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Last Update: Sunday July 25, 2021

Key Idea: Prepare For A Long-Term Ramp Up

NoUVIR is the second company launched by the Millers so they knew it would be difficult.  More...

Key Question:


Have plenty of cash in your savings account.

There are thousands of inventors but very few new projects that actually make it to the marketplace.

Q: Why do so few products succeed?

A: First, some inventors actually think a big company will give them millions for an idea they sketch on a tablet. Many big companies buy-out small companies but only after the product is made and proven by happy customers. Second, it takes time and most people aren't as patient Jack and Ruth Ellen. Third, many projects don't have a good idea behind them. In the case of the cold-nosed projector, the idea is fantastic. Using fiber optics lighting, museum directors can stop the ruin of great paintings and treasured arifacts.

Think about it

How long can you live without a paycheck?  Would your family be cheering you on even it if took three years to earn enough profits to pay yourself?

Clip from: NoUVIR: Lighting Is Big Business

Seaford, Delaware: The bold among us take on the giants of industry.  This episode of the show is a classic David & Goliath story. Their slingshot is the US Patent & Trademark Office and Goliath looks like GE, Osram Sylvania, and Phillips.

Meet two small business owners who have slain the giants. Their advice for inventors is timeless.

Ruth Ellen Miller and her ever-inventive father and business partner, Jack Miller,  are  two of the brainiest people we've gotten to know and we've met lots of geniuses since the first episode back in 1994. They hold over 100 patents; they're expert witnesses on patent infringement lawsuits. And, they truly understand the heart and soul of intellectual capital. Their lighting business is the working evidence. Museums around the world come to them to provide the type of lighting that does not damage physical artifacts.

Their company is NoUVIR.  They create pure light -- no UltraViolet and no InfraRed. UV and IR found in typical lighting will destroy art and artifacts over time. 


Ruth Ellen Miller, Co-founder

Highway 13
RR4 Box 748
Seaford, DE 19973

Visit our web site:

Office: 3026289933

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1990

Prepare For A Long-Term Ramp Up

HATTIE: When did you decide, `I want to own my own business'?

RUTH ELLEN: When I had worked for Dad for about 10 years. I kept looking at what we were doing for clients because we were in the R&D business, and we developed new products for them. And then I heard this man talk about the problems of museums, and I talked my Dad into saying, `Let's be our own client.' And he said, `OK, but guess who gets to run the company? You do.'

HATTIE: So you convinced him to walk away from a profitable business in order to join you with your ideas.

RUTH ELLEN: Both of us walked away from a profitable business.

JACK: Years ago, I founded a consulting business which was devoted to developing proprietary products for other companies, and sometimes big ones. And in doing so, why, we managed to develop a lot of patents because we just do proprietary stuff. We don't make just incremental changes, so we invented some things. These now are inventions that are actually manufactured by our clients.

JACK: So this accumulated a bunch of patents. (Voiceover) And now I've got so many patents, the patent lawyers started hiring us as expert consultants in patent litigation.

HATTIE: There are millions of people--and hopefully they're all watching this show right now--millions of Americans who invent things every day in their garages. And they think, `I'm going to make a million dollars with this.' Why don't more people successfully bring their ideas to the marketplace?

JACK: Well, first of all, most inventors kid themselves and they think that all they need to do is create an invention, maybe with a prototype, and that somebody is going to buy it--a big company is going to buy it from them. It isn't so. They won't acquire an outside invention. What you have to do to sell an invention is you've got to make it and show a profit and then people are after you all the time. They want to give you money. They want to loan you money. They want to buy your company. We've had two options to buy our company within the last year. And we just told them flat no. We're not interested. Don't even make an offer.

HATTIE: How long did it take you to get a product out the door?

RUTH ELLEN: Well, it took us three and a half years to figure out how to make fiber optics work so that we would have a viable product.

HATTIE: What did you have to learn to create this product?

RUTH ELLEN: We had to start with what was light, because there was a whole lot of myth out there and a bunch of people teaching really old theories on how light worked. And no one had the mechanism for how people saw or why it caused damage. When we understood the mechanism, when we understood the science, we could apply it and make it practical and give birth to a product. And that's really what a high-tech product is; it's just applied science.


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