Not long ago, I spoke to a skateboard component inventor, who'd read my book about Skateboards and Hover Boards of the Future and all the potential technology we might see in that space in the next few decades. But even with each new incremental technology taking the current skateboard to the level of hoverboards as in the Back to the Future style boards, one has to ask is there even a market large enough to develop the technology, fund the R and D, and still retain a reasonable profit for all that trouble?
Indeed, I believe there is. Yes, I agree there is a huge market, and why should the military have all the fun when it comes to advanced technologies? We need to get some transfer technology going here, besides who says recreation can not be rocket science too? And these technologies have so many other great applications as well right?
In fact, one of the technologies listed in my book was LED lighting effects, which is now being done now by a gentleman in San Diego, who received a couple of patents for the technology of lighting in that fashion. Just one more step towards reality.
The market for skating is huge, and I am currently working on another eBook; The Future of Sports Technologies where I will go into all the commercial aspects of these things. I also expect the resurgence soon of skateboarding in the US, as it looks to have a 10-cycle here. Middle East too, in Dubai they are skating now for instance, and the Japanese will be all in new high-tech skate parks as well.
Indeed, I have lots of reservations about the lengthy and problematic patent process in the US, also the use of the USPTO for those creating knock-off products without paying royalties, China is a big culprit, but strictly the only one. I've been blown away all the Identity Theft, but sometimes you just have to go for it – for instance this new X-Prize with the 100 mpg cars going on right now.
What about selling a few million units into the market is it possible, it seems many distributors in that sector have a lock down on it. Yes, I have a number of suggestions, and I'd say bi-passing the current skate-manufacturing industry subsector would be wise. As far as manufacturing is concerned first you need some technical drawings, and of course, I've probably have to look over the secret design to judge liability.
Okay so, what do I mean by "skate market" potential? Well you see if someone were to add a revolutionary new technology into this space, I believe the market would drastically increase the current skate market by double or triple. I believe the skate market in the US to be around 25-million, not the 12.7 the Internet suggests. Also, that potential could be double if you were to introduce such a new technology, and do not forget "in-line" roller skates too.
A wise inventor of a new type of skateboard would have other high-tech options, as well, he could promote a complete revival, with iPhone App integration too. For instance, number of miles, speed, etc. And skate kids would video tape friends, downloads to VR gaming, or AR games, which are now popular in living rooms across America. The social networking aspect could be incredible, world-wide skating craze, I can see it plain as day.
So, it might be wise to consider that potential rather than playing accountant "MBA student" when doing the figures. As you've got to ready to meet the market once it took off, rocket ships like that are hard to hold onto; and I know what you are thinking in the back of your mind, you see readers of my articles have an average IQ of 125, and so let me stop you right there and answer one of your questions before you ask it; YES there is a "green" aspect to all this, skate to work, less people using petroleum fueled cars – see that point too?
So how should my inventor acquaintance create this startup new high-tech skateboard company? Well, I'd say, be very discreet when prototyping, do not talk to too many people about this. Since the cost is prohibitive for small numbers of units, but not for mass-production, a complete roll-out is necessary and that means a little more initial capital and a little more risk, but the rewards will be a big pay off.
So you might have a little bit tied up in your prototype, more than a teenager could afford, but that is only a temporary problem. Once you prove your concept, you can get all the International Patent work done, possibly start on it all now.
And it makes sense to do a real good patent search straight away, as it is possible you will find other concept patents already existent for this stuff, so there is that issue. Meaning you might need a legal war chest to decimate the patent squatters who never intended to actually build one and would not know how even if they tried. Those are some thoughts. What are your thoughts, upon my thoughts and discussion?
You are free to email me if you have a new innovation, device, idea, or invention to strategize on or something that the world needs and would be willing to pay for, so please consider all this.