Submit An Idea
Lean product development process at FastCap
Brian Roesch, a shop teacher at Quinter High School, discusses his FastCap journey.
Michael Schuler Testimonial
FastCap gets the majority of our ideas from cabinetmakers and contractors, hence the dbc (developed by cabinetmaker/contractor).
While everybody has good ideas, we have found that about 1 out of every 100 are good enough to take to market and address a strong felt need in the marketplace. 1 out of every 1000 is a homerun. We love homeruns! To put it in perspective, Paul Akers, the owner of FastCap, has been a professional contractor, cabinetmaker and woodworker for 20 years and has come up with a new idea almost every day on how to improve the process. It was after 20 years that he came up with his first marketable idea: The Fastcap.
One of the most common questions Paul is asked is if FastCap will sign a non-disclosure. It would be impossible for FastCap to sign non-disclosures for every idea submitted, since we get literally thousands of them per year. FastCap has an amazing track record of doing right by woodworkers and honoring their creativity. We do not steal people's ideas; rather, we honor your creativity when a good product idea is submitted. If you are unsure about the integrity of FastCap, we recommend that you call any one of our distributors throughout the world and ask if FastCap has always been a fair and honest business partner with them or with their customers. If the answer is anything less than a resounding "yes"- don't trust us!
- FastCap pays 2% to 5% royalty on innovative, new ideas for the woodworking trades. While the majority of the royalties are 5%, some products require intensive development and sell for smaller margins and dictate a smaller royalty. The average product costs between $50,000 and $100,000 to bring to market. This royalty is extremely generous in light of the fact that FastCap takes 100% of all the risk and all the development costs. If you do not believe this is fair, we strongly encourage you to take your idea to someone else. While this may seem a bit harsh, we are only interested in doing business with people who are grateful and realize the unique opportunity Fastcap is providing. We trust that you understand the unusual opportunity FastCap is trying to provide.
- The 2% to 5% is based on the actual sell price that FastCap sells the product for to a distributor. The distributor would then put their markup on the product and sell the product to a professional woodworker or tradesperson. The royalty is based on what FastCap sells the product for, not what the distributor sells the product for.
- Royalties are paid monthly.
- We do not pay up front advances for ideas
- You do not need to have a patent to submit your idea (see my video at the bottom of this page).
- FastCap will patent the idea in both your name and FastCap's name, if we feel patent protection will benefit the development of the product. Average cost for a patent is between 20 to 30 thousand. The average cost to defend a patent is 300 thousand. As you can see, affording the patent is costly, defending the patent is arresting.
- FastCap's business model is based on the concept of Kaizen, which means to continuously improve. All of FastCap's products are continuously improving as the result of our customer's suggestions and our internal design team. We do not pay a royalty on improvements of existing ideas. We pay the royalty based on unique, new, innovative concepts that save professional woodworkers time and money.
- We get approximately 10 phone calls per day from people with new, innovative ideas, along with hundreds of e-mails. We are very interested in each and every one of your ideas, however, as you can imagine, our time is limited. We request that you be pithy and thoughtful when you convey your concept to us. We want to be able to give everyone a crack at the next great product. We do not want to create an environment that is cold and impersonal because we can't deal with the onslaught of creativity - do your best to be pithy.
You can call Paul directly at 360-941-3748. The best way to make initial contact with Paul though is to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a 10-30 second video showing your idea or product improvement. And then follow up with a call to remind us to look for your new idea. We get ten or more ideas each day and would love to talk to you, however, we are very busy and you must be persistent.
Instructions for submitting your ideas:
- Take a standard digital camera and put it on video mode. Do not use a video camera, it is not necessary. Give it to your wife, girlfriend, child or dog, and have them hold the camera still while you explain and show me your idea in 15 to 30 seconds. We want to see you as well as the new ideas, no neck shots. We want to know who we are doing business with. FastCap is in the people business. If you make the video longer then 30 seconds, you will have a difficult time e-mailing it. Posting it on YouTube is a good option. Just provide the link in your e-mail.
- Send it to email@example.com with the video attached. In the subject line put: new idea.
- Call Paul at 360-941-3748 to alert him that you have sent a video to review.
- If you would like to call us before sending the video, that is fine, but remember, it may take us a day or two to return the call.
"Good luck and remember - I do this because when I hear the great ideas that people have I transport myself back in time to my shop. I realize how amazing it would have been if someone would have recognized my creativity when I was soloing in my shop. I believe that uncovering people's creativity and potential is my life's work. I hope we can help..."
- Paul Akers, founder of FastCap