I don't know what to title this one either- maybe Business Advice, Please?

I have several consumer product designs, nothing big or complicated. I have good names for them, indeed, the names are integral to the products.
I am forgoeing the patent process, for three reasons-
I have no money, and no aptitide for lots of paperwork, it’s jsut not there, although I like the design portion of paperwork.
And these products would fall under the category of design patent, which would stop no one from making knock-offs. The best way I can see to help their success is by trademarking a distinctive name, which is why I mentioned having good names above.
The paper trail phobia is pretty severe- I mean I can’t sit down and do a business plan or anything like that- I’ve tried, I lock up and can’t focus.
Realizing it may not be feasible, I would like to see domestic production, even to the point of it or parts of it taking place in my home state, which could use pretty much all the economic help it can get.
I have done some research and many times have been able to spot market-place winners when I saw them. One product I got the idea for several years ago, and have since seen the general idea becoming the norm for it’s category, although no one, as yet, has done what I envision.
Based on those last two statement, I believe these products would do pretty well on the market.
I have no idea how to proceed.
Given the constraints above, does anybody have any advice for me?
Thanks,
inor

I’m not sure I’m following this, Inor. You have some ideas for gadgets/gizmos that you want to make, market, and sell to people–but you don’t want to go through the “hassle” of taking out a patent?? I’m, like, “huh?” :confused: It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, babe, but at least even the tiniest dogs, if they have a patent on their product, can have recourse to established legal channels when the big dogs start stealing their ideas, and have at least a hope of surviving with their skins, bank accounts, and cojones intact.

Do you know how long your company would last in the marketplace without even the minimal legal protection of a patent? Does the phrase “a snowball in Hell” ring any bells?

And if you’re not the sort who can sit down and focus on a business plan–geez, why bother even opening up a business? Why not just throw yourself under the wheels of the nearest truck? I know people who CAN sit down and focus on a business plan, and the business world ate them alive.

Jeepers, man. Do I have any advice? Yeah–see a headshrinker. You need more help than we can give you here at the SDMB. :smiley:

[said with the best of intentions, 'kay?] :wink:

If you have a problem with paperwork so bad that you can’t even apply for a patent or write up a business plan, Inor, you need to get someone to help you with it.

If you have no patent anyone else can make your device and there’s nothing you can do about it. There is nothing you can do to stop it without a patent, and if you want to market and sell something you’re going to have to do paperwork at some point. There’s no getting around it. If you can’t even write out a business plan, you won’t be able to run a business.

Or you need to find a good business partner you can trust. Be prepared to cut them in for a real large slice of the pie, though. And if you really do intend to remain naive about such things as business plans:

The trust issue is important. Since you don’t know what’s going on with the process, you’ve got to trust them not to make their slice the whole damned pie. If what you have is primarily an idea that anybody could execute, rather than something they will need your ongoing input to accomplish, you’ve also got to trust that they won’t just steal it and go do it themselves.

If your expertise IS needed on an ongoing basis, realize that in truth, you will be working for them. You will NOT be the boss. You can make yourself a business card that says “Founding Principal”, “VP, Research and Development”, or some such thing, but your partner will be the CEO and ultimately call the shots.

I hate to be yet another with harsh advice, but:

I’ve been in the startup game for a while and have seen it from many angles, including as an investor, an advisor and a worker. Anybody who has been here will tell this same piece of advice:

A good idea is not worth shit. Execution is everything.

The fact is that everybody has had a good idea that they later saw someone else build. Having the idea is nothing. A thousand people had the same idea. A hundred people actually tried to do something about it. Only a handful (or only one) actually made progress and made it happen. Having a great idea is the first 1/10th of the first step. It’s a tiny part of what is required to be successful.

Does that mean you should give up? Hell no. It means that if you’re serious about this idea and you really, really believe the market is there, then hunker down and work. When I say work, I’m not talking about building the product. I’m talking about the real work, namely a) patenting it (if appropriate; you indicate it may not be), b) writing a business plan, and c) selling other people to invest in this or help you build it. The fact that you “have no apptitude for lots of paperwork” and “can’t focus” is irrelevant. If you’re serious about making this happen, you’ll need to find a way to focus and do it.

ok, thanks.
I’'m still not sure how to proceed, but I like the idea that you’ve been there, done that, from all sides.
So I’m gonna work on it.
Thank you again.