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6 Errors New Inventors Make

Here are the biggest errors new inventors make before they realize the truth about the inventing process.

BY James B. Miller “” June 5, 2014

Most of the inventors in the world today are not schooled in business or engineering and starting a new business is not easy. Most inventors make many decisions that affect their family’s financially to the negative. New inventors usually make the same mistakes in certain areas. It’s not uncommon to see similar actions and attitudes in these inexperienced inventors. Getting a new product to market is not a walk in the park nor is it a get rich quick solution. Fortunately there are solutions to these most common mistakes. I plan to let you in on the real scoop.

So you can expect to make some errors and learn from them which are a good thing. But I want to show you the errors to stay away from so you don’t lose your life savings or your marriage. Not to mention your self-confidence to be an inventor. Below are some of the major errors that can be avoided by knowing a few simple steps.

Error #1: Unrealistic Expectations
Most people think their new idea is worth a million dollars and that everyone will line up to purchase their new invention. They have asked their family and friends what they think of their new idea; of course they all said it’s great. They will be an overnight success and be vacationing on the beaches of some distant tropical island sipping Pina-colada and getting a beautiful tan. Wishful thinking is an understatement; there will be many days and months of work and disappointments to prepare to present an idea to those with the power to sell your invention. Very few inventors are successful on their first try. There is money to be made as you become wisher to the inventing process. Going it alone is not the easiest thing to do, but most inexperienced inventors feel they know the right course of action for their new idea. Because they are so emotionally involved with their idea they blindly through a lot of their personal savings at it only to find out after getting a patent, prototyping and manufacturing their first order that they can’t find any customers.

Error #2: Failing to search to see if their idea is already being sold
So your new invention you feel is without a doubt the best thing since sliced bread and you start looking for a patent attorney, someone to create your prototype and a designer for your packaging. You start writing checks and getting very excited because you are seeing progress and your great idea coming to life. Then someone tells you they have seen your idea on the Internet somewhere and it pops your bubble and makes you feel like quitting as an inventor.

It’s true that this is very hard to overcome when you have spent so much time and valuable money to bring this once in a lifetime idea to the world. Believe me when I tell you that this is not the end of the world but just a stepping stone to your future success. You must believe in yourself and learn, adapt and create your next big idea.

A piece of advice from one that has been there, research your local stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond search the Internet Amazon, E-Bay, YouTube, etc. Ask your friends to help you in your search, but take the time to research your idea before you spend your time and money. If you find out that your idea has been done but yours is much different in some way it still might be a money maker. You will need to make sure you are not infringing on anyone’s patent.

Error #3: Thinking that your invention will sell to everyone
If your research shows that your idea is not being sold you still need to know if there is a market for it. You need to know if people will actually want to buy this invention if it was sitting on a store shelf today. Is this a product that has a wide appeal or a narrow market? There is a great deal of time and energy put forth to find this out but it will pay off if you find that this product really has a large potential customer base.

First you need to determine what type of customer would be willing to purchase this product. Will it be for the general population or children and at what age group? Will it be for men only or women only? You really need to know who is the potential customer base you are targeting. Once you have decided who is the target audience then you need to develop a market survey to a wide cross section of the country. If this turns out to be positive then you may want to move forward with this product idea.

Make sure that your survey isn’t just to your friends and family for they love and care about you and will not be brutally honest with you about your product. This has in the past proven to be very costly to most inventors because this type of survey is too biased. You want total strangers to respond to your product with unrestrained candor. Talk with your local retail stores and see if they would carry a product that is like yours if it actually was ready to be purchased. This feedback is vital to you because it will give you valuable information to possibly making design changes or other changes necessary for the retailer to be motivated to purchase your product. Be open to criticism and straight talk, do not take offense to what is being said and do not defend your product. There is a reason for these negatives so find the solutions and solve them.

Error #4: Getting suckered in by Invention Help Companies

These companies are everywhere on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and of course on the internet. I call them the “Vultures of Invention”. They prey on the inventor who naturally feels his or her invention idea will make a million dollars and change the world. Because of this emotional connection to their invention idea their eyes are closed to the fact that this process is extremely difficult and very costly and rarely make anyone any money. They are told by these so called Inventor Help companies that their idea is a money maker, they except every idea. Why, because their intention is not to sell your product but to milk you of your life savings for the sole purpose of padding their own pockets. If you contact any company for assistance and they tell you that your idea is fantastic and then ask for any money to get you involved run away like a scared rabbit. Don’t be fooled by them telling you that a small fee or a subscription fee is a small price to pay for such a great reward when your product is sold. Also they will try to sell you on their services such as patents, prototype, engineering, presentations, videos and a whole slew of services that the only ones making any money are them NOT YOU.

There are very few legitimate Inventor Help companies out there if you decide to go that route then read there agreements and check to see how they plan to bring your product to the retail and wholesale market. Get a non-disclosure agreement signed before you give them your idea.

Error #5: Thinking a patent is the way to go

There are those who will tell you that you must get a patent on your new idea. Usually that will come from a patent attorney. But this is not always a true statement. More than 85% of all patented ideas never are manufactured and sold. Why, because some inventors are more interested in patenting an idea than they are about making money. It’s great to be able to go to your next High School reunion and brag about all your patents I guess. But for me I would rather be making money on ideas that really got produced and sold. Most of the products today don’t have a patent because it isn’t about who gets a patent its more about who gets into the retail market first. This places you in front of the inevitable competition that will come if you truly have a great product idea. Because you are first to be seen in the market place you now become the brand name that all others after you will be chasing. Having first position in the market is extremely valuable because all others are copy cats and the consumers always want the brand name not the generic or knock off product.

There is a need for a patent if your idea is a never before seen technology or a greatly improved version of an existing technology. But you must understand that your technology will be reversed engineered by a foreign country if it has great potential and value to the mass population. This you cannot stop form happening no matter how much money you are willing to spend defending your position in the courts. It still boils down to who gets the largest market share first.

Error #6: Not having knowledge of the inventing process

Inventors in general believe because they came up with this great idea that’s enough for them to become wealthy. But there are millions of ideas that never become successful because an idea is only an idea. It requires a great deal of work and hours and money to take an idea and turn it into a real product. There are skills like designing, drafting, engineering, prototyping, presentation, video, marketing, legal and many other things to consider when your idea is becoming a reality. If your idea is something that you feel you can manufacture and sell yourself through a retail store or the internet you quickly find out that this requires your full attention and always a lot of your own money. Inventing products is certainly not a get rich scheme.

Even though this process can be trying and difficult it also can be very rewarding and exciting. Just be sure that whatever way you decide to go into this process that you do your homework and try to find trustworthy individuals to work with. It’s something like finding a spouse to spend the rest of your life with. But if you find the right partner to share with, it will be a glorious and profitable experience.

I hope you will have great success in your future inventing projects.

Remember ”Have An Inventing Day”