Turn a Product Idea into a Prototype

Walking around the office, laboratory, and workshop at Keck-Craig in Pasadena, Calif., is something like touring a strange mechanical museum. Quirky machines—from tennis-ball servers to shrimp deveiners and beer-can chillers—are displayed everywhere, all designed and/or built by Keck-Craig. The $1 million company is one of a handful around the U.S.that helps inventors turn their ideas into reality, says Warren M.Haussler, president of the 59-year-old business.He spoke recently to Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about what makes an entrepreneur successful. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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