How to take a tool idea to market
As contractors, most of us have toyed with the idea of being a tool inventor. Whether it’s a jig that speeds up cutting or a tool invention that aids in productivity, we have all “invented” something that we find useful on the job.
In this first of a series of videos dedicated to Tool Innovators, we celebrate tradespeople who have taken their game to the next level by transforming an idea into a saleable product. While this is the dream of a tool inventor, in practice it is a much more complicated journey than most would expect it to be. In order to actually get an idea to a prototype to a product that someone will actually buy in a store involves multiple steps (and sometimes mis-steps) to bring it to a reality.
Phil Green’s Tool Inventor Story
Phil Green is a Chicago, IL based tile contractor who for over 30 years has served his customers by
staying on the cutting edge of the tile and floor coatings industry. In that time Phil has come up with several ideas that he has turned into tools that he uses to boost productivity and increase the professionalism of his work. Phil didn’t start off as a tool inventor. But over the years, as he saw how useful some of the tools he invented to help him in his daily tile work, came to realize that others in his industry might also benefit from using his inventions.
Phil started out with a simple design. Nothing complicated but served a useful purpose and solved a problem. In the case of his Back Butter Buddy product, it was to aid in back buttering large tile pieces which can be unwieldy when trying to back butter. His Edge Strip Kit product, which creates a barrier for self-leveling floor coatings, was born out of the necessity for installers to create a clean edge when pouring liquid coatings. Both products started out as simple ideas that solved perennial issues that tile installers face every day on the job.
In this 3 part interview, we discuss where the inspiration comes from to be a tool inventor, as well as how that gets translated into bringing a new tool idea to market. Phil goes in-dpeth on what the steps are when you want to take an idea from concept to completion and what some of the challenges are when it comes to getting the tool produced and then marketed to a target audience.
If you have ever had an idea of your own that you think others in your trade could find useful (and in the process making you money) then you will want to watch Phil’s Innovator Series interviews and see if being a tool inventor is in your DNA.
Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 1
Phil Green discusses how he was inspired to become a tool inventor and how other contractors can get into the game.
Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 2
Phil Green delves into how to take a concept from idea to marketable product.
Tool Inventor Interview Video Part 3
Have an interesting Innovator story? If so we want to hear from you. Send us a note and let us know why we should feature your story in the Bosch Innovator Series.