Your Ideas May be Worth Money
Business Startup and Management Consulting
NOTE: after reading the text below, be sure to scroll down to see lots of sample products and testimonials!
Boy, this is fun stuff! At the Riordan Company, we get to see
different ideas for different types of products on a continuing basis. Referrals come to us from clients and patent attorneys as well. Whether it is a novelty item, gag gift or complex piece of medical
equipment, we've seen it all. We remain on the leading edge of new
product development and get to see lots of exciting new products before
they hit the stores.
Whether you are an individual going to market with a new product or a
corporate entity with years of product sales experience if you have a product
to sell, we can help you identify, target and reach your customers with a
guerilla style that will make you grin. Guaranteed! For over
two decades we have helped our clients to identify markets they never
considered, and then helped them to target, reach and "hook" those markets
in ways that they had not considered.
We'll help you sell your ideas or patents for one lump sum
There are a number of creative ways to sell ideas and patents. You
can sell an idea outright for a dollar amount that is agreeable to both you
and the buyer.
When you are inventing for a living, every idea that you think of should
be considered a salable commodity. For example, an idea for a good joke
is not an invention, but it can still be a saleable commodity.
If you have a patent application pending we can help you sell it in the
pending stage. If your patent has already issued, we can help you sell
it outright for a mutually agreeable lump sum.
We'll help you make money through consulting contracts
Perhaps one of our most creative methods of helping you make money from
your ideas is to help you win consulting contracts with companies interested
in your technology or products. If inventing for a living is what you
want to do, be prepared to get paid in a number of different and creative ways. Consulting contracts are a great way to make money from your ideas.
We'll help you license, lease or cross-license your ideas or patents
I know you have heard of licensing patents, but have you heard of licensing
ideas? It's all in the way the agreement is written and the agreement can
be written in any manner acceptable to the inventor and the buyer.
How about leasing your idea or leasing your patent? This is a very
creative solution for an entity that wants to market your product but is not
certain that the sell-through rate will be substantial enough for them to make a
long term commitment. Rather than purchasing your idea or patent or getting
tied into a "life-of-the-product" licensing agreement, buyers can lease your idea or
patent for a limited term and "give it a test drive."
Cross licensing is a great solution when you have an idea that a company
wants to license and the company has ideas or products that you wish to
incorporate into one of your products or product lines. You get what you
want, they get what they want and no one has to pay licensing fees.
We'll help you present your idea or product to potential buyers
Our twenty-five plus years of experience in helping individual inventors
sell their ideas and products to industry has taught us that there are some
corporations that prefer to have ideas and products presented to them by third
party professionals. Why? Because they have had bad experiences with
inventors who have unrealistic expectations about the value of their idea or product,
or they have had bad experiences with inventors who want to exercise unreasonable
control over the appearance, production or marketing of the final product. If
you have a good idea or product, we may be able to open doors that previously
seemed closed to you. We are not afraid! As professional product
evaluators we will be happy to "toot your horn" for you. Because we are
professional product evaluators, when we tell a corporate decision maker that
we think this idea or product is a good match for their company, they listen.
Our company has established contacts within many major corporations and we
are often able to pick up the phone and get straight through to decision makers
without getting bogged down in the normal invention submission process.
We'll help you sell your products direct to consumers
The opportunities for you to sell your products directly to consumers has
never been better. For the inventrepreneur, these sales are almost always
the most lucrative per-unit way to distribute your products, because you are
able to keep both the manufacturer/owner's markup, plus the retail store's markup. Mail order sales can easily be done from most homes or small businesses. Weekend bazaars, fairs, festivals, flea markets and garage sales are
excellent ways to get started.
The Internet offers inventors a whole new world of opportunity with a broad
range of effective marketing tools from the simplest "static page" sites all the
way up to sophisticated interactive sites with full e-commerce functions that
can make you money around the clock, even when you are sleeping! And, with
its explosive growth rate due to increased use of computers and the internet in
our school systems, government agencies, large corporations and small businesses,
the opportunities to market your products directly to consumers over the internet
is growing by leaps and bounds each day. We will help you get a website for
your product on line. We will help you develop an email marketing methodology
that works for your product and puts your products directly in front of the
people most likely to purchase them.
