How To develop a product and possibly make some money

Picture of How To develop a product and possibly make some money
Every one has ideas, inventions, and dreams but only a few people ever make any money from their thoughts. This Is how Ive been doing it (or trying to). This is how ive gotten an invention the Hard Drive Zapper ( From a simple thought to an actual product as a high school kid. Im not trying to show off or anything, im simply trying to show that it is possible for a kid to actually make money and start a small company based off of their ideas. Also this isnt about my invention, i dont care if you dont like it, its a consumer product, designed to be cheap, quick to manufacture and secure enough for most average consumers. So please, constructive comments only I dont want to be flamed.
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Step 1: First learn how to build things with your hands

Picture of First learn how to build things with your hands
Learn how to build things, everything using simple tools. Unless your rich or extraordinarily lucky, you will have difficulty launching any product that you can not build with your own two hands (and a dremel tool). Investors, companies, and business partners have all seen thousands of inventors with ideas but absolutely no clue how to build them. By showing them a working prototype or even a detailed mock up you will have one step above most other "inventors" . If you can develop a clear model in your head and and then build it with your hands, then a manufacturer will be able to do the same.
skst142 years ago
this is genius.
Lorddrake2 years ago
looks like your hard drive zapper website is gone .. i get redirected to a diy laser site
funnyfoo04 years ago
is it possible to start a buisness for under 200 british pounds
depends on what you want to do
drmjj554 years ago works too.....
Rotten1945 years ago
Unfortunately, this didn't help me much, but that's only because I've read quite a few books on this stuff. Good job, a little sketchy in places. and nice job in developing your product, its amazing you got as far as you did! :D
Krumpet5 years ago
Don't listen to any of the people who are bashing on you. The fact that you have actually created a real product is a huge accomplishment for any person. Moreover, taking the time to create this instructable is icing on the cake. If your intentions were to promote your product...great! There is no way this could be described as spam. Good on you, geckowil! Keep up the hard work. You should be very proud of yourself.
mrpsychotic5 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
I see a ban in your future....
geckowil (author)  trebuchet035 years ago
what did he get banned for?
yeah, I think I would rather see the words. whenever I see those words "(removed by community request)", I wonder ..."what did he say"...
=SMART=5 years ago
Wow very impressive, i had a look at your site and your products, their really good. How old are you? im 16
no one wants to be told that their ideas are outlandish or unrealistic, sorry, but i didnt like this instructable, it wasnt really usefull for me
geckowil (author)  thebluemartyr6 years ago
i wasnt trying to put down your ideas because i have no clue what they are, im just saying stick with ideas that you can actually make money on. then with that capital and experience you can move on to crazier ideas.
Did you make money with your inventions yet ?
geckowil (author)  chooseausername6 years ago
between this, my computers and a bunch of other inventions ive made about 4 grand
Since August 30, 2007 ?
you do make a good point, thnx for the reply.
royalestel6 years ago
Wow! Go YOU! Great Job! Could use a bit of tweaking with the capitalization, but still! Thanks!
lhm11386 years ago
I think this instructable would be a better 'starter' or 101 type instructable if you combined stuff like "get press/start a website" into one step and went into the patent process a little bit more. Some details on your manufacturing plant you found would be cool, if it's not proprietary. A little tweaking like that will make this a better instructable, and thanks for contributing it, not too many instructables I've found on inventing, mostly prototyping stuff.
geckowil (author)  lhm11386 years ago
thank you for your constructive critiscm, honestly i was dismayed to have so much negative feedback after spending several hours on an instructable, and several thousand on my project, this has been the first useful comment ive recieved, im going to try to tweak it somewhat
It's easy to talk to somebody online in a way you wouldn't normally talk to somebody in real life. It's just an online phenomenon, take it with a grain of salt. I thought the invention was fine.....jesus, it's not like it's some QVC crap or an electric backscratcher or something. So, don't sweat the negativity of some internet uberdork and keep the ideas coming.
I'd call this "an 18 year-old's attempt at marketing" rather than spam, but it still doesn't really impart anything new. Any small business advisor would tell you pretty much the same things. It's much harder to protect an idea here in the UK - patent registration is incredibly expensive. Hell, just having a patent search carried out by a specialised lawyer is prohibitively costly. Still and all, thanks for the link to hostmonster - That looks like a pretty good deal from here in the UK, what with exchange rates being what they are I may even migrate my site there! (No, I'm not being paid for saying that, I'm genuinely mildly impressed, lol) Point of interest - to render a hard drive unrecoverable before disposal, simply pop the lid off (drill out the screws if you don't have the right tool), take out the actuator magnet, smash it to powder (in a plastic bag), sprinkle the powder on the disc platters, hold the lid on with your hands and give it a shake. Having worked for a couple of years in an IBM clean room both building hard drives and extracting data from damaged and "destroyed" drives, you can trust me on this: nothing short of complete destruction of all magnetic data on the disc platters will render data on the disc unrecoverable. Powdered magnets are the best way of ensuring this. If someone with the right tools tries to extract any data from the platters after you've done this, the magnetic particles adhering to the surface will actually destroy their reading equipment. This happened to us on one occasion. The magnetic contamination meant that the clean room had to be completely stripped out and scrapped, and a new clean room build in its place at a cost of several million dollars.
...what... so in a half paragraph how do we make money :-| Also a hard drive zapper? wouldnt the same effect be done by formating it? or if throwing it away take a capasitor and zap it with couple thousand volts?
geckowil (author)  !Andrew_Modder!6 years ago
no reformating it just erases the addresses not the data itself. using tools everything can be recovered, also the point is to make a consumer product, somthing simple fast and cheap that saves them time and money.
No, actually formatting the hardrive will erase EVERYTHING. I've done it before and it really deletes everything. And a plasma gun?? lol
