FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

DrugTest 5000 - Draeger Safety Diagnostics Inc
In the past, roadside drug screening has been difficult because it involved the...

Exclusive Webinar!

Originally aired: June 17, 2014  ‚óŹ 2PM EST

View Webinar Archive Here

Integrated Law Enforcement Complements and Completes Law Enforcement Capabilities

Discover how the combination of intelligence analysis, lead generation, agency collaboration, and communications integration can help you uncover issues faster and take action sooner. Learn how innovative IBM law enforcement solutions can extend the capabilities within your organization to deal with new and emerging threats, improve officer safety, reduce criminal activity, and protect the public. 

Join IBM industry expert Stephen Dalzell and members from the MDPD, IT and homeland security departments of the Miami Dade police department to hear more!

Click here to view archive

 

Web Only : Extra

Building a Better Mousetrap: Advice from the Experts

July 01, 2004  |  by - Also by this author

Last night, last week, last month, or maybe last year, you had the "Eureka moment." You saw something on patrol and you thought to yourself, "There's got to be a better way." So now you want to join the ranks of police officers who have invented police products. That's great, but before you leap, consider the cumulative wisdom of police inventors.

• When you're first researching your idea, keep quiet. If all you have is an idea, no prototype, no patents, then keep it to yourself. Otherwise, somebody may steal your thunder.

• Don't sign up with an invention corporation. This is not a shortcut to bringing a product to market. You can learn about patents and the other aspects of inventing by reading and research. All these guys will do is take your money for doing things that you can do for yourself. Think of them as vanity presses for inventors.

• Do your homework. Before you spend a lot of time and money bringing a product to market, do what the big boys do: Make sure that you have a market. This means you will have to be honest with yourself and expose your brainchild, warts and all, to the harsh world. Talk to officers who you don't know from Adam and make sure they want your product enough to pay for it and that what they are willing to pay for it is enough for you to make a profit. Note: This exercise is likely to kill your product, but it's better to murder your dream than let it slaughter your financial security. And remember, there are actually few products that cops and law enforcement agencies are willing to buy.

• Know the difference between constructive comments and naysayers. Somebody who points out the potential pitfalls is helping you navigate the hazards. Somebody who constantly says it can't be done is just holding you back. • You will need help. You are a cop. You may need to enlist engineers, marketing experts, financial advisors, etc., to bring your idea to market. Look for people that you trust who can help you.

• Prepare to sacrifice. Bringing your product to market will cost much more than you think, and it will pay much less than you dream it will. It won't make you rich, and it could very well make you poor.

• Investors will want a cut. Before you take somebody else's financing be sure that you are willing to play by their rules. If not, walk away and find other financing.

• Expect to work really hard. Being a cop is a tough and physically dangerous job. Starting your own company is a tough and financially dangerous job. When your money is on the line, you will find yourself working harder and for longer hours than you ever dreamed you could.

• Even minimally successful products will be copied. Protect yourself the best you can with patents, but know that you will be copied regardless of your legal rights. Bigger companies have more lawyers and money than you. Smaller companies and foreign knockoff artists have nothing to lose.

• All creative and business endeavors are endurance tests. Expect to have really good days that make you feel like the next Thomas Edison and really bad days that make you feel like Rube Goldberg.

• If you believe in your idea, then go for it. But don't waste your time or money if you don't have faith in it. Doubts are natural, but commitment is key to success.


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine