We spent the next months preparing to submit our product. The New York City Department of Education had listed several different opportunities to submit for review. We had to meet the dates provided. I felt like I spent hour after hour on the phone with Marlen and other members of the team. We were all working frantically to create a product that didn’t actually exist – we just had to give the impression that it did!
My company, Stephen Key Design, was responsible for creating the look of the beverage, including its name and the design of the two labels. We hired a professional doctor to help create the formula of the beverage – the Department was very clear that the drink needed to be less than 25 calories and taste great. A nutritional expert was contacted to confirm that the drink met the requirements. Other members of the team worked on the pricing of the label and the production of the beverage. I made samples for Marlen to include in the submission. We strove on.
I remember the stress. Everyone had a job to complete on a tight schedule. If one aspect of the project failed or wasn’t completed on time, the entire project would be damned. And through it all, Marlen continued orchestrating the group, attending meeting after meeting to get us all the information we needed. There were so many people doing so many different things, I wondered if something would slip through the cracks or some small oversight would be made.
Who was going to get this contract? It was a significant one – there were over 1400 high schools alone that had vending machines! Were we going to be the next vendor? The excitement was as tangible as the stress. But even in the event that our submission was accepted, we would still have to endure another round of examinations. The process was far from over. But it was exciting and different and I enjoyed the adrenaline rush. Working on a challenging project with strict deadlines can be taxing, but it can also be thrilling! Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself. We accomplished so much in those three months because the pressure was so high.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight,
a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas
and the skills needed to succeed. You can listen to the weekly radio
show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media
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