Inventing & Product Development

October 31st, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments




Copyright,© 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 by James F. Riordan.   All rights reserved.  No portion of this may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic or mechanical, recording, photo copying, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from James F. Riordan, except by professional reviewers who may use brief quotations or passages, for the purpose of review only.


  • “Anybody can get the right answers, what Riordan supplies in his System are the right questions” INC. Magazine
  • “Only a few pages into the System, I found information that would have saved us thousands of dollars on our last project.  We will use your system religiously from now on”.  Helmut Gerike, Pacific Investment Finance & Banking Corporation
  • “This evaluation system has already helped us to avoid several investments which appeared, on the surface, to be worthwhile, but, after analysis, were shown to be inappropriate for our investors.  We consider it to be a most valuable source of information” Bruce Blechman, President, The Capital Institute.
  • “Absolutely the finest due-diligence research tool available.  Every product development manager needs this system.”  Gerald Udell, PHD, Director of the Center For Business Research and Development, Southwest Missouri State University.
  • “The System is the most valuable investment a company could make in new product development tools” Mr. Tim Leary, Vice President  APPS Corporation
  • “This system definitely can teach an old dog new tricks.  I certainly learned my share from it”. Mr. Robert Dendall, President, Dendall and Associates
  • “The finest resource available to new product developers” Ed Souza, President, Shave Easy Company.
  • “This is the best System on product evaluation I have seen in my 30 years of product marketing”  D. Rossborough  The International Invention Register



I have not attempted to cite all of the authorities and sources I consulted in the development of this evaluation system, because there are simply too many to name. The list includes many of my valued clients, marketing companies, inventor organizations and venture investment groups. Add to that several large Patent firms.

Many of my close friends and Associates contributed immensely to the quality and content of this system.  They remain my friends even after years of my pestering them for opinions and for that I am deeply grateful.  They are: Norm Parrish, former president of the National Congress of Inventor Organizations: Tim Leary, entrepreneur; John Crump, news reporter and producer; Dale Dorjath and Bob Burris, my accountants; Barry Rhein, sales trainer and entrepreneur; George Coakley, Marketing professor and the marketing whiz behind the “Pet Rock”; Dave Becker my personal (and Patent) attorney, Tom Lampe, patent attorney; Irv Perch, inventor and entrepreneur; Gerald Udell, director of the Center for Business Research and Development; Dr. Marty Bernard, innovation expert for the Argonne National Laboratory; Stan Mason, product developer, aka the “Wizard of Weston”; Mark Serlin, and David Becker my corporate attorneys. Most heartily of all, I thank my wife and best friend Lynn Riordan, my dad, Howard Riordan, and my mom, Mary Riordan who all helped with editing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting and . . . .


This System is intended to provide information and education on the subject of evaluating new products. It is offered at no charge for your use on this site, with the understanding that the author is not a lawyer, nor is he engaged in rendering legal advice, or legal assistance of any kind.  The author has made every effort to make this System as accurate and complete as possible, however, the constantly changing nature of business and government regulations makes it impossible for the reader to be able to have unqualified reliance on the material found herein.  The System may contain errors and omissions and nothing herein is to be construed as a substitute for professional advice from your lawyer, accountant or other professional advisors.


The perfect product is one which can be made at home for a penny, sold locally and overseas for a dime, weighs less than a Kleenex, can be packaged in bulk, is biodegradable, non-fattening, non-re-useable, beneficial yet habit forming and can be completely explained to an illiterate in less than three sentences.

All other products must be evaluated thoroughly before spending a penny on them.  This evaluation system contained within will help you to become a proficient evaluator of new products and technologies.  All new products and technologies should be evaluated for both technical viability and marketing viability before you risk money on them.

I purposely use the word viability instead of feasibility because feasible simply means “it can be done” whereas viable means “it can be done and is worth doing.

No matter what type of product you are evaluating, the bottom line is that the product had better make you more money than you would make by putting your money in a certificate of deposit.  Only after you have evaluated the unavoidable risks, assessed the required investment, and calculated the potential return will you know whether an idea, product or technology is viable and worth pursuing. This system will help you do that.

