What we post on the Internet stays around for a long, long time. Before I make any major changes, I always consult a group of trusted advisors. These advisors are individuals who know me well – they understand what I’m about and what I’m trying to achieve. And they definitely have my best interests in mind.
It’s commendable to be adventurous – it’s hard to grow, improve, or learn without taking risks. I’m all for trying something new. But which risks should be taken and which shouldn’t? I’ve made many mistakes. Some choices I look back on and think, “Well… I could have made a better decision.” But I can’t undo the past and there is little point in dwelling on some of these less than fantastic choices. They seemed great at the time!
Here’s a perfect example. Several weeks ago, my team and I had a lot of fun designing a new advertisement for inventRight to post on our website. The short commercial would share a little bit about who we are and how we help inventors. We decided to create the video in a Billy Mays type style – very unlike me. It was fun and I liked it. But some of my trusted advisors were definitive. “Steve, this isn’t you,” they told me. They showed the video to several other colleagues who agreed.
We quickly removed the video. It wasn’t a smart move. It’s important to trust your gut, but equally important to get advice and input about style-related decisions. Sometimes it’s difficult to step back and be objective. And unfortunately, we’re forever remembered by these choices!
There’s an example of this type of mistake I just can’t forget. Patrick Raymond is the executive director for the United Inventor’s Association, or UIA, and the inventor of the “Shower Bow”. It was a good product and I thought he did a wonderful job on his infomercial – until the very end, that is. He chose to include the Naked Cowboy, an infamous NYC guitarist who plays on the street in his underwear. He’s rather well known. A great decision? You be the judge. One I remember? Definitely. You can see the video here.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.