My idea was so good. Why do I feel like it’s been forever for it to take off?
It’s time to discuss the truth of inventing, taking a product to market, and the process in between. I am asked this question pretty frequently by inventors past and present, so let’s dive in.
As an ambitious inventor, you know you’re onto something good but are not sure where to go from there. You do your research, find a product innovation firm that wants to meet with you to discuss your idea. While that is definitely a step in the right direction, remaining weary is your best line of defense. The problem with some of these well known companies and firms that have success rates of 65%+ is their lack of transparency with clients. Let’s start with the cost associated with simply discussing your project with your selected firm. You’re going to pay upwards of $500 to $1,000 to meet with a company and its advisers, but what will you walk away with? At the most, you will have an outline of a plan for your project. Mistake number one is giving your money to companies that don’t care about the client, just the idea itself. In the vicious world of inventing, you MUST protect yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions before your first consultation. “What will I leave with?” “What of value are you providing me with?” A TRUE to intentions company will leave you with no unanswered questions, no grey area, and a whole lot of confidence in your pocket that they will do everything they can to make you successful.
This leads me to my next point, which is false pretenses and fuzzy agreements. So a company tells you that they guarantee success of your project, you hear “Oh, I have no doubt in my mind that it will fly off the shelves…,” “Your idea is going to make you rich…,” “we promise ____ and ____”. The harsh reality to this is something inventors seem to toss out the window. You can never predict the success of a project, due to the many changing factors that play a role in that. We start with the consumer demand. It is literally impossible and a huge disservice to guarantee a product’s success rate before it has been on the market. We, as inventors and companies alike, cannot tell you what a consumer will or will not buy. That’s the trickiness and risk of the market, that’s just the way it is. If a company uses the word “guarantee” when dealing with an aspect they have NO control over, run away. Fast. While a company should do everything in their power to get your product out there successfully, that should be the only thing they promise you– the willingness to try. Those are the services you’re paying for, not a success rate of 100%.
Lastly, I go a little more in depth about the consumer market. Again, putting a product on Amazon, Walmart, and other large scale retailers does NOT guarantee any amount of success. It also takes at least 4-5 months of a product being on the market for it to see any kind of profit, or sales. Inventors are not entrepreneurs. They do not see the turn around times to even LIST a product on a website, let alone put it in an actual store. Bottom line, it takes time. Results are rarely instantaneous in terms of the inventing industry.
It’s easy to get lost in being hopeful, which is okay at times- but to be able to snap back to reality and be real about you and your product’s journey is just as easy. Do your research, protect yourself, have faith in the people you choose to represent your idea, and stay creative.