Hey everyone. I had a question about the etiquette of asking folks on BPL if they would be willing to be beta testers for an incredibly revolutionary product that will change the face of UL backpacking forever. OK, I definitely made that last part up.
Before I go further I will say that I have submitted a question to the BPL admin folks about not messing up their dedication to non-commercial uses of BPL, and I am sure I will hear from them soon, but since it has been a couple of weeks I hope it is not rude to ask the question here. I also didn't find any FAQ type answers, but perhaps I missed something. The odds of this being a commercialized product set are definitely about one in ten bazillion, but I didn't want to cross any clear rules on this front.
The short story: I have some definitely unique, and perhaps even not absolutely horrible design ideas on MYOG gear stuff. Also, I really think it would be cool to have a patent. Even a provisional one. So here is the best case for me: 1) I apply for a couple of provisional patents (already mostly done, this initial part is cheap at least). 2) I recruit some BPL folks to try it out, by sending them working prototypes for free. 3) The idea turns out to be a horrible one,no one would be hurt or anything, just potentially annoyed at carrying a bad idea out onto the trail. 4) The patent office grants my cheap patent because it is just a horrible idea, hence no one has thought it worth pursuing before. 5) I proudly carry my unique and poor idea around on the trail,and maybe mention my patent pending or whatever a few times at cocktail parties.
Anyway, my ideas are definitely unique, which probably means bad. I am OK with that. I really just like making my own stuff. But this seemed like an opportunity to just mess around a bit and justify purchases, etc.
So that is a long way of asking, would it be rude to ask/solicit potential beta testers for my world beating innovative products that will transform UL hiking forever (for free of course)? At this point I am hoping that my designs are just so impracticable that I can both have a cheapish patent pending, but also have at least one or two people think it was kind of cool. Plus my patents would be air-tight, as they could be pending forever w/o the real expense of a full patent....anyway I digress.
Sorry to go on so long. Mostly this whole patent thing has been an excuse to hike more and buy and sew and beta test all sorts of things and materials that I could never explain to my wife otherwise. Perhaps that is what I should have said first.
Anyway, there are probably a thousand posts here where someone has invented sliced bread or the wagon wheel (I have read many). As above, my belief is that the best possible outcome is that my idea is just good for me. Thanks all for suggestions, and feel free to tell me to not bother and just have fun MYOGing. That's basically what my wife tells me so you would definitely be on the right side of that issue. But who doesn't like free stuff? And can I borrow one of your patents?...)