Five weeks after the marketing meeting where Joe discounted the value of my concept, I had my first mentor meeting. I had put together a PowerPoint slide show for the team explaining who I was, my background, and where I was in the development of my prototype. After a little discussion, we walked outside to see the prototype on my car. Similar feedback – the concept was too big and bulky to be useful or marketable.
In order to get the prototype built so I could demonstrate the concept, I hadn’t spent much time on the mechanism for attaching the system to the vehicle’s existing roof rack. I did have some uniques ideas for how to accomplish it, but that aspect seemed less important at the time. Rather, I focused on how the system would help people transport large items on their roof rack. As I left the meeting, I realized that I had been focusing on the wrong things. I immediately went home and began working on my concepts for attaching components to existing roof racks.
I started with some sketches, made a trip to a local metal recycler to buy some scrap aluminum, and headed into my basement shop to begin working on a prototype. By the end of the weekend I had created my first prototype – a device that would quickly and easily attach to existing roof rack crossbars, and allow the user to safely and easily strap anything to their roof rack.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison