What’s another roadblock inventors let prevent them from moving forward? The belief that they need to create and possess a perfect, working prototype of their idea. This is not true. You don’t need a prototype as much as you think you do, and you definitely do not need a beautifully, professionally crafted one. Many inventors do not have the funds to spend on an expensive prototype, so they believe they can’t go any further with their idea and give up. Please, don’t let not being able to create a prototype stop you!
Do you know what you’re selling? It’s not an exact replica of your product. It’s the benefit(s) your product offers to the consumer. How does it make one’s life better or easier? Because products change so many times before the production of the final model, having a perfect working prototype isn’t a necessity. Companies want to know how your product is going to earn them money. And the way your product is going to do this is through its benefits. You need to focus on clearly conveying these benefits. I rely on sales sheets to show off my products; others use visual aids like video.
If you need to prove that the concept your idea is based upon actually works and functions like you say it can, then obviously, you need to find a way to demonstrate this. But this can be done very rudimentarily. Take apart other products to form yours, if need be. Use your hands. Hire an engineering student from the local university to help you. But this model need not be aesthetically pleasing or polished. It just needs to demonstrate that your product does what you say it does.
Relying on sales sheets rather than prototypes allows me to figure out if there is indeed a legitimate interest in my idea before I’ve invested thousands of dollars. If I discover that there is, I may later create a prototype. But I need to know first that the idea I’m spending time, energy, and money on is a worthy one.
Prototypes are fun! We all like and want to build them. We want to touch and see our idea in product form. But you shouldn’t spend thousands of dollars just to satisfy this desire, and frankly, you don’t need to to license your product.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 30 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 listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.