The American Inventor Show--Is It Cheesy?

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 15, 2006

The ABC show, American Inventor, brought to us by the folks who gave us Idol, airs on Thursday and the gossip within the design and innovation crowd is that it is ‘cheesy.” We’ll see if that is true or whether the design crowd is being too snooty.

Truth is that American Inventor may prove to be another model for open source innovation. We already have big corporations spending millions on networks of scientists and engineers around the world to pick up new ideas and inventions. If done right, and I am hearing the TV folks are NOT doing it right, but if done done, open,public auditions of new concepts and inventions around the world could prove incredibly productive. Who knows? Anyway, check out the American Inventor blog. Well, the blog is cheesy.

Who are the judges making the call? I don’t know them. Perhaps you do. Ed Evangelista, executive creative director of JWT in NY. Mary Lous Quinlan, who is one of the most accomplished women in the communications business, according to the series blog, Doug Hall, a Master Inventor at P&G, and Peter Jones, who is listed as “creator, executive producer and judge.

Hmm. Too easy to be snarky about this jury. I’d personally like to see a jury composed of Gianfranco Zaccai of Design Continuum, Ivy Ross at Old Navy and Chee Pearlman who is running the Radical Craft Conference at Art Center in Pasadena next week. Plus the Master Inventor guy.

Who would you like to be on that jury?

Reader Comments

W Kaplan

March 17, 2006 7:18 PM

TV is not doing it right. We see very few inventor auditions and see very many ads. So much time was wasted that we were able to watch another show at the same time.

Also, what is with the statements that Doug Hall is responsible for 18 products we use in our homes? If so, name them. Name one! All of the bio material on Mr. Hall seems to have forgotten that America would like that claim backed up with details. Maybe then, we could appreciate his attitude and behavior.

If he is meant to be the "Simon" judge of American Inventor, he does not cut it. Simon, is a straight shooter even if he lacks tack. Hall is just a character who believes he is the only person in the room who sees the truth.

Boring with a capital B!

Phil Bertolo

March 21, 2006 3:43 PM

The “American Inventor” And What All Inventors Need To Know

The “American Inventor” on ABC. Many of the contestants have fallen victim to invention, patenting and licensing companies, and have paid astronomical amounts of money to produce their prototypes unnecessarily. An alternative is available for anyone to take full advantage of that will save the inventor countless dollars. The public needs to be aware of this.

When Phil Bertolo and Lisa Ascolese of World Innovations in New Jersey, sat down to view the first showing of the “American Inventor” on March 16th on ABC, they couldn’t believe their ears and what the contestants were spending on their prototypes. It was clear that most of these inventors had fallen victim of what Phil and Lisa travel the Tri-State area to teach people of all ages to avoid. They teach inventors to avoid companies that take advantage of ones passion to create from within, and the inventor’s willingness to produce a product regardless of the cost, even if it means selling their home and spending their life savings.

Most of the contestants expressed when asked, that they had spent from $12,000.00 to over $100,000.00 for their prototypes. For this, some only received a booklet and a bogus patent.

“This is an outrage and completely avoidable” Lisa Ascolese said. “This is precisely what Phil Bertolo and I, educate inventors of all ages to avoid. We provide an alternative to throwing money away on evaluation booklets, and make it possible for the inventors to manufacture and produce quantities of 1500 to 2500 units for less than these horrendous prototype costs. Our class is simply called “Inventing A-to-Z”, and we run clinics in community Colleges, Universities, High Schools, Grammar Schools and anywhere we can reach the anxious minds of inventors all around the country. This is a simple process that will save the inventor countless dollars”.

Inventing A-to-Z is a program that puts the inventor in complete control of the process logistically and financially from the beginning to end, with full support from World Innovations all the way.

Most of this process is free to the inventor providing the inventor stays focused and works hard. Get more information at or email “”

Cindy Salcfas

April 24, 2006 6:56 PM

I was in the process of filling out the American Inventor Application, but after reading the entire application the following seems to be true: I found no protection given to the inventor. The inventor is treated like a puppet by ABC. ABC has all to gain including rights to the invention. Royalty amounts are not disclosed in the application. One million dollars does not seem like enough money to pay for the worlds AMERICAN INVENTION.


November 19, 2006 12:08 PM

My name is Autumn and I am in Bundang South Korea. Cacn someone let me know what chanel I could watch this program on. Thank you

Paul Wightman

January 3, 2007 4:48 AM

I was thinking the same thing about ABC's remuneration to the winners. Unless you get the grand prize, it's really not worth it--
considering all the time, years, struggle, etc. spent developing a good invention.


June 15, 2010 10:42 AM

как всегда на высоте

Post a comment



Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!