Getting ripped off is a major fear most inventors share. Unfortunately, it’s also a fear that causes many inventors to act quickly and unintelligently before fully considering all of their options. I want to share this story, not to instill or heighten this fear, but distinctly because I believe getting “ripped off” happens very infrequently. But I can’t say it hasn’t happened to me – once in 25 years, that is. And this is one story I like to tell.
It began a summer at least 10 years ago. My family and I were living in Oakdale, California at the time, and the summer heat was stifling. It gets HOT in the Central Valley. We had just pulled up to a grocery store, and as I waited for my wife to return, I spied a middle-aged man struggling. He had just bought a cooler and it was clear he planned on going up to the mountains with friends or family. I watched him empty his bag of ice into the cooler before loading in a six-pack of beer and I saw his frustration when he realized both items didn’t fit. There simply wasn’t enough room in the cooler for both the ice and the beer.
I had identified a problem.
And as an inventor, I wanted to devise a solution. After a friend and I brainstormed, we agreed: there had to be a better way. I came up with an idea that would satisfy the beer-ice-cooler problem, and gave it a working title. The Ice’N’Go. I decided to eliminate the concept of the cooler completely. Instead, the Ice’N’Go would be a pack of beer that you could open, pour ice into, and seal shut. The problem was, of course, the issue of the cardboard box and water. How could I prevent the bottom of the box from leaking and becoming soggy when the ice began to melt?
To be continued…
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