Did you ever come up with a great idea only to shelve it and find out, six-months later, somebody else came out with the same damn thing and made a ton of money?
This is a regular occurrence for me…but yesterday’s discovery really hurt!
I do yoga year-round and I trail-run and mountain-bike in the warmer weather. But I am a total sissy when it comes to cold, so I needed a way to get a cardio-workout inside in the winter. I don’t dig traditional gym-based exercise, but I do enjoy jumping rope (after the first few weeks of panting and wheezing).
Problem is, I live in an apartment and the sound of the rope smacking on my floor at 6am would royally annoy my downstairs neighbor. Plus, at that time of day, I’m still half asleep, which makes coordinating even the basic jumping steps a challenge.
Down but not beaten…
Rather than giving up on the notion of jumping rope, though, I created what I thought was a really cool modified “split” jump-rope, using a $3 jump-rope from Target, two racquet-balls and some box-tape (the balls were there to give it enough mass to replicate the centrifugal force of a full rope…physics dork at heart).
It made no sound and required almost no coordination. It was seriously cool. So cool, I thought it would make a great product for an infomercial.
Here’s a picture of my Easy-Schmeezy Split-Rope invention…
But, around the same time, life began to get insanely-busy, so I shelved the notion of copyrighting my creation or trying to manufacture or license it.
Still, leaving the potential untapped had been nagging at me.
Until, yesterday, at 11:28am, that nagging blossomed into full-blown ACKKKKK! My wife called me and said, “are you in front of a computer?” “Duhhh,” I responded. “Go to jumpsnap.com,” she said. And, so I went…and screamed (trust me, you don’t wanna know what I screamed).
Here’s a picture of what I found…
There was my invention…
Ready-to-go, infomercial in hand and on the market for $50!
This kind of thing happens to me so often, I’ve been threatening to launch a new company that just gives ideas to people with the time to run with them in exchange for a small licensing-fee.
I guess the lesson here is…
If you’ve got something you believe in, either run with it NOW or get over the illusion that you’re the only one on the planet who could possibly do it justice, figure out how to give someone else the opportunity to run with it and then share in the journey.
So, whaddyathink? This ever happen to you? What would you do?
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