How to Invent and Profit Like Thomas Edison

February 8th, 2011

Thomas EdisonWell known American inventor, scientist and businessman, Thomas Edison, never stopped inventing from the time he started through the end of his life. He died with 1,093 patents to his name. More notably though, he commercialized hundreds of patented inventions through patent licensing, patent sales, and by building companies around his patented ideas.

Lesson #1: Invent to Sell

One of our favorite Edison quotes explains his desire to create commercially viable inventions:

“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” –Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison used daily life as inspiration for many of his inventions. He would actively think about and observe problems and needs which he believed people would pay to have solved. Many of his patents were improvements on existing products that increased usability and practicality.


“I have never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others… I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”
– Thomas Edison

Lesson #2: Understand the Value of Marketing

Unlike other inventors of his time, Edison understood the value of marketing. After inventing a product, he did not sit back and wait for customers to come to him. Instead, he went out and actively marketed his inventions. Early on, he focused on licensing or selling his patents. Later, he focused on creating companies to bring his products to market.

“Unlike other inventors of his time, Edison understood the value of marketing”

Edison believed in showcasing his inventions to the public and throwing down a challenge to competing products. When promoting his DC power over Nikola Tesla’s AC power, he electrocuted an elephant with Tesla’s AC power to prove it was dangerous and should not be used.

Lesson #3: Work Hard and Be Persistent

Thomas Edison was a self-acclaimed hard worker. He did what he had to do so that he could keep inventing. His ambition, drive and motivation are inspirational:

“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.” –Thomas Edison

Edison figured out how to invent while working full time. He worked jobs that would provide him the ability to invent while he was also collecting wages. Edison purchased his first industrial research lab with the money he made from the sale of the quadruplex telegraph to Western Union which he invented after hours.

Lesson #4: Think Outside of the Box

When Edison was conceptualizing the implementation of electric power, he didn’t just stop at the idea. Edison figured out how to distribute it, in order for people to use it, making him money. Edison’s DC power was eventually replaced with AC power in most states during the mid 20th century; however parts of New York City used DC power until 2007.

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” –Thomas Edison

Lesson #5: Focus on One Idea

Thomas Edison also understood the power of focus. This is displayed by another one of my favorite quotes of his.

“I have more respect for the person with a single idea who gets there than for the person with a thousand ideas who does nothing.” –Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison used his focus and persistence to get results. Over the period of his life, Thomas Edison founded 14 companies, including General Electric, which is one of the largest companies in the world.

Edison’s strategy for inventing can serve any inventor who wants to make money; invent what people need and then actively promote your invention to find your customers. The only way your invention will have a shot is with persistent and proper marketing.

Create a Listing today and reach investors, patent buyers, retailers, and manufacturers looking for the next BIG ideas.

Learn more about Creating a Sales Pitch or Licensing a Patent.

Lindsey Yeauger is the Product Marketing Director for IdeaBuyer.com, The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. You can email her directly at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com

Need Assistance? Call us today at (832) 683-1527

Personality Characteristics of Successful Inventors

January 2nd, 2011

Personality Characteristics of Successful Inventors

Successful inventors know more than just a technical sequence of steps. Beyond that, what really makes them successful is the personality characteristics they possess. They have a mindset that enables them to make the right decisions when they need to be made. While this is a bit harder to learn and master than the steps of a process, it is no less important. In fact, it may actually be more important. That being the case, let’s explore what some of these vital personality characteristics are.

1) Developing a bias towards action.

By far the most beneficial characteristic of successful inventors is having a bias towards action. Very simply, this is a shift in thinking where you are more inclined to do something than do nothing. When an opportunity presents itself, you move quickly and intelligently to capitalize on it. When a problem arises, you act just as quickly to neutralize it and minimize the damage. This is a major change from the habits of non-successful inventors (and non-successful people in general), who are usually happy to twiddle their thumbs while waiting for answers to serendipitously appear.

This is fatal to your chances of success. Therefore, you should make it your business to develop a bias towards action as quickly as possible.

2) Being decisive.

