Entropy Systems Inc.
8150 Market Street
Youngstown, Ohio 44512
616-A Beatty Road
Monroeville, Penna. 15147
My name is Philip Shropshire. Last week I had the pleasure of driving up to Youngstown and talking at length to Nizar Diab. If the truth be known, I was a lot more curious about your engine prototype than Nizar was about Pony Computer in all probability.
I also told Nizar that I was interested in working for Entropy. I say this because I firmly believe that I can help your company and that my business plan would go a long way toward solving your many obstacles, which, and these are just initial observations: lack of manpower, lack of funding, and a need to better refine your net presence.
As I explained to Nizar, I think your company could be bigger than Microsoft. If your engine can do what its billed to do, then it would not be unreasonable to think that every home in the continent would want one. Further, if it can deliver on its promises not only would it free everyone from the stranglehold of the utility grid, but it would bring wondrous environmental benefits as well. Your engine is the Holy Grail of energy production. It really is like the mythical Water Engine that was the focus of a Turner cable movie some time back.
But as you know, the reality is a long way off from that. Youre struggling with not only refining your technology, but finding the funding to keep it going. With that in mind, let me lay out a plan that I think could work.
This is the job title that I want:
Webmaster/Sales Director/Publicist/Company Futurist
Heres why I want it.
Point One: Every Great Company
Has an Internal Sales Force
Quick: What do Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Apple and Sun and other great technical companies have in common? An internal sales force. Thats probably for two reasons: One, when a company is beginning its probably done out of necessity. Everyone in a seven person company has to sell the company all of the time. Two, if a company is going to keep on excelling it has to have some control over its sales staff. Bill Gates needs to know firsthand if Office can be sold if Star Office is being given away. Larry Ellison needs to know firsthand if his versions of Oracle are holding up against Microsofts NT. Sanjar Amin needs to know, if the future is promising, which of his engineswhether they be air conditioners, heaters, hybrids charged with hand cranks, fuel cells or various biodegradable fuels, miniaturized versions that fit on a PIIare selling the best and how youre doing against the inevitable competition.
Great companies also have forceful visionary forces running the sales departments. Every company needs a Steve Ballmer. Every company needs a Steve Jobs. Im not sure if Im as talented as those guys, but I wont let anyone on the planet out work me or out dream me. Keep in mind that even though those aforementioned guys run tech companies, they themselves are not technicians. Thats because sales and promotions requires more determination and imagination than Xs and Os. Or in your case the ability to lower wind resistance and the ability to figure out the best design for your units various tunnels. I am not a technician. But I am a startlingly fast learner. I believe I can help your company.
I might add that initially you should use the internet more favorably in order to bring potential investors and buyers to your product. Also, I know a company managerhe sells computers at increasingly lower margins and might be willing to allow his sales team to sell something slightly more lucrative--that would be very interested in supplying you with a partial sales team if you didnt want to build from the first bricks up.
I am an English major and yet I lead my company in sales. The reason that has happened is that Im a fast read. By the way, if you take me on, I will attempt to learn everything I can about the basic science undergirding your product. Im assuming thats a lot of basic physics. I assume that because I need to know what rules of physics other companies and individuals will claim that you are breaking. I might add that I believe your product can work. One, it sounds similar to an OTEC, or an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion device. If the principle works for an ocean, then why not for air? Plus, quantum physics is much much more bizarre than anything youve come up with and yet people are developing apps based on quantum principles. If those apps can work, then so can your engine. (Im even looking forward to reading your book!)
This brings me to point two and why you need a sales team, even if its only one person.
Point Two: Sell Your Prototype for Profit and Hacking
You may have heard this one before, but Microsoft essentially uses the public as a beta tester. Its actually a pretty nice deal. They still get their money for the full product and thousands of emails later they patch an obvious hole.
Thats a deal that a struggling hardware company should try. First, I think that you should start selling your newest prototype. I dont think its even enough just to have the blueprints on the net. I think people need to see and touch and feel the device.
