I GREW UP in the little town of Kelleyville.
The town of Kelleyville is on the edge of the desert, but we’re on top of a high ridge to the west of the desert, so that we do get a bit of rain, through the year.
Kelleyville is also just off a main highway, so that we can ship or receive goods from the outside world.
Like an idiot, I bought a lottery ticket. Unlike most of the idiots, I won quite a bit of money from the lottery. I then graduated from Kelleyville High School. The local military base shut down, just before I graduated. I had taken vocational courses through high school and I’m trained as a machinist. I got myself, James King, declared an emancipated minor, able to sign contracts. Using my lottery winnings, I bid for and won the closed military base. I hired machinists and we began to run a machine shop, using the former military machine shop, the one where the taxpayers had paid for the very expensive machines.
Not only did I buy the machine shop, I also bought the housing and storage facilities on the closed military base. With houses available, I was able to attract top notch machinists and we began to turn out precision machined items from my Kappa Machine business. Kappa Machine got to be a little well known, at least in machinist circles, due to the high-quality, precision items that we turned out.
I had a good job. I owned my own company and I was even making a profit. Life was good.
Into my big frog, small pond world came blonde Atiana.
Atiana looked, walked and talked like a movie star.
Atiana brought with her a fluid coupling device that was very slick, very difficult to machine and would be a big seller, if I could turn units out at a reasonable price after I paid the patent holder what they asked. I told the lady, “I’m willing to machine out a couple of examples of your coupling device, on spec. If the couplings work and meet a reasonable spec, I can sell a bunch of them, at a reasonable price.”
Atiana asks me, “What’s a reasonable price?”
“If your design works to spec, it will outperform what’s currently on the market. I would expect first-year sales in the range of a hundred thousand units. I could offer you thirty dollars, per unit sold. All of this assumes that your company holds the patents for the coupler.”
“That’s three million dollars per year for me.”
“Yes, a nice sum that should grow as the units get accepted into general use. Kappa Machine has the reputation really required to sell into the coupler market and you won’t find too many operations that can do that.”
“I have other designs to sell.”
“Do you hold the patents?”
Atiana sits up straight and says, “The device that I’m showing you isn’t patented. You’ll have to do that. Treat me fairly and you get the rest of my designs.”
(I can’t believe what Atiana just told me. However, I want to make a million or so dollars off the coupler device.) “I’ll program up one of my numerical control machines tonight and turn out a few test coupler devices. If the coupler passes my tests and can hold two hundred fifty PSI at least overnight, I’ll get a patent filed and we’ll each start to make some money, in the near future.”
“My coupler device will hold two hundred eighty three PSI.”
“You don’t sell devices at odd ratings. If your device will hold at two hundred fifty PSI, it will be an advance over what’s on the market. A rating of two hundred fifty PSI will also provide a bit of safety margin.”
“You’ll have a test device, when?”
“I’ll machine up the fluid coupler devices tonight. Testing will take a couple of days. If your fluid coupler device passes my testing, I’ll front the money for patent application, although the patent cost will come out of your profits. Once I have the patent applications in, I’ll call in prospective customers for the fluid couplers. We’ll do some customer demos and start to sell the devices as fast as we can make them. You can watch the demos and gauge the customer response yourself.”
Atiana is suddenly very upset, “No! I don’t want to attend any customer demos.”
“Well, it’s not necessary, but it would give you a chance to see how the customers react.”
“No! You handle all of that.”
(This is getting stranger and stranger.) “Alright, I can handle everything, how do I contact you?”