The Next Step

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It’s always tough – but, good – to be first out of the gate (I imagine that’s a horse-racing term) … and, Ryan’s certainly taken the leap.

Love the image, Ryan!

One of the things that we’ll be exploring with Ryan as we go along is how best to commercialize his ‘new product’ idea: Ryan will (hopefully) learn a lot from us and we – in turn – will have the opportunity to learn about taking a new idea from start finish …


The 7 MIT’s are finally wrapping up money making 101 (mm101) and moving on to the next step!

MM101 is mostly about getting out of debt and saving what you can, which is probably the most discussed, and published about step in the world of finance. But, hardly anyone talks about what to do once you’re out of debt and already saving. Even fewer still talk about the fact that being debt free and a having a savings account (or even stocks) does not mean you will be able to retire even at 65. The 7m7y community is dedicated to not just getting out of debt a la Dave Ramsey, or saving cash and mutual funds with Suze Orman, but to understanding what it takes to get rich(er) quick(er) in the real world and retire the way you want, when you want.

While I thought I was ready for the next step before I started this experiment, there are a few things I’ve learned so far that will likely prove to be invaluable.

First, I’ve set plenty of goals in the past, but the financial goals I’ve set have never been as specific as the ones I have now. Finding my “number” ($16 million in 8 years) was the single most important thing I’ve done so far. It’s not just about picking a number that you think will make you happy and a date to accomplish it by, it’s about picturing your retired life and everything you want it to be and KNOWING how much your dream will cost by the time you get there. It’s about finding your passion/purpose in life (mine is to build relationships that build dreams) and using it as a motivator and accelerator to your goal. It’s about knowing precisely what it’s going to take (like a compound growth rate of 82%!), and what types of investments can give you your needed growth rate (I’ve chosen starting a business with some intellectual property in the medical device arena) to get from where you are now (my net worth is $131,000 and you can see the details here) to where you NEED TO BE by your set date.

Second, based on my number and my date, I’ve learned that a 401K is not that important for me. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a safety net to support my family in a dooms day scenario. But why invest my money in a vehicle that will only get me to a fraction of the number I need to retire and won’t even do that until well after I want to retire?

So now I feel like I have a solid foundation in mm101 and can’t wait for mm201 to get started.
I will be looking forward to working with the 7m7y community to help me get to my number and helping all of you get to yours.
I’ve already taken some of my ideas to a few engineers and surgeons to get feedback and will be going back to the drawing board to make adjustments. I’ll keep you posted on any news!

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Reader Comments

You’re well on your way Ryan, good work so far!

@ Ryan – Have you taken out a patent on your idea? Did you do this BEFORE seeing the engineers and surgeons (if not, the idea may already be deemed to be in the public domain, possibly even if they have signed non-disclosure agreements)?

What feedback did you get from the surgeons and engineers? Specific and relatively minor changes (which can show you are onto a ‘good thing’) or generalizations and major changes (particularly if you received a lot of conflicting advice) which may mean that you possibly off the mark?

Finally, what’s your next step and how much will it cost and where will you get the funds from?

I like where this is going Ryan, keep up the good work.

@ Scott – Thanks!

@ Adrian – I have not taken out any patents, and was not aware of the possibility of it being public domain once discussed. I have had the people I discuss my idea with sign NDAs and thought I would be covered with that (guess not!).

The feedback I got was both good and bad. They all liked the idea and felt there would be little to change (though there would no doubt be a fair amount of engineering to be worked out to get from its current drawing stage to a working prototype).

The bad news is that a couple people felt the application might be too limited and might also become a problem because of the way surgeon’s would be reimbursed for my procedure vs. what they are currently doing (read: They would make less $ by doing mine).

The next step for me is to do some more research and determine just how big the potential market is for my device and precisely how much different the surgeon’s reimbursement would be.

@ Ryan – excellent next step/s!

I would definitely look at taking a provisional patent out (that just starts the process and should not cost too much other than drawings/description etc.) … however, if that proves too costly, then you at least need to put the idea back into ‘stealth mode’ until you have assessed if there really IS a market for this product. If not, do you have a fallback plan for reaching your Number?

I wasn’t aware that you could deem an idea to the public domain. That’s an interesting concept. Ryan, you’ve received some great advice from your fellow mates. I look forward to watching the progress.

@ MoneyFunk – All ideas belong to the public domain! It is my understanding, once an ‘idea’ is in the public domain it can’t be ‘protected’ any more …. hence Coca Cola’s Big Trade Secret approach: a patent actually PUBLISHES your idea, but gives you a form of exclusivity over it for a period of time.

Great work Ryan! We will be cheering you on. I agree with Adrian that you will want to establish the patent early. It does take a long time before it is granted by the US Patent Office. My colleagues and I still waiting for patents filed in 2006 to be granted. It will be owned by the company but the experience did gave me an idea of the process.

@Josh & Mark – Thank You for your encouragement and advice.

@ AJC – my backup plan will be to come up w/ another big idea as I will have successfully found 1 more way that WON’T get me to my financial goal.

@ Ryan – LOL. Love the attitude … let’s work on beating Edison by 1,000 attempts with THIS idea first 🙂

Check out how much it will cost to start the patent process going and what protection that will give you (as well as, of course, working on the other feedback that you received).