Advice and Tips for New Inventors
This can be simply summarized with three of my favorite sayings:
1. Ideas don't work - unless you do!
2. There is no such thing as a "good idea" unless five years later you are still making money and having fun with it!
3. Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans!
Your idea or invention may even be a "great idea", but you, nor I, can ever tell in advance! It takes a lot of hard work, money and perserverence just to find out! AND it is always a gamble! AND it sure is exciting and satisfying when something created entirely by you, by your little brain takes off in the market place!
You have to consider the market and how you will sell your invention.
We engineering inventor types really love to fix and improve everything. I try to help the young engineers think things all the way through by asking them: "Assume you found enough investors, you solved all the technical problems, you have your patent protection, you solved all the manufacturing problems and now you have 10,000 perfect widgets in beautiful packaging sitting in your garage - what do you now???"
(One basic selling/marketing book I can recommend is "Turning your Geat Idea into a Great Success" written in down-to-earth language by Judy Ryder, a successful business woman and international consultant specializing in new baby products. You can EMail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on obtaining a copy. Don't forget you can search Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com to find other possible good additions to your inventors library.)
Yes - there is tons of work to be done and marketing/selling is just one part of making a successful invention. Unfortunately, there are tons of people who have have really good ideas and great intentions, but never finish anything! You can never give up when playing this game!
YOU have to do all the work to to turn your invention into a sellable product.
Worse yet, are the people who come to me with their "Zillion dollar, ultra cosmic super wonderful idea". They are so confident in its potential that they expect me to get just as excited, drop every thing I'm doing in order to take over and do all their work for them. Uhh! Uhh! Guess what? I still have 50 more "wunnerful ideers" of my own that come first!
Yes, it is easy to get get consumed by the fantasy of the perceived value of your invention. It is always difficult to put such things in proper perspective. The weird part is that an idea takes an inspired leader who has big, maybe even partially unrealistic dreams. Without the big dream, the idea may never happen! It is very tough to be that dreamer and be realistic at the same time. We are all quite prejudiced when it come to how wondeful our own ideas are.
ARE THERE ANY PLACES I CAN HAVE MY "BRILLIANT INVENTION" EVALUATED TO FIND OUT HOW MUCH REAL SALES POTENTIAL EXISTS??
There are a lot of ads out there from a lot of companies who claim to do just that. There are also lots of stories about inventor rip-off companies. The is only one place I totally trust for doing invention marketing potential evaluations. It is the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center. WISC (cute acronym, huh?) is a non-profit university service for everyone in the USA, not just people in Wisconsin. Get their free reports on how they work and their many success stories from their Web Site. Most important - their quality service is very low cost.
You have to know up front that I am prejudiced regarding WISC. The reason is that the Director of WISC since 1985 is another D. Malewicki - Debra, whom is married to my cousin Bob's son. Once, for kicks, a year or so ago, I looked up "Malewicki" on Yahoo and found many references to the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center popping up! Debra Malewicki this and Debra Malewicki that all over the place! Of course, I got intrigued and further research found credible accolades to their programs (like best place in the nation to go, etc.). Debra also has good helpful articles in the last couple of issues of INVENTORS' DIGEST - "America's Leading Inventors' magazine since 1985" and has been mentioned in DREAM MERCHANT "America's Road Map for Inventors since 1990" magazine (two publications for helping inventors with lots of informative help and even free sample issues). The question is - every one in my family knows I'm a serious inventor, so why didn't anyone in the family clue me in earlier?
Just to be sure you understand - WISC does NOT help you obtain patent protection, NOR raise money for you, NOR get prototypes made for you, etc. Their purpose is to help people get a handle on the realities of the market place for their ideas. DREAM MERCHANT will shortly be running a series on all the University based Inventor Evaluation and Help Services. I'm sure others have to also be of top caliber.
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