Archive for February, 2010

26
Feb
10

Pepsi Wants to Give You Money

Do you need a reason to go out and buy more Pepsi? If you do, your moment has arrived. Get out there and work yourself into a caffeinated frenzy of innovation as soon as possible… because Pepsi wants to give you cash for all those sugar-fueled ideas!

Pepsi’s new Refresh Project is giving away almost $1.5 million every month to fund ideas that “will have a positive impact.” Grants of all sizes will be awarded to individuals, businesses and non-profits, ranging from $5k up to $250k (based on the size of the idea and the needs/resources of the folks behind it). Grants are available in six categories: health, arts & culture, the planet, neighborhoods, food & shelter and education. Submission starts the first of every month and goes to the 15th or until Pepsi receives 1000 ideas, whichever comes first.

There is a “public vote” that is part of the funding process but I can’t quite figure out how it affects the outcome, except that the top 100 runners-up from each category will automatically be rolled over to the next month’s competition. While I’m not sure that soda’s going to change the world, there are some truly inspiring ideas up for funding this month–everything from special-needs cheerleading to crayon recycling to diaper distribution. And it’s always nice to see one of the big guys finding a way to give back.

So, if you’ve got an idea, get your fanny of the couch and start typing. You might just get the money you need to give your invention legs! I bet you can even type and hold your Pepsi at the same time.

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26
Feb
10

Patents a la Jackson

Ever wondered how Michael Jackson did that cool lean move in Smooth Criminal? Well then, ladies and gentlemen! For your reading pleasure, I present: Michael Jackson’s patent on the “method and means for creating anti-gravity illusion.” Just another little bit of genius from the King of Pop Patents.

I guess this means you should check with your lawyer before taking that MJ act on the road.

26
Feb
10

Design Inspiration

If I had all the time in the world, I would probably go back to school, get a design degree, open my own design firm, work for ten years until I got all kinds of impressive awards and then design my own fabulous box, logo and website for the Buff Cuff.

But, since I’d like to launch this product before my kids turn twenty-five, package design was an area where I definitely needed professional help. And luckily, here in Omaha there are some kick-ass designers–I’ve worked with the very talented Adam at GoodTwin in the past and am now working with Oxide on the Buff Cuff packaging and website.

Very early on in the process, I sat down with the guys at Oxide to talk about the look and feel I wanted for the Buff Cuff. Having a great branding package is very important to me with this product (well, duh) and I wanted to make sure that Oxide had a clear understanding of what I like. Even though Drew and co. are excellent communicators, I decided to make a “mood board” of my own, just so I could be sure that they really understood me. Who me, type-A? Never.

Anyway, as I started searching for design inspiration, I found myself gravitating towards repeating retro patterns–Lindberg and Girard textiles from the sixties, Mary Blair‘s Disneyland architecture, modern-day stuff from Rex Ray and Jonathan Adler. All so round and colorful and fun. I also found some fabulous “new” Girard items at House Industries, including a snappy set of Girard-inspired fonts. I could look at this stuff all day (though I don’t think I’ll be buying my two-year-old a $120 set of blocks anytime soon).

I can’t wait to see how the package comes out. There’s a very strong possibility that I’ll end up with a thousand of them in my garage at some point, so figured I better speak up about what I like, design-wise, even if Oxide are the ones who are going to make the magic happen. If I end up with something even remotely Lindberg-esque, hopefully I’ll like it enough to tile my wall with box lids if I never sell a single Buff Cuff.

Or hey! Maybe the box will be so fantastic that people will actually want to buy the product!

Whoa. Marketing breakthrough.




Sarah Gupta, MD

Welcome to the "official" blog of the Buff Cuff, a resource for anyone interested in inventing or inventions. Happy reading!