Going hand in hand with the a bias toward action is the habit of being decisive. As an inventor, you are the point man, the rainmaker, the go-to guy. You don’t have a CEO, human resources department, or labor union to bail you out when things go wrong. It’s you or bust, and that makes being decisive an absolute must. Again, this is more of a mentality than a step-by-step process. You need to feel ice in your veins when the time comes to make a big decision, being prepared to stake everything on the choice you ultimately make. As the great philosopher Ayn Rand wrote,

“An inventor is a man who asks ‘why?’ of the universe and lets nothing stand between the answer and his mind.”

3) Having integrity.

One of the biggest reasons people strike out on their own to invent stuff is they want to escape the backstabbing, soul-crushing, opportunistic corporate world. They didn’t want to BS and backbite their way to retirement. Integrity is very important to them, and should be to you.

Therefore, you want to be percieved as a man of your word.You never know who you are going to need a favor from. The person you you talked down last year might be in a position to make or break you someday. Plus, it’s just bad form to screw people in order to succeed. Stay true to your principles at all times and you will have mastered a crucial success habit.

4) Staying focused on your main goals.

Focus is another “state of mind” characteristic that you must work at if you don’t already have it. Very simply, it means devoting the most time to the things that move your goals closer to realization. Direct marketer John Carlton has a term for this: Operation Moneysuck. As he explained it, top copywriters were wasting their time if they worked on anything that didn’t bring in the money. They were not making money when they were fixing the copier, arguing on the phone with vendors, or issuing a refund.

The top inventors intuitively know this.

They know that every second they spend on other things is time they aren’t spending on finishing, packaging, and marketing their product. Adopt the same mindset and you will be well ahead of the curve.

5) Loyalty to your goals

This might seem like the same thing as staying focused on your goals, but it’s really not. Loyalty to your goals is what you need when a seemingly (but not actually) better opportunity arises. As human beings, it’s easier to take your eye off the ball. Especially when you get caught up in what seems cool and glamerous right now. But if you want to succeed as an inventor, you cannot succomb to this temptation. John Carlton elaborates:

“But when you have a set of goals to measure any incoming opportunity against, you know exactly what to do. If the opportunity moves you closer to your goal, then you jump on it. If it doesn’t… well, you’re allowed to reconsider your fundamental goals, but when you’re dead set on something specific (like being an entrepreneur) then it’s easy to let even hot opportunities go (like taking another job with The Man, regardless of how attractive the salary is).”

For an inventor, this means ignoring naysayers who tell you your dream is hopeless. It means listening to your own inner voice instead of surrendering it to people who want you to drag you down to their level.

6) Developing Strong ‘Why’s’

Why are you an inventor? Why are you inventing what you are inventing? Answering these questions – really, firmly, no-doubt-about-it answering them – will take you a long way toward following through on steps 4 and 5. One of the main reasons people don’t reach their goals is because they never had good reasons for setting them. Maybe they picked an arbitrarily high goal to impress their friends or family. Maybe they picked a goal they intuitively know is impossible to reach, so they give up. The solution is setting goals that are A) realistic and B) you actually want and need to achieve.

Think it through in such depth that you can recite your reasons at 3AM when someone pulls you out of a dead sleep and demands to know what they are. Once you are this resolved in why you are doing something, you will be virtually unstoppable.

Eric Corl is the President of Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company and the parent company of IdeaBuyer.com. IdeaBuyer.com is a marketplace for new technology and products that gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers.

4 Tips for Successful Product Marketing

November 28th, 2010

Product MarketingWhen it comes to product marketing, everyone thinks they are an expert, but few can produce results. Why is this so? Most of the problem comes from marketing books, seminars, and courses that detract from the heart of marketing: translating features into benefits. Much of today’s marketing is based on product hype . However, the simple truth of the matter is that people buy things to gain pleasure or avoid some sort of pain. It is critical to understand this as it is the supporting motivation for every purchase no matter how little or large it may be. Think about the last two items you purchased. Why did you buy them? You can boil every purchase down to gaining pleasure or avoiding pain.

That being said, there are four key tips to better connect with your customers:

1) Use terms your customer can relate to, not industry jargon.

This point is illustrated eloquently by Jay Cross of the popular online marketing blog PronetAdvertising.com. In his article “Speak Your Customer’s Language”, he stresses that marketers often become so entrenched in their fields that they believe everyone else knows as much as they do.

