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Eureka Moment’s - The Creation of Motormouse





For some the “Eureka” moment is in the bath, in the garage, the class room for my website and for Patti and David Bailey  it was the toy Bentley Continental on top of the 50th Birthday cake.

Business or smart ideas often come from apparently no where but it is the development of the idea which is the challenge and more often the expensive stage. For those who like Dragon’s Den you see many invest £50K or more into a product or website and the DD members shoot the idea to pieces.

It was a repeat session of Dragons Den on Dave when munching my cornflakes before school that the motormouse product that highlighted the eureka moment for Patti and David Bailey. The idea of creating a quality computer mouse to replicate TOPCAR's such as their model Bentley continental was born. The "one year on" programme outlined the success of pursuing into reality. Luckily, Patti lives less than 20 miles away so a quick email and my first interview was set up. I wanted to learn what the Dragons Den experience was really like and pick up some tips on how to develop my website.

My welcome by Patti was very friendly and we soon got chatting about the products which were proudly displayed on the dining table and how the idea became reality which has since generated nearly  £1M of sales. Patti outlined that the main challenge  was there are no UK computer mouse manufacturer  to create Motormouse and that the initial idea to major car manufacturers  initially fell of deaf ears. As to be expected, China came to the rescue and a suitable quality supplier was found that supplies to Logitec. What was surprising was the large licence fee that has to be paid to be able to use the car manufacturers' designs - typically about 10% of the sale value of each Motormouse.



Creating a new computer mouse does not come cheap. In terms of costs for a new product you have to make an investment of approximately £100,000. This sounds a lot of money and Patti says it is funny when people say ‘if you made a Ford Mark 2 from 1972 in brown, I’d buy one!’ – well they could buy one but it would cost them nearly £100,000!!! The £100k is broken down in terms of £25k design, tooling, development and testing costs; approx £25-30k licence fee paid to the licence holder, (the car manufacturer for example or sometimes another company who handles licensing on the manufacturer’s behalf);  and approximately £45-50k for the first production run to be brought into the UK. Add 20% VAT and the cost of the mouse of £30 become acceptable for the quality engineered mouse, which for many is a nice gift or personal treat.

For Patti and David it is key to which cars or more importantly which motor mouse sits smartly on a desk before you invest another £100k. The original Motormouse is a quality product. Well shaped and very comfortable to touch. For me however, a blue original mini has some star retro quality as photographed above. Other products are on the drawing board. Such was the success of just being on Dragon’s Den the initial request for £100k for a 45% stake in Motormouse was not required.

It was Archimedes and the Crown of Gold who made “eureka” famous. Patti’s and David  idea will shortly be a  golden £1M idea. I am impressed by the detail and extent of problems overcome to create the highly engineered product which has now been copied by a number of other suppliers. You can immediately tell the quality of the copies is inferior.


Our hour’s chat flew by, and we ran out of time to discuss the real Bentley in the driveway. I asked Patti to sum it up in five words. The reply was “fast, powerful, comfortable, sumptuous and expensive”. I left Patti feeling quite pleased with my first interview. I can see why James Caan was as keen to invest in “people” as much as the original product. Patti and David now act as Business Reviewers for James Caan and one of the recent inventors was Tony Benn who had a similar Eureka idea of a travel case with integral seat.



‘Scan the following QR code from your smart phone which takes you to the Motormouse website – or log onto – and as a special discount for TOPCAR visitors, please use the voucher code TCMM12 to get a 7.5% discount’


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