We'll help you sell your products through distribution channels
Mail order catalog houses such as Spencer Gift, Joan Cook, Harriet
Carter, the Chef's Catalog, Sporty's Pilot Shop, the Sharper Image, the Right Start
baby catalog, Brookstone, Coach House, J.C. Whitney, L.L.Bean, and literally
hundreds more are always looking for new and exciting products and we know how to
get the attention and interest of their buyers. Oh and by the way, once a
product demonstrates sell through, they often buy in lots of 20,000 to 100,000
pieces at one time! Don't you hate it when that happens?
Chain stores including department stores, toy stores, home supply stores,
gift stores, specialty stores, office products stores etc. are excellent distribution channels.
literally stores for every product. These stores are always on the lookout
for great new products. If the product "sells through," you can expect
volumes of orders to increase in direct proportion. We like that.
We'll help you get publicity
Maximum publicity at minimum cost is always our goal. A robust public
relations blitz is a must whether you sell direct to consumers or through
distribution channels. We will show you how to launch your product with a
barrage of free press to expedite product and brand name recognition. Our
press releases have excellent submission-to-placement ratios because we know how
to tell your story in a way that becomes interesting enough to be newsworthy to
the target audience of any given publication.
New product launch support
At the Riordan Company you can always expect personal attention, focused on
your needs. We provide a full-spectrum of product launch support services
||Collateral or sales material graphic design
||Public relations services, press releases and publicity events
||Point of purchase displays
||Help setting up fulfillment centers
||Help with the selection, planning and staffing
of trade shows and conventions
||General management consulting for startups
||Help finding funding sources for your marketing efforts
If all you seek is a second opinion on a marketing concept or plan that
is already in place, we will be happy to oblige, satisfaction guaranteed!
To get the most from your first session with us, write down every question
you have about your idea and your options before our meeting and we will give
you more valuable information in less time than anyone you have contacted. We guarantee it! You must be satisfied before you pay. We will
work with you in person, on the phone, by fax or email depending upon the
security level necessary for your project.
Please see Our Guarantee
page and our Fees for Services page
We think you will enjoy some of the projects and products listed below. Please know that these are just a few of the products we have been involved
with. Many of our individual and corporate clients' success stories are not
listed here because they wish to remain anonymous. We always honor their
Testimonial from a well known patent attorney
For many years, Tom Lampe was the chief "idea evaluator" for Eastman
Kodak Company. If you submitted an idea to Kodak, it would be reviewed
by Tom. Since he started his private patent law practice, he has served
many multinational clients such as James River Paper Company, and many individual
inventors as well. Here is what Tom has to say about our services.
"James F. Riordan and I have had a number of mutual clients over an extended
period of time. These clients have indicated to me that they enjoyed working
with Mr. Riordan and are extremely happy with services he has provided to them. These services have included product development and invention marketing. I have found Mr. Riordan to be honest in his dealings with clients. He
has a proven track record of bringing new products to successful commercialization. It is unusual to find an individual such as Mr. Riordan who has both the
technical skills and marketing savvy required when launching new products."
Thomas R. Lampe
Law Offices of Bielen, Lampe & Thoeming, (925) 937-1515
LadderBag is, "The toolbelt your ladder wears." It was
invented by John Williams of Grass Valley Ca. This handy
specialized toolbag attaches to the top rungs of your step ladder and
makes a tradesman, contractor or do-it-yourselfer's life a whole lot
easier. The ladder can be turned horizontally and easily carried
from place to place around a jobsite without dropping your tools or
materials. John is a plumber by trade and invented the LadderBag
to make his job easier and safer. Riordanco arranged to have the
product tested at the largest mechanical contracting company in the U.S.
and they loved it immediately. We then located an offshore supplier
and John is now filling orders for LadderBags and looking forward to the
first shipments of his follow-through products for use on power lifts,
extension ladders and scaffolding. Riordanco helped John establish
a vendor financing relationship with the supplier that allowed him to have
product in hand without having to come up with up-front money out of his
pocket. We helped him establish sales rep relationships that resulted
in the Ladderbag being presented to Home Depot, QVC television home shopping
channel and other nationwide chains, all of which like the product and
present a huge potential upside for his new company, Workman Industries,
Inc. The LadderBag has proven to be extremely popular in Home Depot®
with sales of over 18,000 units in the first four hours of sales in the Southern
California market alone. His customer list already includes Pacific Fire and Safety,
one of the nation's largest suppliers of fire sprinkler equipment, Bay
Tool, Acme tool, and a daily growing list of industrial supply accounts
and retail accounts.
