the precise moment that the idea for FINDIT came to 19-year-old
Craig Nabat, he was frantically searching for the remote control
for his television. Thinking that what the world really needed was
a device to help people like himself find items in a snap, he made
At the time,
Nabat didn't really know what it would take to actually develop
and sell that idea, but 10 years and $700,000 dollars later, a much
more savvy entrepreneur is marketing his invention to the world.
And he's done
it on his own, without the help of a big-name backer. "I've
done the near impossible," says Nabat, whose product appeared
on QVC in June. "We sold 900 kits of two FINDIT's
within seven minutes of my pitching it on the air," say Nabat,
business loans and family investments, Nabat's company, Ambitious
Ideas, develops and markets FINDIT, a patented, domino-sized device
that attaches to items like keys, remote controls, and eyeglass
cases. The device is designed to respond only to a three-clap pattern.
When an item is misplaced, three hand claps will locate it quickly.
The road to
success hasn't been an easy one for this inventor, who originally
figured that it would cost about $30,000 to get his product to market.
"The majority of that was spent on research and development,"
he explains. Unaware of just how complex the creation of an electronic
device could be, Nabat, who out-sources much of his company's work
to outside contractors, worked consistently with a team of six engineers
through the design process.
have an engineering background," says Nabat, a sociology major
who minored in business in college. "The Microchip for FINDIT
had to be custom-made." Since then, a total of 12 engineers
have worked on the invention, which retails for $19.95 and is sold
via a toll-free number, the FINDIT Web site, a two-minute short-form
infomercial, print ads, credit cards, mail order catalogs and overseas
TV and mail-order catalogs. Nabat is currently fielding requests
by companies that want to distribute his product through other channels.
lengthy development process, Don Azars, executive producer, director/writer
at dapTV Associates in Los Angeles, CA says he "always knew
that Craig would succeed as an inventor and an entrepreneur.
only and inventor, but he also has a strong marketing sense,"
says Azars. "Some people are very good creators and conceivers
who just don't have a feel for the marketing side. Others are entrepreneurs
who have a different attitude when it comes to product development.
Craig is a unique combination of the two."
Nabat hopes to sell 2 million units by mid-2001, and plans to expand
the FINDIT brand into a clothing line. He also wants to help other
inventors bring their products to market.
to specialize in marketing new products through direct response
television and infomercials," he says. "Currently, we're
developing other products to follow the FINDIT brand, which in itself
is a great word just waiting to be marketed."