea? The contact did not respond until weeks later and expressed his dissatisfaction with my communication. I did not make a deal with them and I realized that I was unnecessarily being impatient and rude, simply because I was so excited about my idea.
Lesson Learned: Inventing and product licensing is a long-term game and will likely take longer then you want.
In the beginning, I also had pretty bad tunnel vision. By that I mean every day or week at some point I would focus on my ideas and build more and more trying to perfect them without taking a break from progress. If you think you have the next million dollar idea, who would take a break from that, right?
I can say, it is absolutely beneficial to work on an idea and then step back from it and then come back to it. Oftentimes this has helped me see it in a new light or improve upon it. One should be flexible with their ideas!
What are some other fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share with the EN community?
I am a lake person in the summer. I love golf and actually pretty good for my age, I can almost play par. I have seen quite a bit of the world and like to travel. If I had enough money to not have to work anymore, my dream would be to teach kids how to build things with their hands and how to use tools and such to be handy. I see so many kids nowadays that would struggle to use a hammer or screwdriver to do something. I think it would be great to get them off the tablets and electronics and show them how to make, build and repair things.