“As businesspeople we develop tunnel vision regarding our products. The better parts of our days are spent actively working in our fields. We are more experienced and well-read than most ever care to theorize about. This leads us to use super-specialized language that doesn’t always click with customers. I was as guilty of this as anyone. When I did anti-spyware I was guilty of calling my product a “data-driven Internet security solution” or “gateway threat prevention.” And while these terms do apply in a certain context of knowledge (say, a rival CEO’s), they are outside of the realm of a typical customer’s knowledge base. Now that I’m out of that market I can see it with fresh eyes, including the much simpler terms the common man describes it with.”

The solution to this problem is to discuss your products with people outside your company and outside your market. This is the only true way to learn the outsider’s perspective. Once you get an idea of what this is, you can apply it to the packaging and marketing of whatever product you have to offer.

2) Focus on benefits, not features.

This is one of the most oft-made mistakes in all of marketing. To an extent, this is understandable. When you have spent months or years toiling to create a new product, you are naturally excited about all the little things that make it tick and want to describe them to your customers. The problem, as with the last tip, is that the customers do not share this context of knowledge or enthusiasm. So what is the difference, precisely, between features and benefits?

A feature is what something IS. For example, a 50 number speed dial, or a 6 CD changer.

A benefit is why someone CARES. For example, fewer keystrokes and less hassle changing CDs.

Sadly, Entrepreneur.com notes that “not one in ten companies understands the difference” between features and benefits when it comes to preparing marketing campaigns or materials. For this reason, many well-intentioned marketers stress features over benefits and the bottom line suffers as a result. If you want put your marketing efforts into hyper drive, go over everything you put out with a fine-toothed comb and make sure benefits are top, front, and center. You will be amazed at how much of a difference this makes.

3) Write at a fifth-grade level. Really.

This might sound like we are demeaning your customers, but rest assured that this is not the case. It is simply a fact that most buyers respond better to simple language than complex language. In his book “Meaningful Marketing”, Eureka! Ranch founder Doug Hall notes a study proving this to be so. “Whether it’s the lack of reading done by most adults after high school, the immense information overload people experience, or a little of both, consumers simply shut down when confronted with lengthy tomes. The solution? Read your marketing material to a child in late elementary or middle school. Do they understand your product? If not, what did you need to tell them before they did? Incorporate what you learn into your marketing and you will be astounded at the results.”

4) Know whether your customers are right-brained or left-brained

Most of us are familiar with the idea of diving people into categories of right-brained or left-brained. Right-brained people are supposedly more emotional and impulsive while left-brained people are apparently more logical and deliberate in their decisions. In most cases your customer base will be a mixture of both, but one group tends to outweigh the other. You should make it a point of determining whether most of your customers are right-brained or left, as this can significantly amplify your marketing efforts. For example, left-brained customers will expect fliers and copy with lots of facts, product comparisons, and a clear demonstration of value for the money spent. While this is important to right-brainers too, you are more likely to win their business with enthusiasm and energy.

Running a product marketing campaign with these items in mind will help increase conversion rates on most marketing.

Eric Corl

Eric Corl is the Founder and CEO of IdeaBuyer.com, a marketplace for new technology and products that gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email him atEricCorl@IdeaBuyer.com. You can visit the site by clicking here >New Technology and Products, Patents for Sale

Turning an Invention into a Business

September 5th, 2010

Turning an Invention into a Business

istock_000009365323xsmall By Eric Corl, Idea Buyer LLC

The way most people (and infomercials) portray inventing, it seems like building something is the endgame. Create the widget, the logic goes, and your job is done. All that remains now is sitting back and waiting for fame, fortune and orders to pour in. This extends at least as far back as Henry David Thoreau, who famously declared “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” Indeed, what could be more appealing from an inventor’s point of view? Unfortunately, this is not the way it usually works in practice. As marketing guru Perry Marshall countered, “Henry David Thoreau never built any mousetraps, and the world never beat a path to his door.” Marshall’s point – and our point today – is that inventing is a business. Like any other business, money is not made merely by developing a product. To truly cash in, you will need to create demand for what you invented and monetize that demand in a life-sustaining way. Several ways of doing this are discussed below.
Above, we said that turning your invention into a business starts with creating demand for the invention. But demand from who? There are actually a few routes you can take in generating demand for the invention. Perhaps the most obvious and intuitive is creating demand among customers. If your invention is a consumer product that could be sold on a store shelf, this is certainly something to consider. However, if you are going after the consumer market, their desires must be taken into account during the inventing process. Rather than merely inventing what you want, you must design, prototype, and develop what the buying public will pay for. It is possible that the latter might be something slightly or entirely different than what you imagined at the outset. Don’t let this stop you. Remember, your goal here is turning your invention into a business. Business is about finding needs and filling them.

