I recently read an article on the Inventors Digest website that was intended to help inventors avoid getting scammed. It listed many “red flags” that inventors should be aware of when working with an invention promotion company or someone who wanted to represent their product. Although the information was thorough, I felt the article really missed the bigger picture and the more important message: self-sufficiency and self-empowerment. If you don’t want to get scammed or taken advantage of, you will need to educate yourself. If you don’t, you’ll always be at a disadvantage and you’ll always be vulnerable to scamming!
What most inventors don’t know, and certainly don’t hear enough, is that they can bring their idea or invention to the marketplace themselves with the right advice. You will need, actually, to become an expert. The word “expert” may seem daunting. But couldn’t one argue that any job demands expertise? I don’t believe that invention promotion companies can do more for you than you can. In my experience, they don’t have superior access to licensing contacts. They definitely don’t share the passion and commitment you have for seeing your product through. And they’ll never be as vested in your idea as you are. I’ve written that emotion and attachment can cloud inventor’s rational decision-making abilities. This is true. But the right combination of passion and education is unbeatable.
I recommend, instead, finding a mentor and educating yourself through reading (to start). There are so many great resource guides. I list the books I think are best on my website, www.inventright.com.
If you’re still convinced that using an invention-promotion company is right for you, I recommend, above all else, asking for the names of products the company has successful brought to the marketplace. Find those products on the store shelves. That’s the best start you can give yourself in deciding if they’re credible.
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.