From the Mind to the Marketplace: The Story of an Inventor, the Home Improvement Industry, His Wife and Her Lovers


142 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 1-894384-93-8
DDC 608'.068'8




Reviewed by Barb Bloemhof

Barb Bloemhof is an assistant professor in the Department of Sport
Management at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario.


From the Mind to the Marketplace is Jayne Seagrave’s account of what
it took for her to bring her husband Andrew’s invention—“a small,
cheap, plastic and mass-marketable” do-it-yourself tool that applies
caulk in kitchens and bathrooms—to marketplaces in Canada, the United
States, and Europe. Andrew believed that it would be an easy sell; Jayne
discovered that it wasn’t, and explains in practical terms how she
went about marketing it. Her account mainly succeeds in providing
information that other inventors would find useful in bringing their own
inventions to market. However, the prospective inventor would be wise
not to follow the author’s path exactly: taking out a loan for home
renovation and then using the funds to finance a new business (p. 53) is
intentional misrepresentation that could result in prosecution.

Seagrave offers some good advice on the how-tos of starting up a
business, but in a few places leaves some important questions
unanswered, such as why an inventor must have product liability
insurance “and a multitude of other kinds of insurance,” and how one
knows what elements of a contract would make one “completely happy
[and in agreement] with all the clauses” of a long-term agreement.
Also, she draws an analogy between large-store buyers and lovers that
does not work. That said, the story is full of personal details, and it
is these details that capture the role of serendipity in creation. The
book includes helpful summaries at the end of each chapter, and its
breezy style makes it accessible to a wide audience.


Seagrave, Jayne., “From the Mind to the Marketplace: The Story of an Inventor, the Home Improvement Industry, His Wife and Her Lovers,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 27, 2024,