Dotcom companies may be shutting down left and right, but that doesn't mean the Internet can't be a great starting point for inventors. All you need is an innovative product in a hot product category that can generate a buzz among your target customers.
Melody and Byron Swetland of Gaithersburg, Maryland, found success by taking their invention to the Net and starting a Web site to launch their product, UV bubbles called Tekno Bubbles. Along with their 22-year-old son, Enoch, who now runs their company, BM&E LLC, they sold more than 60,000 bottles last year (at an average retail price of $3.95 per bottle) and may top half a million units by the end of the year. "We've really had to struggle to keep up with production," says Byron, 46. The Swetlands attribute their overwhelming success in part to the worldwide exposure they've gained by selling Tekno Bubbles over the Internet.