That means it is far wiser to gauge demand for your invention at the beginning (by conducting market research or surveys) than to invent whatever you want and try to force it down people’s throats later. Many unhappy inventors have taken this path, only to find that their dreams of market success were doomed from the start. The phrase “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. Even if you are certain your invention has demand in general (for example, a new kind of bike tire), you can boost your odds of market success even higher by figuring out what current versions are lacking. What are some common complaints about alternatives to your invention that are already out there? Such questions will help you create something that people are already eager to buy without a whole lot of selling and hype. In fact, that is the central lesson of this entire article. The surest way to turn an invention into a business is to invent something for which there is much known, obvious, ready-made demand. If you have to convince people that they “should” want your invention, you’re looking at an uphill climb from day one.

Of course, inventors can create demand for their inventions from people other than consumers. Maybe your personal strengths and weaknesses are ill-suited to marketing your invention personally. It is not for everyone. An alternative strategy is to create demand among manufacturers, who would buy or license your invention and bring it to market themselves. Several advantages stem from this strategy. For one, you have the luxury of focusing on decision makers at a small handful of companies, rather than trying to juggle the logistics of selling in stores around the country. Conceivably, you could spend a few weeks creating a presentation, booking appointments and conducting product demos and close a deal rather quickly. The terms of the deal are completely negotiable by you and the manufacturer. For instance, the two of you could enter into a licensing agreement, whereby you get $50,000 immediately and 2% of gross product sales for 20 years. Or, you could agree to sell the invention outright for a larger up-front sum.

The main difference between creating demand among consumers vs. manufacturers is in how you promote the invention. Selling an invention in stores, again, demands publicizing the benefits of the invention to the consumer. Keeping our bike tire example, you would likely want to advertise how durable the tire is, how it is more puncture-resistant than the leading brand, and how it offers better traction over rocks, branches and mud. This is the information pertinent to a consumer’s decision making process. Manufacturers, of course, have their own decision making process. Rather than product benefits, the manufacturer is concerned with profit margin, production costs, short and long-term demand and the likelihood of the product triggering lawsuits, among other things. Pitching to manufacturers, therefore, requires having pleasing answers to these questions.

Again, the overall idea is that turning an invention into a business centers around demand. Without demand from others, money never changes hands. We cannot stress enough, therefore, that you are not inventing simply what you want. While this is a great starting point, what you personally want to invent must always take a backseat to what consumers or manufacturers will pay for. Luckily, there is often room for both to co-exist. If you have spent your life working with a product category, chances are you are one of its consumers who knows what you and others will pay for. Keeping these principles in mind will go a long way towards turning your invention into a feasible business.

Eric Corl is the founder of Idea Buyer LLC, an Ohio Limited Liability Company. Idea Buyer LLC runs and manages IdeaBuyer.com and is a leader in new product development and commercialization practices. You can email him at EricCorl@IdeaBuyer.com. If you have a product that you would like our feedback on, email info@IdeaBuyer.com

Have a great idea and don’t know what to do next? Call us at 832-683-1527.
Looking to sell or license your patent? – Visit http://www.IdeaBuyer.com

Valuing a Patent

July 1st, 2010

Valuing a Patent

Valuing a patent

 

One of the most important tasks you will carry out as a patent holder is assigning a monetary value for it. This could become necessary for any number of reasons, such as:

  • Selling the patent
  • Licensing the patent
  • Deciding how much equity to give to business partners investing or working with the patent

None of these decisions can be wisely made without first knowing, at least roughly, what your patent is worth. It is not always an easy task, as patent valuation is a somewhat inexact science. However, whether you have a provisional patent, a design patent, a utility patent, or a plant patent, some key principles should be observed.