in use on the jobsite
What our client says:
"Let me start by saying that my tutelage under Jim and Lynn Riordan
has been one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. Since
my very first meeting with them I have not stopped progressing in the pursuit
of my dreams. Jim Riordan has demonstrated, regularly, the ability to
get things done. He has been able to open so many doors for me it is
too difficult to list them all. Jim's knowledge of the business world
and the intricacies of making a "Deal" happen are unmatched. The advice
Jim has given me has guided me to a place, where at this moment, I am building
a promising business with a potentially very profitable future. When I
first met the Riordans I was still apprehensive about showing my product
to anyone for fear of someone stealing my idea. The minute Lynn answered
the door and I met them I knew I was in good hands and by the time our first
meeting was over I knew that the James F. Riordan Co. stood for ethics,
integrity, and the American dream. I can't even begin to thank Jim and
Lynn in a way that does them justice. They have shown me how to fulfill
my dreams, not by doing it for me, but by keeping me going in the right
direction. I feel honored to have the opportunity to write this
letter. My hopes for anyone reading this letter is that you sit down
with Jim and get an understanding of the Riordan Company. It could
change your life."
John E. Williams
Workman Industries, Inc
The Dandelion Terminator
Invented by Ed Reed, this great little product is easily slipped into a cordless drill and
removes dandelions instantly. The tip of the Dandelion Terminator DT-100 tool is inserted
into the center of the dandelion and with one quick squeeze of the trigger, the dandelion is
pulled out by the roots. Slide the ejector down the shaft and the dandelion can be discarded
into a bag or box for easy lawn cleanup. The Dandelion Terminator offers you a more permanent
way of removing dandelions from your yard. Instead of just pulling off the tops and having
them return immediately, the whole root system is removed in one quick easy motion.
|The Dandelion Terminator|
What our client says:
I almost hesitate to write this letter because it may end up being a little long and I
know how busy you are. When we first set the date to meet for our marketing consultation for
the DLT-100, I was barely able to wait the 2 weeks that had to pass to see you. I had spent
hours reading and rereading the info on your website, which is awesome by the way, so I could
better understand just what was the scope of services I needed to seek from you. Actually the
more I read about you, the more intimidated I became, but I knew this was something I had to do.
As you know, I drove from Helena, Montana to Cameron Park, Ca. for our meeting. Some of my
associates were questioning the wisdom of this decision as well as the necessity of such a
venture. After driving about 8 hours through snow storms all along the way I was beginning to
wonder myself. Well, I must tell you I was soon put at ease by your hospitality and your
ability to disseminate all of that information to me in an organized and easy to understand
way. The info you gave me about marketing was even beyond my limited imagination. I realize
now that you have actually saved me from making some potentially fatal mistakes in the process
of marketing my gizmo as well as some really awesome strategies that I would never have thought
of. Coming out to see you was definitely one of the best moves I've made in this process so far.
I just wish I had discovered your web site sooner, I know you could have saved me time and money
in the development stages. If I'm ever blessed with another idea I'll be calling you right away.
The drive home was just as challenging with snow and ice all the way, but I had the excitement
of all the new possibilities to keep my mind occupied and the trip, though long, went quickly.
I am convinced that I have gained years worth of experience in just a few hours of your time.
I am really; really glad I came to see you, Jim. I'll be in touch. Add me to your list of
satisfied customers-NO,WAIT-add me to your list of "RAVING FANS"!!
Ed Reed Pres/CEO
J C LORD CORP
The Electric Eel and Alien Splash Attack
|The Electric Eel laser effect
dart gun sold to Hasbro Kenner
These two fun toys were invented by Randy and Steve Palmer of Cameron Park
CA. They first came to the Riordan Company in 1993 and we are still
working with them today. We helped them form their own R&D Company and
then helped them get their first products on the market. Now, the Palmers
are working on several new promising toys and devices and are inventing for a
living full time. Yahoo!
|Alien Splash Attack, the latest
product on the market
from Sierra Innotek
Here is what the Palmers said in 1994
Nineteen-ninety-four is going to be a great year for Sierra Innotek. We want to thank you for your excellent service over the past 11 months. When we came to you in January of last year we had only an idea and a
crude prototype. With your guidance and assistance we refined our product,
honed our marketing skills and have successfully introduced ourselves and our
product to industry. We have just signed a contract to provide R&D
services for over $100,000 this year, not including royalty payments for
our invention. Steve and I particularly appreciate your ability to
identify opportunities and set clear directions. By encouraging us to
carefully think through each step of our operation, we have been able to target
realistic, attainable goals and expectations. More importantly, we now have
been provided with the tools (lifetime skills) to reach our goals. We
feel extremely fortunate to have learned of your services early in our work. Without your assistance, I seriously doubt that we would have
progressed this far. We will be contacting you soon to discuss another
idea we would like to take to market. Thank again for your help."
