On Tuesday April 28th, I had the pleasure of speaking at an Industrial Designer’s Society of America (IDSA) meeting. The organization supports industrial designers throughout the nation, having chapters in all states. The event was intimate and I really enjoyed it – I rarely have the opportunity to meet and talk with industrial designers. Although I have spoken at Stanford University’s graduate design program and other colleges, it just doesn’t happen very often. And it’s good to know the people who may be your potential customers!
Industrial designers differ from the average inventor/entrepreneur in a way I found distinct: they understand that they must design for the market. They allow the market to guide them and to find holes in it by observation and by gathering data. Then they set off to design. They work to their strengths and get the hard work out of the way first.
However, it was interesting to learn that many of them had never even heard of licensing. They believed the only way to bring a product to market was to create a start-up, find investors, and then develop an exit strategy once the company had succeeded. That’s an enormous amount of work. Licensing requires little investment, doesn’t demand that you find a great team to work with, and allows you much more freedom. I hope that this information can help them make the best choice suited for their product!
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.