We deal with creative people who come up with amazing products that are truly going to help people. Our CEO, Trevor Lambert, always says that, ‘A great idea presented poorly will usually fail.” Most inventors get so caught up in their invention that they forget about the presentation. So here is a list of five mistakes we hear people make all the time:
1. Don’t tell anyone anything about your idea until you have patent protection on it or a signed non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Some people are super paranoid about talking about their idea even after they have a signed non-disclosure and some people will tell you everything under the sun about their idea without one. As an inventor myself, I know how scary it is to talk to people about your idea before you have a patent. Well, reality is that it takes a long time to get a patent – mine took almost 2 years to be issued. Unless you can get your product to market completely on your own, you’re going to have to get some help, which means you’re going to have to talk to people about your idea. Just make sure that you have a signed non-disclosure agreement that your attorney has approved, before telling them anything more than the descriptive name to put on the non-disclosure agreement. If the name that you call your idea gives away too much about it, put something generic like, ‘car accessory’ or something on the non-disclosure. Make sure you keep a copy signed by the other party in your posession at all times. If you get a paper copy, I would suggest scanning it or taking a picture of it and emailing it to yourself. Then keep it in a separate folder so you don’t accidentally delete it and can always find it if you should ever need it.
2. It’s the GREATEST thing in the world and will make you millions! Just like you shouldn’t tell anyone your idea without a signed non-disclosure agreement, that means you should make sure you’re talking to the right people, who have experience in the field. This is tricky as an inventor when you’re trying to get your product to market because it seems like everyone and no-one can help you at the same time. But honestly, if you’re talking to people who really know what they’re doing in business and can help you, you don’t have to tell them that your invention will make them millions. If they’re business savvy at all they’ll see the potential and will probably have more knowledge about making it a million dollar product than you. So don’t tell them this, it’s just going to turn them off.
3. Everyone I’ve talked to about it says it’s awesome and wants to buy one now! This just tells me that you’re already talking to potential consumers about your idea before you even know how you’re going to get your product made and how you’re going to sell it. Or, it tells me that you’ve only talked to your friends and family who probably won’t play devil’s advocate because they love you. Take everyone’s compliments with a grain of salt. I know this is incredibly difficult when you’re so excited about your idea, but the true test of how much people like your idea is if they’re willing to pre-pay for one. Make people put their money where their mouth is. Ask them to buy one from you now, before it’s even developed or ready for sale. Obviously there should be some stipulation that if you don’t have it within a year or something that you will pay them back. This provides some capital to you without having to give up any equity, gives you an incentive to keep pursuing your goal, and has a lot more weight than just telling people that everyone loves your idea.
4. It’s going to make people’s lives easier (or another claim). There’s no need to say this if you have a working prototype, because otherwise you could just show someone the benefits of your idea. There are some product ideas that will be obvious that they should work because they don’t have any new technology people haven’t seen in other products already. At Enhance Product Development, we are big proponents on getting your product to market as cost-effectively as possible. This means we make a lot of ‘virtual prototypes‘ because they’re usually cheaper than making real prototypes- depending on the idea of course. There are still ways to ‘prove’ your product works with a virtual prototype, and that is by getting an expert opinion. Having our engineering team consult with our industrial designers during the development of your virtual prototype carries quite a bit of weight when talking to potential licensees, investors and manufacturers.
5. Don’t try to push someone into acting now with your invention idea- this makes you look desperate. I’ve mostly seen this when people are trying to raise capital and asking for investments in their idea or business. There’s a fine line between following up with people and begging. Try to honestly put yourself in the other person’s shoes and think about what opinion you would have of yourself.
Call Enhance Product Development today to see how we can help you aviod these mistakes! 1-877-993-6426