WWW – World Wide Widgets

WWW – World Wide Widgets

Guest post by: Dr. Alan Glazier- Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care- www.youreyesite.com

Have you had a “million dollar idea” – a novel business, software or new or improved product of some sort? Some of us are still waiting for that “moment of clarity,” that idea for a “widget” that shifts the existing paradigm, solves the world’s ills, makes us rich and immortalizes us as a genius innovator. Others have had many ideas that either fell by the wayside or couldn’t be executed for any number of reasons.

A huge gap exists between innovating and executing the business vehicle that will take your widget worldwide. The first thing you must do is innovate around your idea. Sit down with a piece of paper and conjure up every variation of your “widget” that you can fathom. Think about the “widget” in all shapes, sizes and possible alternative applications. Think about the business the same way. This step is crucial to protecting your widget when the time comes to write a patent, and can be invaluable in creating your plan for a novel business concept, as it will help you come up with ways to anticipate how competitors might or might not try to compete, giving you an edge.

While this first step is important, it takes more than just a novel idea to get a concept to market or even to an exit. You’ll need a network of high-level contacts to help navigate the legal and business roadblocks you’ll run into while trying to get your idea to market. If you’re already running another business, you might not have the time, necessitating the delegation of business development to experienced and trustworthy professionals. You’ll need to be resourceful, have gumption, and be willing to take significant risk. You’ll need to understand markets and make moves early on that ensure your “widget” is marketable to an audience that can generate enough revenue to cover your costs of innovating and ultimately to cash in, either through sales, an acquisition or other type of profitable exit.

If you have ideas in old Word files, on scraps of paper or “poor man’s patents” (ideas on napkins) lying around, now is a great time to dust them off and get to work, because most of the help you need is available through participation in one place: CADRE.

CADRE is a network of high-level professionals in the Washington, DC area who help each other by making their expertise accessible to other CADRE members. CADRE’s founders, Derek and Melanie Coburn, describe their concept as “un-networking” – instead of having someone throw a business card across, as goes on in standard network marketing groups, in CADRE you are more likely to be asked “What can I do for you?” by members right off the bat. CADRE members must be recommended by other CADRE-ers (or invited by Derek and Melanie) and are expected to consistently find ways to contribute to the other members in the community.

I see CADRE as particularly relevant secondary to the “social networking” world we live in. CADRE also throws fantastic events, where national business thought leaders share their secrets with members. CADRE is a real place where people help each other offline, willingly, and support each other at monthly meetings as well as through an online private social network.

I joined CADRE with the goal of connecting with people who could help forward my business interests, specifically a company I formed around a medical device I invented – my own personal “widget,” which I hope to go worldwide with. My circle of advisors now consists of several CADRE-ers including business attorneys, business consultants and “been there done that” entrepreneurs of all types who I otherwise may not have been able to connect with. The people you need to get your widget worldwide are right in your backyard, so open those files, unfold those napkins and check out CADRE at www.cadredc.com today.



  1. by Ann Marie Gardner on March 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Hi Derek… what serendipity. I just submitted an application for a provisional patent on a “mom” gadget. I have noooo intention of being a manufacturer but can I connect with you if and when the application gets through and is registered? I am thinking about simply marketing the idea to people who makes things already. Thank you!

  2. by Derek on March 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Anne- Wow- that’s exciting! Yes- feel free to use us as a resource. Through the cadre network, we are connected to some of the best and brightest in just about every field. Can’t wait to hear about it!

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