In my last blog, I interviewed extremely successful and prolific inventor Roger Brown. Here’s the remainder!
Brown also described how he created his latest innovation, the “Pebble Peeler”, which hit the market just several weeks ago.
“Two of the problems I identified in the kitchen were space and time – women complained that they never had enough of either. So I wanted to create a product that addressed both issues. There are a lot of vegetables that require cleaning and peeling. How could I combine those two tools into a single unit? It made sense – they’re almost always used together,” Brown explained.
So Brown eliminated the annoyance of finding both tools. Taking inspiration from the concept of yin and yang, Brown married the two products into one. One half of the Pebble Peeler is a peeler and the other is a brush; the two halves snap together into a single unit. Brown also made sure that the product was flat enough to comfortably fit in a normal size drawer.
“From there, I made some drawings and then sent in the sales sheet to EvriHolder. They liked what they saw, and licensed it!”
I was encouraged and impressed that Brown has found a strategy that works so well for himself. He admitted that he doesn’t do any patenting himself – that the companies he works with usually pursue protection. Most inventors would be horrified with this idea.
“I have so many ideas in the works at a time that I simply don’t have the time or the resources. Even the cost of a provisional patent application is too much – I have over 250 ideas I’m working on right now! I’ve also found that my original idea for a product rarely matches the actual outcome. A lot of companies agree with the analogy, ‘what starts out as a dog, ends up as a cat’ ”.
The final three tips of advice Brown offered inventors are as follows.
“Do your homework up front. Too many inventors think, ‘This is a million dollar idea, and I’m going with it’. They haven’t verified that it doesn’t already exist on the market. Secondly, know your product. Many inventors aren’t ready to answer the questions companies throw at them after they’ve made their pitch – they appear very unprofessional when they can’t respond. And finally, have realistic expectations. Don’t make ridiculous demands (and know exactly, what a ridiculous demand is) or be pushy. You might have a good idea, but if a company believes you’re going to be too difficult to work with, they’ll drop you.”
Brown’s advice is solid. It’s not only what I really believe to be true, but from the mouth of a seriously talented inventor! Check out his website, www.rogerbrown.net
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