I think you should sell it a significant profit. When I asked Nizar how much it would cost to sell this product if you mass produced it, he estimated about $1000. Im not sure if he meant at a profit, so why not sell it for $2500? Im assuming that gets the company at least $1,000 in profit. This also brings me to why I would like to be the webmaster. I believe that your website should adopt the Dell model. In other words, it should be a 24 hour a day storefront. Sell the prototype. Sell the blueprints. That will take some time. Time that I dont think Nizar, one of your lead technicians, should be spending. Let me do it. I run and manage two websites right now. True, what I have in mind is a bit more complicated, but not out of my depth.
This brings us to the hard part of the plan.
Point Three: Exchange 1000 needed refinements to your invention for
Stock options and/or 1 percent of 1 percent ownership of Patent
Now, my next idea, and I think this might be the hard part, is that I dont think you should sell the product because of what it can do. From what I can tell, the products achievements are modest right now. You should sell the product in exchange not just for immediate profit which will fund your growth but you should sell it to give the whole world a chance to refine your product for free. You should use the Open Source model kind of like Red Hat. Red Hat, as you may or may not know, tried to reward major developers of its software with 10,000 shares of stock apiece. That was actually a nice gesture on their part, because legally they didnt have to give the developers anything.
We want to give developers and technicians a reward as well. Assuming that you offer the obscene number of a billion or so stocks to the public, then you can offer 10,000 shares for the first 1000 improvements made to your product. You might require that the improvements be placed on your prototype, thus increasing sales but thats down the line. Improvements could be posted on the web. You could also offer 1 percent of 1 percent of the patent. If a thousand people make improvements, then sure youd only have 99 percent of the patent left, but you would have one Helluva product. Not only that, but if people can make the kinds of improvements that we could suggest over the net, well, at best you and Bill Gates would be very close to that trillion in net worth or two and at worst you wouldnt have to worry about menu prices again.
I believe our target market here should be corporations and research facilities. I believe that companies would be happy to spend several thousand dollars on a product that they believe they could refine. Furthermore, if theyre successful, then they would get shares and a small part of a patent. Buying the prototype could be sold as making an investment. In other words, for the likes of Xeroc Park or IBM or AT & T or Microsoft or several thousand research and academic facilities I think buying a prototype is a no brainer. In fact, at this point it becomes an investment. And if your product becomes as big as I think it could, it would be a very good investment.
I also think that you should suggest areas as to where you want your freely recruited engineering force to go. Just as someone who has no tech experience, these are the questions Id want the world to answer. Questions that it would take a million years for six engineers to solve but a year or two for the world.
Now, keep in mind that Im not a scientist. Imagine the questions and answers that real scientists and engineers could come up with. Another suggestion: all successful ideas should be posted to the website. It should be made clear that we retain full ownership of any idea that adds to our basic patent. It should also be made clear that we own any idea relating to the Entropy Engine that is sent to us. This is where someone familiar with patent and copyright law would be helpful.
So, what are my outrageous salary requirements?
Well, dont hire me full time.
I want you to hire me for a three month try out period. Im only looking to make $10 an hour. In other words, Im asking that between you and your board that you come up with $4800 in salary. I might be willing to work for less than that but I would want a bigger cut off of website revenues (Another idea Ive got) and prototype commissions. The three month period is a way for you to see how well I perform. If I do a good job, then keep me around. Actually, if I do the kind of job I want to do I would be making so much in commission I wouldnt need a salary within several months. Also, if I do well, I would want a contract, stock options, the works.
But only if I perform.
However, I am looking for a cut of commissions off of sold prototypes. My goal is 15 percent of profits. In other words, say I deliver 1000 orders to you within two months or $2 million in sales with $1 million in profits, I would want a check for $150,000 dollars. I dont think I can ask to be compensated like Bill Gates, but I can certainly be compensated like Steve Ballmer.
I think I can start taking orders for your prototypes within a month.
Anyway, those are my ideas for now. Your job is to figure out whether my ideas are feasible. If you have a question or concern please email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 412 856 0912 or 412 241 5063.
Im going to include a resume.
Consider this my cover letter.
I am copyrighting this idea because only the paranoid survive according to Andy Grove.
ęPhilip Shropshire, 1999. All rights reserved