William R. Palmer
Sierra Innotek, Inc.
Here's what the Palmers said in 2003, nine years later:
"My brother, Steve, and I enjoy your magazine. We thought you
might be interested in a story about a unique individual who is one of our
country's experts on taking new products to market and inventing for a
living. He lives near us in Cameron Park, California. He has
helped many inventors get their products on the market. Jim Riordan
has been inventing for a living for 25 years. Jim helped our company
get started in 1993. He was instrumental in helping us turn one of our
ideas into a research and development contract which is going stronger than
ever in 2003. Later, Jim helped us license our idea for a foam dart gun
toy with a simulated laser effect to toy giant Hasbro, who sold them in Toys R
Us stores throughout the country. We think your readers would enjoy a
refreshing story about this inventor who has not only done well with his own
products, but has truly helped others really make money from their ideas,
unlike the sham companies that promise, but never deliver. You really
should feature a story about him as an inspiration to other creative people
with ideas. Jim used to be a regular on KGO radio in San Francisco,
before moving to Cameron Park. Judging from the caller response he
received on KGO, there are a lot of people who'd like to profit from their
ideas. Jim sure helped us profit from ours! We hope you'll do a
story on him. Feel free to contact us."
Steve and Randy Palmer
Sierra Innotek, Inc.
Sit Right Baby
Invented by Terry Cheney, a long-time rice farmer from Yuba
City, CA, this simple yet highly effective device made it easy for moms
to keep young babies upright in their high chairs during meal times. We helped Terry finalize the design, locate a plastic injection
molder who would make, package, stock and ship the product and then
helped him market it. Millions of dollars worth of the product have
been sold since, allowing Terry to own the airplane he always wanted
along with many other things he had only dreamed about before.
|Sit-Right Baby device holds infants
upright in high chair
What our client said:
"In or about 1987, I went to James F. Riordan company for help
with my invention, a device to help hold babies upright in their highchairs. At that time I had only a rough proof of concept model. Jim
Riordan helped me to design a finished production prototype. He
helped me with the patenting process. He also helped me to design
the plastic injection molds for the product to enable the product to release
easily from the mold. I took the product, known as the "Sit Right
Baby" to a plastic injection molding shop and began production. Jim
then helped me determine the marketing strategy for the product. To
say the product is successful is an understatement. It has sold well
ever since the first production run hit the market. Since then, Jim
has helped me from time to time with all aspects of production, packaging
and marketing. Sit Right Baby was my first product and has made enough
money to allow me to have more of the things I have dreamed of. It is
still making money as I write this letter. I highly recommend the
services of Jim Riordan and the James F. Riordan Company to anyone who
has an idea for a new product. He sure helped me make money with my idea."
Terry A. Cheney
Sit Right Baby Products
Artworks With a Train Theme
Artist David Miller had a great idea for unique framed artworks which
featured a raised relief "casting" taken from actual antique locomotives. We arranged for David to get his art into one of the largest railroad
museums in the country.
What our client said:
"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your contribution to the
proposed project with the CSRR Museum. Your marketing genius put us right
David R. Miller
The Sports Burner
Being an avid sports fan, Kathy Waddell had an idea for a football
product that appealed to female fans as well as male fans. We helped
Kathy find offshore manufacturers for the product and packaging suppliers
and eased her way through the NFL approval of the Sports Burner.
|Football helmet potpourri|
dish and burner
What our client said:
Here is the finished product. I thought you might like to see it. I have been getting them into trade shows and selling the 49ers pots to
local stores. It's only been two months. The two months that I have
been selling the pots have been a lot of work. I will be contacting you
for more information in the near future. Thanks again for all the help
you have given to me to get this product from idea to completion. I hope
you are able to enjoy the use of the 49ers potpourri pot."