That depends on what options you choose when you format. If you "fast-format" your disk, it may only erase the table where is stored the list of file and thier position (adress) into the disk. The contents of your files will remain into the disk and may be recovered using a special tool ...
IDE drives are not formated unless you have very specialized software. Using the "fast format" command does nothing more than create a new empty directory. The standard format command creates a new directory and verifies the drive. No other data is actually removed from the drive and a skilled person (or unskilled with the right software) could easily extract most of the data from the drive. It is possible to securely erase a drive by writing over every block with alternating data (zeros and ones) multiple times. The more "Erase" passes the more secure the erasure.
j626no LasVegas6 years ago
i believe that macs have a special format option so they write "over every block with alternating data (zerox and ones) multiple times"...7 if i remember correctly. There is still a single format option but the 7 times format is much more secure...just takes a really long time.
LasVegas j626no6 years ago
This is not a part of the default Erase option, but the additional "Erase Free Space" option also available to Windows and Linux users. On the Mac the option can be set to just zero data, overwrite 7 times or overwrite 35 times. The later is an overnight job for large drives, but is most secure other than the hammer method. Again, a common misconception is that drives are formatted. They are not. This process is done once by the manufacturer. Throughout the rest of the life of the drive it can only be "erased" and/or "partitioned."
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In conclusion, i dont need this product :-\
geckowil (author)  !Andrew_Modder!6 years ago
im not trying to sell it to you, techies and geeks arent really the market im trying to reach. If a few buy it because it saves them time, then great. But im really trying to market towards the average consumer who knows little about computers and is terrified of identity theft
A hammer can also preform this job much more reliably, I doubt you are doing much beyond frying the controler board and leaving the platters largely untouched, and readily recoverable. I'm trying not to be harsh here, I'm just being realistic.
geckowil (author)  cokebottle tuque6 years ago
finally, a valid concern! Its actually a good deal faster then a hammer because there are fewer screws to pull out, also unless you have data worth millions of dollars. it is logisticaly difficult for a identity theif to find a specific drive that they are certain has data on it so they can invest the time to repair or replace a logic board. It adds difficulty, thats the point, also u cant market a hammer. Finally drives are designed to handle shock so they are struck by hammers a few hundred times during testing. even a heavy sledge will only make minor dents(beleive me i tried), the point is its an alternate solution. and the fact is ive gotten pretty far and did more than my fair share of research. id like to see your product. i never said ive invented something astounding, personally i dont like it as much as some of my other ideas its just designed as a springboard.
geckowil (author)  geckowil6 years ago
look, ive never lied to a single person, company or anything, the whole point of my instructable is to show people that they can actually do something cool if they try. Im not marketing towards businesses, nor am i marketing it towards you, so quit flaming. im not trying to lie about the drives either, they are built from heavy quarter inch steel, a finishing hammer is rarely sufficient to get into them, maybe i have the numbers wrong, but i read that toshiba tests their drives by shocking them repeatedly with small hammers. Look the whole point of marketing a product is that it will have competition. its not a half assed product, it is designed for the average person. for $20 it gives a fair amount of protection, safely, quickly, and effectively.
Ok lets take this statement by statement. "finally, a valid concern! Its actually a good deal faster then a hammer because there are fewer screws to pull out" if I'm scraping a drive I'm going to take it out of the case weather I zap it or smash it, if I'm scraping the entire computer well then I don't care if I put a couple holes in the case before getting to the drive do I? and you still need to open the case to zap the drive. "it is logisticaly difficult for a identity theif to find a specific drive that they are certain has data on it so they can invest the time to repair or replace a logic board." You think that a business would bother buying and using a tool for destroying a HDD unless there was data worth keeping privet on it? I have swapped out controller boards it trivially simple, some of the time you don't even need to get the same exact drive just on reasonably close. Then take in to account that at this point there are really only 2 or 3 big drive manufacturers used by the major resellers aka dell and the like, and it becomes rather simple to find the rite board. "It adds difficulty, thats the point" yes and a couple of good hammer blows makes it impossible without a clean room and vary good luck. Security through obscurity only works until some one smarter than you comes along. "also u cant market a hammer." Stanley Works begs to differ. "Finally drives are designed to handle shock so they are struck by hammers a few hundred times during testing. even a heavy sledge will only make minor dents(beleive me i tried)" Here it seems you are either just plain lieing or some how managed to get your hands on some mill spec HDDs. You have never taken a hammer to a hard drive or you would realize just how obvious of a lie that was. Secondly hard drives are not designed to take shocks, why do you think apple and Leveno put accelerometers in there laptops to detect free fall and part the write heads before impact with the ground? Because if you don the write heads gash nice long tracks in the plater while it is spinning at over five thousand RPM. "the point is its an alternate solution. and the fact is ive gotten pretty far and did more than my fair share of research." Yes an easily defeated solution that offer false security to businesses, businesses that buy your product for real security. You have not done your research at all, see my rebuttal to your previous statement. "id like to see your product." I'm sorry I never claimed to have a product, just a different way of doing things that works better. "i never said ive invented something astounding, personally i dont like it as much as some of my other ideas its just designed as a springboard." just because you don't like the product as much as your other ideas is no reason to half ass it and release a poorly thought out product. Yes I realize that their are many companies that work this way, but its not the way to start a good businesses and its certainly not good practice. You don't want to get a reputation for doing things the lazy way, its not worth it it the long run.
Kiteman6 years ago
"Also this is pat. pending so ill sue you if you copy anything."

