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The following excerpt is from the book
"Cool Careers for Dummies: Second Edition"
by Dr. Marty Nemko.

Cool Careers

Here are introductions to many interesting careers, including a recommended website and/or book for those who want to learn more. For the entire list of 500 careers, see the book "Cool Careers for Dummies: Second Edition".

Inventor

Sixty thousand kids a year are treated in hospitals for trampoline-related injuries. So Mark Publicover invented JumpCourt which provides 360-degree protection around standard-sized trampolines. JumpCourt is now sold in 7,000 outlets. How does an invention get invented? It starts by asking yourself: "What's annoying?" and "What could I invent that would solve the problem?" Inventors, mostly engineering types, usually develop their prototypes as an after-work spice to their corporate day jobs. How to do it successfully? You needn't build the prototype yourself. Find a model maker in the Yellow Pages. Then test out your prototype on potential customers and retailers. If it passes muster, find out what it would cost to manufacture--use the Thomas Manufacturing Register of 160,000 manufacturers to find one (www.thomasregister.com ). Is it cheap enough to allow ample profit? Have them make a small run and distribute it through trade shows, a Web site, direct mail, or wholesale it to retailers. Or try to get a corporation to buy (and not steal) your invention. Avoid services that promise to help market your invention. They usually cost you more than you earn.