Sports Burners Unlimited
The CD Selector
Everett Fernandez and David Soberanis created the CD Selector to
make it easy to find, view, remove and replace CDs. We helped Everett
and Dave with every step from concept to market. Eventually the
product line was sold to a Canadian company.
|The CD selector easy|
to load easy to view
What our client said:
"To Whom it May Concern:
Sidelines has worked with Overnight Engineering (The James F. Riordan
Company) for approximately 1 year. Our association began when our company
was attempting to bring an entirely new product to market. We had no
experience in the requirements of this project including manufacturing,
marketing and distribution. We thus enlisted the services of Jim Riordan
of Overnight Engineering who was highly recommended to us. Jim's expert
advice, opinions and encouragement have proved extremely valuable and accurate. Jim has consistently given us quick and important information and has
always been concerned with the details of our project. We have also found
his methods and personality to be a pleasure to work with. We have just
successfully introduced our product to the market at the 1987 Consumer Electronics
Show in Las Vegas. We have a final product, packaging and literature. Our manufacturing plans are in place, and we are using Jim's services in
our dealings with dozens of companies.
"We unequivocally recommend Overnight
Engineering and its exceptional staff. We have no doubt that without their
outstanding assistance we would still be struggling to bring our product to market."
Basil Gemette, a cabinet craftsman and woodworker extraordinaire
came up with these clever feet to go under potted plants on patios. They
allow the user to hose out underneath the potted plants without picking them
up. We helped Basil design the plant jacks, line up production at an
injection molding house and then helped with packaging and catalog sheet
design. A rep network was established and Plant Jacks are now sold
throughout the US in home improvement centers.
|Plant Jacks, feet|
that go under planters
What our client said:
"Without your help I would never have gotten this product to market. Thanks a bunch."
Wood, Brass & Glass
The Vacation Plant Waterer
This clever device hooks to the side of a beloved plant and waters
it during extended absences such as vacations. Return to happy plants
instead of wilted ones.
|The Vacation Plant Waterer|
The Power Safe
Invented by Larry Mauro, one of the founding fathers of the ultralight
aircraft sport. Larry invented this for parents to be able to lock their
kids out from watching TV while the parents were away. It could also be
used in shops and factories to keep some pieces of dangerous equipment from
being plugged in by unauthorized users.
|The Power Safe device for
preventing the use of
electrical products invented
by Larry Mauro, one of the
pioneers in Ultralight
Invented by a Hungarian immigrant and passed along to his son, this
amazing product was the first formulation which allowed artists who used
oil paints to be able to clean their brushes with soap and water instead of
mineral spirits. The patent expired and now many oil based paints are
using this formulation to allow water wash up.
|Tube of H2Oil|
Note: Since they attended one of our seminars, the Riordan Company helped
this husband and wife, whom we'll just call Greg and Kim, to evaluate and bring
to market three innovative products over a several year period. They are
one of the most prolific husband and wife inventing teams around and are a true
pleasure to work with. Here are just three of their products:
Bag it strap
This clever product allows shoppers to hook multiple plastic shopping
bags onto the Bag-it and then use the Bag-it's shoulder strap to carry the
load. Available as a promotional item for cruise lines, shopping malls
and theme parks as well. Makes an excellent gift for those, "Don't
bother me, I'm shopping," kind of gals and guys.
Their next invention after the Bag-it, the Tube Pal attaches those
pesky spray tubes (which always grow legs) to the sides of aerosol cans so
you can always find them, easily use them and then quickly store them.
The Cell Grip is their third invention and is a remarkably simple
and easy to use holder for cell phones which can be permanently or non
permanently attached to vehicles, boats, aircraft and, well, almost anything. Simply twist the cell phone in or twist it out in one quick motion!
|Bag It allows you to carry
plastic shopping bags
with a shoulder strap.
|Tube Pals fit both small
and large aerosol cans
|The Cell Grip, a simple yet
ingenious "turn-in turn-out"
holder for cell phones
Its-A-Chair Portable/Disposable Lawn Chair
"The Sturdy Chair that goes anywhere" is a lightweight but strong
cardboard back support that can be used at picnics & sporting events. Anywhere you will be sitting without back support is the place
for an Its-A-Chair.
|Portable, disposable backrest
and lawn chair
Box Flap Holder
Such a great design. Anyone who has ever tried to work
around and pack boxes knows that the flaps can be a real pain to deal
with. This clever flap holder slips over one corner of the box
(two are used per box) and holds all four flaps down against the sides
of the box for easy access. A real boon for shipping companies
like UPS and moving companies like Mayflower.
