Excerpts from the book "How Design Changed America" by Henry Keck
In addition to our work with corporations helping to revive or reenergize their products we have always worked with individual inventors. The common thread of these men (strangely enough seldom women) is lack of money.
It is always exhilarating to meet an inventor who has an important idea and refreshing when he has at least some funds to start serious development. This happened to us one day in May of 1999. In walked a middle aged man who in addition to a good background in physics had a mysterious earlier relationship with the US CIA. His project was a new type of resuscitator to restore breathing in an unconscious person.
After making an testing several prototypes and helping our client obtain a strong patent we were in hopes that he could find a manufacturer with strong ties to the military and to hospital and civilian buyers.
Fortune briefly smiled when our client found an Eastern United States company that promised to produce and sell the product and provide him with a $50,000.00 advance and royalties of $1.00 per unit. Success? One year later nothing had happened. After repeated assurances of progress from the contracting company our client finally became disenchanted and invoked the contract termination clause.
This is another story of the difficulties inventors face in getting a return on their genius. It is a sad tale but it is a warning to creative persons that the world may not be waiting with open arms for their insights.