Photo by © John
Sobczak, Lorien Studio
Ambitious Ideas, Inc. develops and markets FINDIT, a tiny device that
attaches to car keys, cordless phones, purses and any item people tend
to lose. When FINDIT user loses the item, he or she claps three times,
and FINDIT beeps until the item is found. It took Nabat seven years to
develop the product, but in the last six months, Ambitious Ideas, Inc.
has sold more than 10,000 FINDIT's through a television infomercial and
a web site, www.ambitiousideas.com
In the beginning, "I did everything wrong," Nabat says. He wasted
startup cash on research he say he could have done for free at the library
if he had known better. Nabat didn't have an engineering background, so
he worked with six engineers for seven years to develop the device. Ambitious
Ideas also outsources work to contractors, many of whom worked for a share
of the profits, but the rest of whom had to be paid. It has cost close
to $700,000 to put FINDIT on the market, and accumulating such a sum of
money from family contributors and bank loans (without the help of outside
investors) was a challenge.
Key to Success:
Nabat contributes his success in fundraising and FINDIT's rapid sales
to a clear and concise business plan, which he revises constantly, based
on the company's performance. Nabat, who was featured as 'one of the Nation's
sexiest Entrepreneurs' in Entrepreneur Magazine's Startups Magazine (Oct.
2000), is also a strong advocate of personal endorsement. He says it prevents
knockoffs and fosters product identification. FINDIT's boxes, displays,
infomercial and Web site all feature Nabat's grin.
FINDIT will be available in stores within the next six months, Nabat says,
but he hopes to continue the success of the television and web marketing
campaigns as well, selling 2 million units total by mid-2002. Nabat also
says that Ambitious Ideas will soon begin manufacturing a line of 23 new
consumer products, a FINDIT clothing line, in addition to the original
Words of Wisdom:
Above all, Nabat advises entrepreneurs to show collaborators and customer
that they're ambitious, dedicated, and persistent. And don't be afraid
to ask for guidance when needed. "Consult people who have already
succeeded," says Nabat. "They'll usually be happy to give advice."