Is there a need?

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Let me ask this group, Writers Beat a question.


I have a concept and prototype for a belt versatile cup holder. It will hook to a belt and hold any object from one-inch diameter to sixteen inches in diameter. I say object because it can hold hot or cold cups or tools or other irregular shaped objects.


The material will be soft leather and velcro. on a firm leather, base holding the belt hook.


One additional advantage is it folds in on itself to be almost flat on the belt or easily slide into a pocket when not in use.

My question is if anyone might want something like this. Or maybe this is just an interesting invention that no one would want.


I came up with the idea because I was constantly leaving my coffee where I was getting class supplies (I teach school). Then I would have to hunt to find out where I left my coffee and/or mug. With this, I do not have to hunt, I just pull the cup holder out of my pocket, open it and put my cup in it. I never have to look for my mug anymore.


What do you think?


Dave Volek Added Jan 16, 2018 - 2:44pm
I had visions of that over-enthusiastic Irish guy pummeling from my TV the virtues of Joe's Coffee Cup Belt Clip.
I wouldn't buy it from such a commercial (principles) but these commercials do keep coming on. So the commercial format must work (on other people).
But without such commercials, I probably would never find out about this invention.
I might be tempted to try it out--and see if it worked for me. As for sustained usage, hard to say. 
The trick is to get a business plan together. Ensure there is room for profits in the event the device is a one-hit wonder.
Good luck to you!
Jeff Jackson Added Jan 16, 2018 - 2:49pm
Make it cheap. If you can get in with some company like Starbucks, you'll sell billions of them. Remember, Price, product, promotion and place. If it is the right product and in the right place for the right price with the right promotion, you can't lose.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 16, 2018 - 3:07pm
Thanks guys.  the Starbucks angle is good.  I am thinking of just placing it with the Invention people and let the chips fall where they may.  Great idea on the coffee shop.  People come there, esp the walk-ins and have their hands full, but try and manage a cup o hot coffee, too.  Maybe a market I had not thought of.  LOL
Jeff Jackson Added Jan 16, 2018 - 4:57pm
Joe, my marketing consulting could do your product a lot of good, and don't just throw it out there, plan a release, build up to it, all that.
Stone-Eater Added Jan 16, 2018 - 7:10pm
Make a video or at least a photo of it and put it here and on your Google drive or Dropbox with a link. Maybe that could be interesting when it's cheap enough.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 16, 2018 - 7:36pm
Actually, the prototype I made has the belt threading through the leather back.  I do not yet have the belt hook to fasten.  I still need to adjust the straps so they can be fastened when in a closed/wound up position.  
My plan is to do a series of short videos, one with me getting office supplies and not knowing what to do with my coffee and then putting on the cup holder.  Another would show a BIG GULP type drink carried by the cup holder, another with a plastic water bottle, another with me trying to carry an electric drill and hammer up a ladder and losing balance and then me opening the cup holder and attaching the electric drill and hammer and safely climbing the ladder.  Maybe with an audio explaining what is happening.  My thought is to have this on a web page where orders can be accepted.  
I am trying to find a small leather worker willing to attach a belt hook to my prototype and willing to make cup holders as ordered in small quantities.  Then evaluate if there is a market to go larger.  Thoughts?
Bill H. Added Jan 17, 2018 - 1:14am
How about an appearance on that TV show Shark Tank?
Seems like you have come up with a few other good ideas in the past.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 17, 2018 - 8:57am
Near impossible to even get on Shark Tank.  LOL
Dave Volek Added Jan 17, 2018 - 11:26am
In Canada, we have a company called Lee Valley Tools. They like to sell oddballs things like this, and I can see them putting a little space in their catalog to give your product a try. This would let you focus on production.
Maybe Lee Valley is in the USA. I'm sure there are other distributors you can contact.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 17, 2018 - 11:34am
Thanks Dave.  International before I get local.  LOL
Katharine Otto Added Jan 17, 2018 - 11:50am
Hate to throw hot coffee on your idea, but I have the same problem of having only two hands, and I carry my re-usable cup everywhere.  I don't wear belts.
I suspect you would have to design a cup to fit it, because try leaning over with your contraption, and you will spill coffee down your leg.  My tool belt has shown me just how cumbersome it is to have things dangling from my waist.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 17, 2018 - 12:32pm
Katherine, not a problem.  I anticipate this will not work for 75% or more women.  However, I am anticipating lids on drinks as common sense.  Open cups will spill.  But the cup holder seeks the weight being centered.  This limits the spill issue, not eliminate, but lessens.  The user still has the responsibility for their own situation.  :)
Doug Plumb Added Jan 17, 2018 - 9:23pm
I think the kids will pick on you and call you a dork. I remember a kid in my grade nine math class back in the late 70's. He had a calculator with a holster and everyone thought he was a dork.
  You don't want the kids thinking you are a dork, you want them to admire you and respect you.
Joe Chiang Added Jan 25, 2018 - 4:54pm
Used to be slide rules.  But if this serves a need, who cares.  What is more important than coffee or other drink to be available no matter where you are?  LOL