After you have completed a few product evaluations using the system found in this site, you will become more adept at immediately spotting the strengths and weaknesses of a new product or investment.

You will then be able to judge for yourself whether you should invest in the product as it is, whether you should modify it to improve it’s chances of success, or whether you should drop it like a stone.

My system is in use by many large corporations, investors and successful inventors or “Inventrepreneurs”, a term I coined in the ‘70s to describe Inventors who have successfully marketed their products or sold their inventions and became entrepreneurs as well as inventors.


Whether you are a partner in a venture capital group or belong to a group of friends pooling resources to make small investments, you should form an “advisory committee” to review all business plans or new product funding proposals submitted to your group, to determine the potential for success of the product(s) or technology upon which the business will be based.

One of my venture clients commented to me that “we require our prospective borrowers to use your system to evaluate their own ideas before we spend any of our time, energy, or money on reviewing the project.  The borrowers either come back to the table well prepared, which saves us time or they don’t come back at all which saves us money in the long run because the ones who don’t come back would have been under-qualified, mis-directed, unwilling to work hard enough to be good prospects for funding, or, in possession of a product or technology which was not worth pursuing.”

Investors will quickly appreciate how this system will help them evaluate borrowers and save time.  Even without having technical or marketing skills, you will be able to ask the kinds of questions which will help you determine the technical and marketing skills of the borrower.  You need only hear “I don’t have the answer to that” a couple of times, and you will be alerted to an inventor/borrower who has not done his homework or who would likely be an under qualified manager and therefore a poor risk.  Several of my investor clients make prospective borrowers use this system to evaluate and score their own projects before the investor will spend the time to review the borrowers business plan.

Used properly, this evaluation system becomes a powerful tool for finding the weaknesses and strengths of a given product or technology.  It helps my clients to reduce the time they spend evaluating new products, spend more time developing products which they will ultimately bring to market, and accomplish all of the above with much more efficient interaction and cooperation between R&D, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and technical support groups.

The realistic way to become a leader in innovation and productivity is to spend more time developing winning products and less time working on losers.  It would be nice to spend all of your time developing successful viable products but that will only happen in a perfect world (which will never happen with imperfect humans in it!).  A more realistic goal would be to try to spend 90% of your time concentrating on viable products.  This way only 10% of your time will be spent reviewing or pursuing losers.  Incredibly, currently, it is the other way around.  As a whole, American product developers spend 90% of their time reviewing product concepts which are ultimately rejected, and 10% of their time on products which eventually prove to be viable. The new product development manager of one of the largest and most well-known corporations in the U.S. recently told me that they, “review over 2,000 new product ideas per year, from both inside the company and from outside sources, and they rarely use more than two of them”.

The first step toward reaching your goal of spending more time on winners and less time on losers is to set up a mass production system for concept evaluation.  Many companies today have an automated assembly line for manufacturing products, but their research and development methods are still antiquated, causing innovation strangulation, and causing the new product development department to become the center of the hourglass, restricting the flow of ideas into production, and, subsequently into the marketplace.

Using this system will positively help you to focus on the winners and reduce the time you spend on losers, thereby opening the center of the hourglass and increasing the flow of viable new product ideas.

Whether you are a corporate product development professional, an investor or an individual who invents and develops new products, I guarantee this system will help make your job easier and more fun.  I guarantee this system will help you to spot winners and avoid losers. It has been called the finest evaluation system available anywhere.  Once you use it you will wonder how you got by without it!

Sincerely, Jim Riordan

Throughout this technical and marketing evaluation system BLOG I will include areas for   comments or questions and I will answer or respond to any inquiries I believe will help all participants and which will add constructively to the information I am providing.   Please add any questions you believe are relevant in the “comments sections” found after the Section text and the section’s Questions.  You agree that you are granting us copyright permission to use or post all questions or comments submitted, should they be selected for addition to the system. We will do our best to credit any submissions to the submitter.

Before beginning with this program, you will want to print out the score sheet to assist you in scoring and evaluating your product/s.


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