Tom Rauscher isn’t afraid to say it. He’s an inventor. But to the expected query of how many patented inventions he’s created, he answers, “None.”
Oh, he’s invented stuff. Among these are a type of car cover, shortened water skis that allow for barefoot skiing, and a gizmo called a pocket probe that allows police officers to extract the contents of suspect’s pockets without inserting his own hands into the pocket.
But creating a product that has successfully been brought to a mass market audience isn’t the definition of an inventor. The process of creating something new and knowing when to stop working on it is just as important, and satisfying, Rauscher said.
The former aerospace worker recently wrote a book on his lifelong experiences as an inventor called “The Idea Logbook,” which was self-published earlier this year.
“It’s a simple step-by-step guideline for people who have an idea for a product that will enable them to save lots of money, and to stay organized,” he said.
Besides his book, Rauscher has created a Web site called Inventorsplace.com that contains a marketplace for other inventors’ products and other resources geared to creative types who can’t help themselves as they attempt to build that proverbial better mousetrap.
Rauscher, 42, said he’s been tinkering around with making new stuff for at least 20 years, and always enjoyed taking apart machines to see how they work. These days he makes his living by helping others.
The Oceanside resident charges $39.95 for his book, but it’s $10 cheaper if purchased on the Web site. He didn’t reveal how much he earns as a professional inventor, but said it was enough that he didn’t have to work at a regular job.