Sorry, you patent isn't worth anything, since you've shown it at an inventors' fair and told us about it.

However, I don't think anybody here will be infringing your patent, since there are other cheaper and more reliable methods for destroying data on a hard drive.

As for inventing stuff being the easiest part of the process, who are you kidding? A good idea is not an invention. Check out the autobiography of Trevor Bayliss to find out what a real inventor spends his time doing.
geckowil (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
actually i havent divulged any proprietary information. i was trying to show people something cool. a patent pending means nothing except an earlier filing date. which means that in court, i can easily prove that this idea is my intellectual property. therefore i can pursue it exclusively, and charge others to pursue it
Kiteman Kiteman6 years ago
Oh, I checked your site as well.

It looks nice, but it still needs a lot of work, such as fixing the link to the description of your zapper.
nak6 years ago
Hey it was me who called you,

This is how to fix a zapped hard-drive:

Either way, keep on inventing. My problem is:
1. IDEA, wow this is a good one this time!!!
2. HEY MOM GUESS WHAT <insert idea here>
3. Uhm, pretty sure that has already been invented...
4. ????
5. no profit

Keep on truckin'
(Yeah I think the main reason people don't like this instructable is because its more of a showing off instead of spreading the knowledge, I viewed it as more of a possible inspiration for people)

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