As the business-minded half of Food Network’s “Invention Hunters” — in which he stars with “Gadget Nation” author Steve Greenberg — Patrick Raymond‘s in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of turning a great idea into a must-have product is on full display.
And while viewers may scratch their heads about some items he and Greenberg choose to champion for a licensing deal, Raymond understands that even a product with broad appeal and an agreeable price is not a sure thing with consumers. That’s because of the failure of his own great idea, the ShowerBow — which the rangy Raymond designed after being repeatedly assailed by a clingy shower curtain — even after it appeared on HSN and the shelves of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
“And Mr. Smarty-Pants went to business school!” the former advertising executive says, chuckling. “So I’m thinking, ‘Wow! If I got it wrong, what chance do inventors who are not formally educated have?’ “
Rather than dwell on his losses, Raymond — who by then had founded the Inventors Association of Manhattan and was serving as executive director of the United Inventors Association — decided to put the lessons learned to good use.
“There is no system to predict shifting consumer taste … because shifting consumer taste is, by definition, shifting,” he explains. “So I developed InventionScore, an algorithm to formulize what is predictable, so that inventors can have the maximum amount of chances to score a licensing deal or to attract investors for the least amount of money and effort. That’s my street cred in the inventing world — I know how to guide inventors away from all of the pitfalls because I fell into every damned one of them!”
�What are you currently reading?
” ‘The Mars Trilogy’ by Kim Stanley Robinson – a scientifically respected trilogy on the terraforming prospects of Mars.”
�What did you have for dinner last night?
“Raw veggies and lots of them! I was fortunate to have been raised with a more Middle-Eastern/European diet, which is all about freshness, so my palate doesn’t react well when things are overprocessed.”
�What is your next project?
“Right now, the challenge for inventors is commercialization. So I’ve come up with a new system to help inventors access that payoff moment.”
�When was the last vacation you took – where and why?
“Florida. I play semiprofessional pool, and I thought I would try to learn to golf, because I thought there were similarities in what the Brits call “the spherical arts.” I sucked so bad! I’m on the record to say there are no similarities between pool and golf!”