|Box holder device holds
box flaps down
Champagne Cork with Safety Tether
You are ready for the great wedding celebration. You reach
down to pop the cork from the champagne bottle as everyone in the room
gazes intently at you. The cork flies out and hits you right in the
eye. Dazed, you drop the champagne bottle right into the wedding
cake. Aaaarggghhh. You should have had a cork tether! This
unique design allows the cork to "pop" but keeps it from flying off the
bottle. Product samples have been presented to wineries for testing.
|Champagne bottle cork
with safety feature
Can't discuss project. . . but, here is . . .
What our client said:
Thanks for the referral to Overnight Engineering and Jim and Lynn Riordan
in San Jose. Their enthusiasm and expertise is quite valuable to me as a
micro-entreprenuer. They are helping me along with my credo for the 80s:
SIMPLIFY *** SUMMARIZE ***AND PRODUCE.
"This time the emphasis was on SIMPLIFY. Thanks again for the referral. I'll report my progress to you in about a month.
Peter D. Lantz
Spring House Designs International
Web Swimming Glove
|The Web Swimming Glove |
The "Web" glove was invented by a male flight attendant for "power
swimming" and paddling out on surfboards. We negotiated a sale of the
glove to the Morey Boogie Board division of Kransco Corp. Kransco is
also the parent company to Wham-O, and Powerwheels. The glove achieved
fame in surfing contests where it was used as a steering tool, a type of
"hand rudder" if you will, allowing surfers to have much improved control of
their board on the face of a wave.
|The web swimming glove
in action 1986
Sir Pegasus Horse Shoe
|Sir Pegasus therapeutic
These unique horseshoes were invented by David P. McKibben, a champion
rodeo roper and farrier (horseshoer) with a true love of horses and a sincere
interest in their health and welfare. Sadly, David passed away, but his
therapeutic urethane plastic horseshoes live on in his daughter's hands and
still help speed recovery of horses suffering from navicular disease and other
serious hoof diseases and injuries. David was not a veterinarian but he
knew more about horse's hoofs than most vets did. The Riordan Company
helped David with the product development and plastic injection mold design.
When the design was finished we arranged with an injection molder to build
the molds at no up front cost to Dave. When the shoes were ready
for market, we designed and published a booklet entitled, "How to tell whether
your horse is receiving proper foot care" as a point-of-purchase sales tool
for the shoes.
|Horse hoofcare booklet
by Jim Riordan
We arranged the introduction of the product to D. Wayne Lucas, one of
the most famous horse race trainers of all time, who immediately saw the
potential benefits of the shoes.
We worked with Ralston Purina Corporation, one of the world's largest
suppliers of animal feed and care products. A 1/4 of 1% royalty on
worldwide sales was negotiated which was expected to net the inventor
$4,000,000 in the first year alone.
The Sir Pegasus shoes have been used and tested in marathon cross country
horse races that are especially hard on horses and horseshoes. Farriers,
vets and horse owners all around the world have used this shoe and swear by it.
The patented shoe consists of an "outer" hard clear urethane plastic and an
"inner" soft urethane (the blue part of the accompanying photo) which is easy on
the hoof and promotes faster healing.
What our client said:
"Thanks Jim for caring enough about my project to really understand how
important it is for horses. That means everything to me."
Sir Equitarian, Inc.
Note: Mike Aguilera is one of those refreshing inventors with a great
sense of humor. After attending one of our seminars, Mike tackled his
first product, the "Getaway Instant Vacation Kit." He followed his
first product with a second hilarious product, the "Create-a-Message" answering
machine tape. We helped Mike with every step of taking his products from
concept to profit.
|Mike Aguilera with the
Getaways instant vacation
kit and the
answering machine tape
Getaway Instant Vacation Kit
Billed as, "the next best thing to being there," this is the
perfect gift for those folks who are just too busy to get away.
