Trial by Invention
Llumina Press (2008)
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (11/08)
“Trial by Invention” reads like fiction with conflict, resolution, more conflict, suspense, and resolution. There is a protagonist and an amazing number of villains. These colorful characters and Rosen’s compelling communication style kept me engaged throughout the story of his twenty-year odyssey. It is the story of his discovery, his dreams, and his struggle for success in a competitive market.
This is the story of Tend Skin, a patented skin care cosmetic formula, its invention, production, and distribution. In 1985 while treating a dental patient, Rosen accidentally uncovered how an everyday ingredient could prevent a common, disfiguring skin condition. After experimenting with various combinations Rosen came up with a consistent formula and was ready to launch a journey that took him on an uncharted course.
A complicated real estate venture and his dental practice had drained Steve’s energies and resources. He was ready for something new. Tend Skin’s success took center stage and in 1994 Rosen formed the Tend Skin Corporation. In 1996 he sold his dental practice.
Trusted employee’s motivated by greed and avarice turned against Steve and the company, made “copy cat product,” violated distributor agreements, and “ripped off” the company. In a short time Rosen found himself plaintiff or defendant in multiple courtroom dramas. Malpractice suits, patent disputes, contract issues with equipment suppliers, and sexual harassment came into play as Tend Skin was beginning to show signs of a promising success.
Soon Rosen was plagued by visits from representatives from government agencies: the EEOC, the FDA, the Department of Labor, the FAA, OSHA, and the local police. All have a part in the Tend Skin story.
Some more pleasurable highlights along the way included visits to Hollywood movie sets, meeting celebrities, and being aired on the QVC Shopping Channel with National TV coverage
Catchy subtitles within each chapter move the story forward and add to the suspense element of Steve’s ever increasing struggle in dealing with the details of marketing, producing, and distributing product under adverse circumstances, hate campaigns, ineffective legal counsel, and the related mental stress. Some of these subtitles that intrigued me included: Loose Dog Problem, Mary’s Psychic Card Reading, Bella the Cockatoo Enters the Picture, Dumped by My Shrink, and The Naked Mechanic Story.
“Trial by Invention” illustrates the complexities and pitfalls faced by the entrepreneur starting up a privately owned business. It is especially helpful for anyone ready to patent their invention, looking for marketing strategy, building a production staff, or contracting with distributors for sales. Steve Rosen has a remarkable, disturbing message; however he projects a positive attitude of hope for the future as he continues to persevere and pursue his dream.