EDITOR'S COMMENT: The beauty of collaboration

Billy Langsworthy experiences first hand the benefits of collaboration following a light bulb moment regarding a TV dating show.
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I feel a little strange that in all the weeks we've been running this Bulletin, I've not actually come close to inventing a toy or game.

I've learnt (alongside you readers hopefully) about every aspect of the design process, how best to launch a product, the do's and don'ts of Kickstarter and heard inspiring inventor tales every week, but had never actually had that light-bulb moment.

Until earlier this week, that is.

Now, ahead of this, I should stress that I'm not sharing my idea because I think it's the bees knees, but more because it illustrates the power of collaboration.

So, when a work colleague was revealed to be a wee bit older than they looked, a TV show called 'Gauge the Age' was born (in my mind at least).

The gist was that it would be a dating show where a singleton would be presented with a line-up of available ladies or gents (think Take Me Out), and they would have to correctly guess the age of whoever they wanted to date.

They guess correctly, the duo go through a few rounds until they scoop a cash prize or a holiday.

That's as far as I got. I thought about potential rounds, but aside from one based on guessing the age of celebrities, I hit a brick wall. I had a snazzy title, a paper-thin concept and a runny nose (hay fever).

So that's when I threw it out to the office.

Within minutes, 'Gauge the Age' suddenly found itself with a round on guessing the age of wine by taste alone, and one on physically putting oddballs in order of age like the Identity Parade bit off Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

We had a film round, a music round, a 'Play Your Cards Right' style section (Higher or lower age, obviously) and even a round that involved guessing from a baby scan how far gones the fetus looks.

Hell, we even had a really tough 'guess the age of the animal' round (that led to the development of a spin-off show titled 'Rank the Badger' but I can't possibly divulge anymore on that at this early stage).

Before I completely lose track of why I brought it up, it highlighted that although inventors are right to have concerns around sharing their ideas in fear of someone pinching it, sometimes it pays to collaborate and get a fresh pair of eyes on things.

That said, if anyone steals 'Gauge the Eye' and makes it a successful TV show or board game, I'm gonna have to take a leaf out of Liam Neeson's book. I will look for you, I will find you, and I will whinge so hard that you'll probably feel quite bad about the whole sorry affair.

On a side note, the Inventors Workshop site is going live next week, but more on that in next week's Bulletin.

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