The kits had various themes from a beach vacation to a mountain
getaway. Each kit contained a themed audio tape and a miniature
"diorama". For example, the beach getaway kit had a fold up "beach
scape" with a miniature beach umbrella, a packet of sand to sprinkle on
the "beach" and an audio tape of waves crashing on the beach. The
idea was to listen to the audio tape and stare at the diorama until you
"hypnotized" yourself into thinking you were on that beach. Ahhhh
the relaxation . . .
|Getaway Instant Vacation Kit|
Create a message Answering machine tape recordings
This is one of the funniest products I have seen (or heard). It still makes me laugh every time I think about it. Mike
thought up a bunch of really funny scenarios and then recorded a whole
repertoire of them in a professional sound studio onto a master cassette
tape. He then duplicated the tapes, packaged them and sold them in
gift stores. The end user would place the tape in a portable recorder
like a Sony Walkman and then play it as a background while they recorded
their message onto their home answering machine. As an example, one
message has in the background really loud pounding on the door type sounds
with a voice in the background shouting, "This is the police, open up and
come out with your hands up!," while the recording voice is saying, " . . .
Uh, I can't come to the phone right now, someone
is at my door . . but . uh . . (pound,
pound pound) . . . leave a message and I'll get right
back to you. Gotta go now." (pound, pound, pound, "open up ." )
Mike also had serious ones with office machines and
computer sounds for people who wanted to sound like they had a big office
but didn't. Very, very funny.
|Create a Message tape
for answering machines
This is a classic. The inventor was at a major league baseball
game and he had a home run ball come right to him. He reached up to
snag it and the ball hit his hand so hard that he dropped it and someone
else caught it. He went home thinking, "darn, if I only had a mitt
that was not a hassle to carry and was easy to get to." He conceived
the "catchers hat" which was a standard baseball cap with a padded "glove"
stitched inside it. We located a supplier in Taiwan, had samples made
and helped the inventor negotiate with the Oakland "As" to do test marketing
and eventually to distribute the hats through vendors in Major League Baseball
stadiums. Just as the product was ready for market, a new patent issued
by someone who had filed for it two years earlier than our client. My
client was heartbroken. Instead of giving up, we located the inventor,
negotiated an exclusive marketing agreement and nailed down a licensing
agreement in which my client would pay twenty-five cents per hat to the patent
holder. Win, win, win!
|The Catchers Hat |
Home inventory made easy with this miniature white board that has
item name, description, purchase price, present value and notes headings
printed on it so you simply fill in the blanks with your erasable pen, take
a photo and move on to the next item.
|Fotoventory for taking
These urethane based pads are used under any soldering iron stand,
solder spool holder or other device that you want to remain stationary on
|Quikstik pads can be used|
stations or other tools
to prevent slippage
The Pin and Spin
This creative sewing product was conceived and developed by a seamstress
to allow her to easily pin a hem on a customer's dress without getting up and
down. We helped Jane perfect the product design.
What our client said:
"Dear Tim, I did meet with Jim Riordan and he came up with a design that
is just perfect. Many thanks for putting me in touch with Jim. In
no time at all, he solved the problems that had held me up for over a year!
No need to tell you how pleased I was! The materials he used were
so simple and inexpensive yet they did the job perfectly. I'm so pleased
to have found The Alliance and Jim Riordan."
Leg Lock safety device for firefighters
|Leg Lock safety device allows
firefighters to firmly attach
themselves to a ladder when
doing roof cut-ins
Invented by Jon Riley, a firefighter, who saw a need for a lifesaving
device that allows firefighters to firmly attach themselves to ladders while
using chainsaws and other heavy implements for roof "ventilation" operations. The Leg Lock Safety Device helps save firefighters from falling through
the roof into a burning building below. We helped Jon with the Leg Lock
from concept to market.
|Leg Lock Safety Device In Use|
SmartMark Book mark
Jerry Bloch had a quest to help Americans become literate. When
he thought of the Smartmark, he immediately saw a way to help. He
decided to market his product through book stores and then donate a portion
of the sale price to literacy programs throughout the U.S. We helped
Jerry refine the prototype, get the dies made, prepare a marketing plan and
develop the displays.
|SmartMark book mark by Jerry Bloch.
Flips from page to page automatically
Portable clothes hook
Clever credit card sized hook fits in your wallet and is much
appreciated in those restrooms where the stalls have no hooks and your
only choice is to drape your suitcoat over the door risking a plunge to the
floor below that is handily covered with . . . well,
let's not go there but I'm sure you see the value of the product. We
worked with the inventor to perfect the design and prepare it for market as
an advertising specialty. Very simple, very inexpensive, very much
appreciated when you really need it!
|Portable clothes hook
keeps clothes and bags
off the floor in restrooms
Note: Tony Jenkinson came to the Riordan Company after hearing Jim Riordan
speak on KGO radio in San Francisco. Tony and his wife Beth, both
extremely creative individuals, had two unique ideas both of which we helped
guide to market.
