For most inventors, invention ideas seemingly fall into their laps – that’s the easy part. Things take a difficult turn when they try to get anyone to talk business about their idea.
Often an inventor’s latest brainstorm results in the greatest idea in the world that’s sure to make millions and solve problems that face everyday people. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work so easily. Most business people won’t talk about ideas on the fly, because they’re understandable busy. So, how do you get through and open a dialogue? With a product sample.
Unfortunately for inventors, there are dozens of companies salivating at the mouth ready to try to convince someone that their ticket to the good life is a poorly-rendered hand-drawn depiction of their invention with a lump of wax and a patent. Sure these organizations are quick to take someone’s money, getting started with a new invention idea but do they convey an inventor’s vision and clearly demonstrate it? Will that patent protect an idea that needs to be changed for manufacturing? To answer these questions and have a serious business dialogue, an inventor needs a working product sample that almost looks like it was pulled right off the shelf of a retail store.
Business people deal in the world of reality, so make it easy for them to see you mean business.
A long time ago, I tried to sell ideas from patent drawings, as well as fancy artist renditions of my concepts. It got me nowhere. After a great deal of effort, and in some cases arguments with company executives I wanted to work with, I heard, “I can’t show this to my retail buyer for an order or a commitment for an order.” I then realized that manufacturers produced new product samples complete with engineering and full-color graphics to show potential retail buyers. These buyers want products, not wax models and not pieces of paper with fancy drawings. getting started with a new invention idea
Put yourself in a corporate decision-maker’s shoes. You see one person walk into your office with a product idea sketched onto a piece of paper. You review it, but have little information to indicate if your current factories can produce this or if it even works. You’re sure a retailer won’t make a decision on something they can’t interact with. Now, a second person walks in with a new product ready for manufacturing with full-color sample packaging that matches your current line of selling products. In addition, they’ve provided you with engineering drawings that detail the manufacturing requirements of the product.
Well, you’re the decision maker, who’s ready to do business and who came unprepared?
In review, don’t let anyone tell you you’re going to be rich with just an idea. If someone does and they’re trying to sell you services, think twice. Pursuing your invention takes work and it’s risky. Also, you need a product sample that can be manufactured. Show decision makers you mean business and don’t waste their valuable time.