One frequent inventRight forum poster, Ron, was recently featured on “The Pitchman” with Billy Mays. We all enjoyed watching the show; Ron was great on TV and truly loves his product. But as the program ended, I realized that Ron shares many of the same sentiments I once did – sentiments that can often prevent a product from being as successful as it could be.
Inventors often become very attached to their specific concept of an invention. Inventors invest so much financial and emotional energy during the early development stages of a product that it’s difficult not to be. Ask an inventor to redesign their idea? To repackage? To draft a new price point? Good luck. Oftentimes, they can’t see their ideas in any other shape or form. But this rigidity can often be extremely detrimental; if an inventor isn’t willing to compromise on any of these issues, his or her product is unlikely to be as successful as it could be. It isn’t relevant if your product is designed exactly as YOU imagine it – there are other people you’re going to have to work and agree with to sell your product!
Ron’s invention retailed for sixty dollars. He had several reasons why this HAD to be the price; the quality of the product was high, it was manufactured in the United States, and it had a lifetime guarantee. Billy Mays and his team were definitive. They told Ron that he had to lower the price to $19.99 to sell the product on television and in an infomercial format. Ron wouldn’t budge. And although Billy Mays loved his product, he didn’t agree to sell it.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s the value of keeping doors open. Did Ron really consider all of his options? Billy Mays and his team probably could have sold two or three million units. Did his product have to be manufactured in the United States? No. Great products are manufactured in China and put through quality control. Should products be made in the US? Yes, if possible. But in Ron’s case, the price of his product needed to be lowered dramatically. How much experience has Billy Mays had selling products on TV? A lot. He’s pretty darn familiar with which price points work and which don’t.
Would Ron have made less money per each product? Yes. Would he have sold more products? It’s overwhelmingly likely. You can’t wait for a better time or for the “right” time. A lot of opportunities come around only once! Someone may design a better product. The market may change. You never know.
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.