Scoops like a spoon, spreads like a knife, it's the Spife. Once
you have scooped and spread peanut butter, jelly, mayo or soft butter with a
Spife, it will become one of the fundamental items in your silverware drawer. Invented by Tony Jenkinson, a print shop owner, Spife makes sandwich
preparation a snap. You can scoop and spread large amounts in one pass. The first prototype of the Spife was a flattened spoon which Tony had
hammered out and tested. We helped him line up suppliers, choose material,
purchase the stamping dies and then package the product. We then helped
him with his PR and marketing strategies. The accompanying photo shows the
Spife in its package and featured on the cover of the Chefs catalog.
|Spife (combination spoon & knife )
sell-sheet and Spife
on cover of Chef's Catalog
Invented by Tony Jenkinson, the Visidoodle consists of two rectangular sheets,
one made of opaque white card stock, the other made of clear Mylar®, both
sheets having the same design and images printed on them. The two sheets
are then riveted together at exact center. As the upper Mylar part is rotated,
it creates a "Moire" effect which is a constantly changing almost kaleidoscopic
appearing effect. Very popular with kids, these clever Visidoodles are sold
in prestigious museum gift shops both nationally and internationally, such as the
Exploratorium in San Francisco. Please note that in the accompanying photo,
the bottom left Visidoodle is turned slightly and the "Moire" effect is beginning
to become evident, while the top right Visidoodle is still aligned with no Moire
Jim Balenesi, "Dr. Gum," loves gum . . . . but only when it is in his mouth,
not on the bottom of his shoes. In a restaurant, Jim noticed how difficult
it was for a carpet cleaner to remove a stubborn piece of gum from a carpet. After some research, Jim found out that removing gum from carpet in airports,
government buildings, museums, rent a cars, etc. was a major maintenance cost. Removing gum from beneath tables and from public transportation such as
busses and airliners was also very costly. With Jim's Gum Pals disposal
tissues, gum does not stick to anything except the tissue. Jim's studies
showed that public places that dispensed free gum tissues suffered far less costs
in gum removal. Jim is shown here with his whole line of tissues and dispensers.
|Jim Balenesi With Gum
Pals Product Line
What our client said:
"I began reading and doing the exercises on Saturday night (the 9th). I'm so impressed (as well as depressed from time to time) as I work through
it. I told you after your presentation before the ITM group, here in Santa
Rosa, how impressed I was with the knowledge (information) and experiences you
shared. Your book goes beyond that to the point that it is almost
"incredible" the insight you have gained over the years about the inventive process."
George Coakley, the marketing genius behind the Pet Rock, and Riordanco helped
this inventor get his "million dollar organizer" to market. This product gave
the serious lotto player the perfect place to store all lotto related items in one
handy location. The product was positioned to be an impulse item at point of
purchase wherever lotto tickets were sold.
By George Coakley
The Shave Easy
Ed Souza, an electrician by trade, invented this useful device. Shave
Easy is a plastic injection molded housing and brush assembly which snaps onto a
standard can of shaving cream or shaving gel. The soft bristle is kind to
sensitive skin. And, because there is no shaving cream wasted on your hands,
it saves money too! Riordanco helped direct Ed from concept to market. Ed
really loved his occupation but wanted a side business he could handle. We
helped him find an injection molder, brush bristle manufacturer and packaging company
so that he simply packaged them and shipped them. We arranged for the first
test marketing in local drug and sundry stores.
A certified smog technician invented this device to enable him to more easily
and thoroughly perform the new smog checks required by California law.
|Smog Mate Device
Used In Smog Check Testing
|Hatchback car stock from factory|
Replacing the rear hatchback of your car with a Sportback gives you a window which
can be raised or lowered and provides a more sporty "Corvette-like" look.
Riordanco developed the name and marketing strategy for this unique
|Hatchback after replacement
with new Sport Back
The Desk Flyer
The desk flyer, a creative executive pen or pencil holder, was invented by a
pilot from San Diego, CA. The pen or pencil doubles as a control "stick" to
make the plane pitch up and down and roll right or left. Riordanco helped
him get the product placed in the Sporty's Pilot Shop catalog.
|Desk Flyer Pen Holder|
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