An "Idea" emerges as a new topic on the Forum. You or any
forum member can start a new "Idea". Forum registration is free, and
reasonably unintrusive. Post a description of what you would
like the device to do. You need no technical knowledge of how it
might work - our moderators will help with that.
We won't consider ideas for weapons, covert surveillance
gear, or other socially undesirable items, at our sole
Acceptable ideas show up in the Index, from this point on, giving
links to all related information.
We will never sell or otherwise distribute your registration
For an "Idea" to move to a "Concept" - it needs to be
technically feasible, and not be too similar to something which
already exists. Forum discussions should have enough details
about the desired function to move forward. Our implementation
team will then put up a draft specification
page. This is still flexible; you can comment and ask
We may put up draft price
curves in this stage. These curves will change as the
specification evolves. Don't look on them as a commitment on our
Once the specification settles down, our implementation team
freezes the specification and advances to the "Bidding"
Bidding is open to anyone.
Our implementation team puts up a firm price curve, showing how the
price per unit will vary with the quantity produced. At small
quantities this is dominated by development and certification
costs. As quantities increase, unit cost becomes dominant, and
there are economies of scale. Go to our price curve page for a detailed
explanation of how this works.
You can bid on as many units as you wish, at any price you
wish. The state of bidding is shown, anonymously, on the price
graph. Bidding is a commitment to buy a given
number of units at a price not exceeding the bid price, if the
project proceeds to production. Cumulative bid statistics show
up in your forum profile, which anyone can read.
When the bidding intersects the price curve, we have a
financially viable product. There is enough demand that we won't
lose money. Now we have a "Project", and implementation
During this phase you can continue to bid, helping to reduce
the price for yourself and all purchasers.
As development progresses we may find that we have to revise
our estimated price curve. If we have to revise upwards, you
will have the opportunity to revise, or cancel, your bid. We
will try to avoid doing this, but we are not immune to
Our implementation team now puts up a progress
page to show how the development is progressing. The
goal of development is a working prototype, which meets or
exceeds the specification in all respects.
When "Project" development produces a working prototype, we have
Now bidding is frozen, establishing a price. If you have bid
on the product, you will be notified by email of the final
price. If you bid at or above the final price, you will be asked
for confirmation (with credit card number) or cancellation of
your bid. You can choose to let us charge your card right away,
at a decent discount, or not charge until we ship your order. We
will email you when your order has shipped
If you have bid less than the final price, we will still
notify you by email, and you may decide to buy at the final
price if you wish.
Bidding will have to re-open if there are enough
cancellations to impair viability. Production will start only
when there are enough confirmed orders.
A shipping page will be put up to keep you
informed of production progress and shipping dates. We ship
first to those who chose to pre-pay.
We will put up a fresh price curve when we
freeze the bidding. Our first production run will cover the
confirmed orders. There is a cost to setting up a new batch, so
we need to ensure that a second batch can be sold without
loss. When the second and subsequent rounds of bidding justify
further production, we will make and ship further batches.
Incentives: the Goodies
Provided an Idea makes it all the way through to production:
The originator of the Idea may opt to have their name,
and/or their email address, permanently labelled on every item
produced. If we think your contribution to the development of
the concept was important, we might give you the option
The originator of the Idea gets a "My Idea made a
CoDesign Product" T-shirt. If we think your contribution to the
development of the concept was important, we might send you one
First bidder to bid above final price is guaranteed to
receive serial number #1, a collectible item.
We ship first to those who chose to pre-pay, then to
those who chose to pay on shipment. Within each category,
higher bidders ship first, even though all pay the same
Items shipped to first-batch bidders will carry a label
showing that they sponsored the product.
Gotchas: the fine print
Once you discuss an idea on the forum, it is public, and
thus not patentable
We retain all rights to ideas discussed on the
forum. We must do this, in order to licence those rights as an
We pay no royalties or other payments to the
originator(s) of an idea, or to anyone who helps develop an
idea in the forum.
On the other hand, we charge no fees to the
originator(s) of an idea, or to anyone who helps develop an
idea in the forum. In this we are different from sites such
There is no guarantee of timeliness. We will tackle
projects in order of acceptance to the "Project" stage, and
move them along as fast as we can in an economical way. In
particular, to sell to the public a device must be certified
by an independent laboratory, a costly and time-consuming step
which we cannot schedule
There is no guarantee that first or subsequent batches
will be made; it depends on bidding. If you really want one,
Things may change
Everything is an experiment - we will probably
fine-tune the way this works as we go along. If there are
things you think we should change, tell
us on the Forum
We reserve the right to reject any idea we think is
undesirable, and to remove such ideas from the forum, without
giving any reasons
Supply of goods will be subject to your local laws, and
the laws of Canada and the Province of Alberta. If we use
components from the U.S., their export restrictions may
If you choose to prepay, then change your mind before
we ship to you, we will give you a full refund on
Not what you need?
If you need a patentable project, to develop your own
product, or to retain intellectual property, this is not for
you. We offer these services separately, contact us privately with your