Our InvENtor Spotlight for October is on Jim Siegrist! Jim has been a member of the Edison Nation community since 2009 and is an active Insider!
Where is your home town?
I live in Cathedral City, California.
What is your professional background?
As a young man I went from close to homeless to pizza delivery driver to a very high-end fine artist advertised on TV.
When did you come up with your first great idea?
My first great idea? I have had hundreds of invention rejections and pitched to most of the top companies including pitching to AJ Khubani in person a few times. I have one invention that is great and hoping the proof will be validated by the free market. [invention details deleted to protect confidentiality]
Do you find that invention ideas come to you or do you have to go after them?
The problems to be solved I find in my everyday life right here at home.
I believe there is a river of information that flows everywhere and can be tapped into if we just be quiet and listen. It’s a river that flows in the form of pictures. It may be accessible just before you go to sleep or wake up.
What advise would you tell others about to embark on their inventing journey?
My invention advice to new inventors…
- Only a very small percent of ideas ever make it to the shelf.
- Try to focus on inventions that most people might buy.
- Focus on ideas that might cost around $20.
- Multi use ideas might be a better sell.
- The less parts you design in your prototype construction the lower the cost it might be to produce.
- It’s far better to build a working prototype to show in a very short demo video than a sell sheet with words and drawings. It shows your idea works and the possible licensee should be able to fully understand your invention within the first 30 seconds of the video. These people have to sift through hundreds of invention videos. Just make the video one or two minutes at the most, get right to the point and end it.
You’ve been an EN member since 2009. Can you provide us with some details around your experiences and EN journey so far?
I have been an Edison Nation member since 2009. I came close to success a couple of times.
What do you consider one of your biggest failures and what did you learn from it?
My biggest failures?
I have boxes of hand made prototypes in my garage. I have pitched in teams or alone hundreds of ideas that have all been rejected. Every single one of those failed attempts were a stepping stone for me. I learned from all of them.
I am sitting on a very awesome invention right now. If it doesn’t work here [at EN] I have a plan B to have it produced. I would rather just license it than have to produce and distribute, but I started this ride a long time ago. If I have to go do all this the hard way and go learn the whole manufacturing and distribution end to make this work, that is where I have to go. Pushing beyond my comfort zone.
What are some other fun facts about you that you’d like to share with the EN Community?
Fun facts? If I am not building prototypes I am painting or playing guitar. I buy old guitars and refurbish them for resale in my spare time. I also build guitars. I have been playing guitar for 35 years. I have a lot of them. I have had a great 12 year career as a (mostly colorblind artist), color is not wonderful to me like sound is.
I am a great father of three kids who turned out to be very creative as well. We have art and projects all though our home. I think it is important to dream up an idea and attempt to turn it into reality even if it doesn’t always work out.
I am still dreaming up my version of the world and I usually dream big. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Life is on big project and I have no idea how it is going to turn out. That is the exciting part.