1) Valuing a Patent: What is the Market Size?

You should value your patent with an eye toward the size of the market it could serve. If you own the patent to a new kind of baseball bat, you would want to determine the size of the baseball gear market. Consider this the starting point, for without knowing how much money is spent on similar existing products, you have no valid basis for assigning a worth to your own. After all, wouldn’t you agree that whether your market sees $1 million or $50 million in yearly sales, there would be an impact on how much your patent is worth?

Valuing a Patent: What have comparable patents been valued at or sold for?

One of the benefits of working with a patent attorney is that he or she will have access to comparable patents, or how much similar patents have been valued at or sold for. It could be that a new baseball bat was patented 10 years ago and valued at $500,000. Now, this does not necessarily mean that your patent is worth exactly that. Market forces change all the time, and the further back that similar patent was valued, the less it should influence that value you assign to yours. (Conversely, the more recently a similar patent was valued, the more that valuation should be heeded.)

Nevertheless, it pays to get a read on how similar patents are being valued rather than arbitrarily plucking an attractive number out of the air and assigning that as your patent’s value.

Valuing a Patent: Determine the patent’s validity

One major factor that needs to be considered when valuing anything is risk. In this context, a major risk is that someone who buys or licenses your patent will find that it does not hold up in court – that is, that the courts might decide the patent is invalid. How could this happen, you might ask? The website JournalOfAccountancy.com offers 2 possible scenarios:

“If it is discovered after a patent has been issued that the inventors didn’t meet the statutory requirements for obtaining it–for example, if they weren’t the inventors (35 USC section 102(f)), or had published information about the invention or offered it for sale more than one year before the date of application (35 USC section 102(b))–the patent is invalid and substantially worthless.”

Obviously, this is not desirable and any perceived risk of it happening will reduce what someone is willing to pay for your patent. The solution? Consult your patent attorney on ways to investigate the validity of your patent and convey this to prospective buyers. The more you can eliminate the perception of risk, the higher a value you can assign to your patent.

Valuing a Patent: Does Your Patent Overlap?

Part 3 of our “Patent Facts and Fiction” series says that a patent does not give you exclusive rights to make your invention, only to prevent others from doing so. But what if making your invention would infringe on someone else’s patent? This type of patent overlap is quite common and could lead to your patent being invalidated by the courts. Work with your patent attorney to investigate if any overlap exists and communicate to prospective buyers or licensees that this will not be an issue. Eliminating this risk will allow you to value your patent higher than if it was not addressed.

Valuing a Patent: What are the current substitutes?

No matter what you value your patent at, anyone thinking of buying or licensing it will investigate their alternatives. They will look for the “next best thing” and try to figure out if that would be cheaper than your patent. Since they are going to do this anyway, you had might as well figure out in advance and incorporate it into your valuation. Doing so offers you a strategic advantage – namely that if the next best thing is expensive (or there is no next best thing) you can use this as justification for charging more. Of course, if the next best thing is inexpensive or close to what you are asking, this could suggest a need to lower your valuation.

Valuing a Patent: Why are you selling/licensing?

You cannot value your patent in a vacuum, looking for the one, true, “right” value. Rather, you should assign a value by keeping your unique needs in mind. Why are you selling the patent? If you are just looking to cash out fast without a lot of meetings, delays, and deliberations, it might make sense to use a lower valuation. Money today is worth more than money tomorrow, and holding out for a trivially or even substantially higher price may not actually be worth it. Or, maybe it is – the point is that you need to make this decision consciously and not out of egotism or greed.

Valuing a Patent: Proceed with Caution

Keeping these 6 tips in mind will not instantly generate the “right” patent value for you, but it will ensure that whatever value you decide upon is far more realistic and valid than it would have otherwise been.

Now that you are on your way to Valuing a Patent, learn more about Selling a Patent. Also, take time to learn more about patent licensing as an option for commercializing your patent.

Need Assistance? Call 1-832-683-1527 | Idea Buyer LLC – Ohio Limited Liability Company

Invention Process

June 13th, 2010

INVENTION PROCESS

This series will help you to understand the normal progression of the invention process, while helping you figure out where you are and what you need to do in order to move forward.

Invention Process

Invention Process

The invention process going to be broken down into four phases:

    Phase One: Research

    Phase Two: Development & Realization

    Phase Three: Presentation Material

    Phase Four: Pitching to Companies

Each section will cover another phase of the invention process, explaining each step and what should be completed before you move on to the next step. Time and/or money spent on each step will also be explained, so you know what to expect. In some cases, you may be able to do things on your own, but you should expect it to take more time because you are saving money. When paying for services, you are paying other people to do them for you, so your time spent should be significantly decreased.

Invention Process Phase One, Step One

You have a great invention. You THINK it will be wildly successful. Before you do anything else, you must conduct research in order to substantiate your feelings with fact.

Step Two: Conduct Research

Time: 30-100 Hours

Money: $750-$2,500

This phase should come almost immediately after the “Aha” moment. While research can seem like a time consuming task, you need to be conducting a very vast amount of research that may seem broad to your product idea. If you feel that you already know everything that you need to know, I ensure you, you do not. Consider it like studying for a midterm, isn\’t it always better to be over-prepared and do well, then be under-prepared, fail and wish that you would have done more in the beginning?

  • Patent Search
    Start with conducting a patent search. It may seem like no one else has thought of this idea because it\’s not on the market, but there may be a patent for the same idea and for several reasons, it never made it to market. Starting with a patent search is going to save you time, money and hassle later.
    When searching for a patent, do not specify your idea. Use broad terms related to your idea that will bring you to anything closely related.
  • Industry/ Market Research
    Once you have determined whether or not your idea is truly original, determine the best industry for your product to go into. The best way to decide on your industry is to compare it to similar products. Begin with researching the industry in broad terms, getting to be more specific. Your research should leave you with a good understanding of your industry, its major companies, and past, present and anticipated changes.

    Example:

“AHA! I have got it! This will change the world! Heated windshield wipers! No one will ever have to worry about their windshield wipers being frozen to their car during the winter again!”

My research will begin with the automotive industry, and then become more specific to automotive accessories.

    List of Industry/ Market Research:
      • What is the environment surrounding your product like? How will these things affect your product?
        • Economy
        • Government
        • Technology
      • What is the market defined as? How small/large is it compared to othermarkets?
      • Which companies are controlling the market?
      • What has happened to this industry in the past? Present? Future?
  • Competitor Research
    Competition for your product can be direct or indirect. Existing products that consumers are using as a solution to the problem that your product solves will be direct competition. Make sure to be knowledgeable of extensive details for each of your products competitors. Including, ownership, target audience, price points, manufacturers, distributors, and contact information of company executives.
    It is also necessary to be well-informed of indirect competition. These products will not necessarily have the same target audience, or may not even solve the same problem. However, a consumer may choose to purchase this product instead of yours.
    For example, you have invented a travel toothbrush capable of compacting to an inch tall. Direct competition would be other travel toothbrushes, and indirect competition would be basic toothbrushes. While your toothbrush is convenient, some consumers may choose to just stick with buying a basic toothbrush and toting it around.
  • Consumer Research-
    There are many things that will affect the way in which a consumer decides whether or not to purchase a product. However, you should be able to anticipate what obstacles your product will face. Know the demographics of the “typical” consumer in your market, along with buying motivations and expectations.
  • Product Research
    In order to understand if your product will make money, more research is necessary. A guesstimate of manufacturing costs can be made by figuring out the materials needed to make your product and roughly how much they cost (you should get a detailed estimate of manufacturing costs later).
    Based on direct and indirect competition currently on the market, you should be able to determine roughly what your product would sell for. After some math, it should be evident whether or not the product would make a profit.
    *If your product uses complicated materials and manufacturing techniques, it will be especially important that you contact an engineer for drawings and cost estimates.
    Know which methods your product would be sold best through, a detailed description of who would buy it, and information on manufacturers and retailers that would be a good fit for your product.

Step Three: Evaluate Research

Time: 10-20 Hours

Money: $150-$400

It is extremely important to evaluate your research before you speed on. Many inventors become overly excited about their idea, and run to patent their idea without considering the results of the research. The reason that research is so important is because it will tell you whether or not you should move forward with your idea.

    Reasons you should NOT move forward:
    • The idea is already patented by someone else.
    • The industry is not profitable and is not anticipated to become profitable.
    • The sole company involved in your industry, is already selling a product like idea.
    • Your product will cost more to make then people are willing to spend to buy it.
    • The problem your idea is a solution for, is not a problem most people care about.
    Reasons you SHOULD move forward:
    • There are few patents related to your idea.
    • The industry has grown rapidly and is expected to continue to grow.
    • The leading companies in your industry are actively researching and developing new products.
    • Manufacturing costs are estimated to be 10% or less of what similar products are selling for.
    • Many people have the problem your idea solves. Or, if only some people have the problem, it is a large obstacle that they would greatly spend money on.

Once you have completed step one, you will know if this is the right invention to take to Phase Two.

Next week’s article will cover development and realization of your idea.

For more information or questions about phase one, please feel free to email me at: Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com

Lindsey Yeauger is the Product Marketing Director for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.

Need prototyping? 3-D Engineering? Manufacturing Quotes? – Contact Us: 832-683-1527

Have a question? ASK US!! http://www.ideabuyer.com/askus.php

More articles on the invention process coming soon.

Steve Wozniak: How I Invented the Personal Computer

April 18th, 2010

Our world has been greatly impacted by the success of Apple Computer. From their original computer to the IPad, Apple has a rich history of innovation. For many inventors, the story is too big to relate to. Untouchable. Yet, the founders of Apple (Steve Wozniak and Jobs), started off just like you………

Steve Wozniak: How I Invented the Personal Computer

Follow IdeaBuyercom on Twitter!

January 7th, 2010

IdeaBuyercom is now on Twitter. If you are an avid twitter user or beginner, sign up to receive our tweets on commercializing your intellectual property!

http://twitter.com/IDEABUYERcom

Creating a Sales Pitch

December 1st, 2009

The video below is an easy to follow tutorial on creating a sales pitch by using a methodical three step pitch.

Why Not You?

November 13th, 2009

Stop Whining and Start Winning!
“I do not fear failure. I only fear the “slowing up” of the engine inside of me which is pounding, saying, “Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?”” – George Patton

It is not until a man gives up that he is a failure. Failure is simply an event. Failure can serve us greatly if we utilize its lessons and continue moving forward. For those of you that have allowed the past 11 months since the New Year beat you down and withdraw your enthusiasm for your goals, pay attention.

No one is born a great inventor. Great inventors become so through years of hard work, dedication, and sharpening of their saw.
Successful inventors study the markets they invent for, build contacts, and partner with individuals who can help them take their product to the next step. They utilize their capital wisely, investing in materials and services that are value based and help them build their networks.
One thing they do not do is give up. This isn’t to say you should never let a product go. What it means is that you should never stop inventing, educating, and taking massive action.
This past week I had the opportunity to speak to a very intelligent and motivated inventor named Lisa. Her last invention flopped after she spent a large chunk of her money on patent services before she had a chance to really get started.
While most people, rejected, would feel defeated and give up. Many would think, “maybe this just isn’t for me. Maybe I am not cut out for this”.

Not Lisa. Lisa learned from her mistakes, built up her coffers, kept her journal, educated herself further, and is currently in talks to license her patent pending product. We also had the opportunity last week to get two new products into retail locations where they will begin selling. Collectively, the inventors have been working on their inventions for over 5 years and their persistence is paying off.
The will of the human mind is the greatest gift a person is given.
The human mind is what can help people get through atrocious events like the Holocaust.
Your mind, like a tree, can only grow stronger when it is challenged by the weather of life.
If a tree is insulated against nature, its trunk stays week. It does not grow stronger. Eventually, if it is planted alone, it often snaps during turbulent times and dies.
Let the storms and weather you face serve you in your inventing career.
Think about how you can take control back and fire up that engine inside of you. That engine that says;
“I do not fear failure. I only fear the “slowing up” of the engine inside of me which is pounding, saying, “Keep going, someone must be on top, why not you?””
– George Patton

Best,
Eric Corl

Eric Corl is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company which operates IdeaBuyer.com. You can email him at EricCorl@IdeaBuyer.com.