At Dartmouth I took some entrepreneurship courses. The course director, Greg Fairbrothers, would always start by telling us that our very best idea is worth $1. He told this to some hotshot Tuck students whose ideas have made many millions since that time. Why so pessimistic about the value of an idea? Because ALL of the work is in going from idea to purchasable product, and it is a lot of work! His quip has born out completely in the creation of the Fuzzybutts Cat Box.
I've made a big first step on the path from idea to product with the filing of our Provisional Patent application with the USPTO. By the time it was all written, applied for, and paid for, a couple weeks of work were involved. However, I can now more openly discuss the design with friends, suppliers, and consultants. Even better, I will now give out some testing units for feedback from other people. I'm really looking forward to the critiques and thoughts.
Here's to a long, loving relationship with the USPTO.