It’s on the television. It’s in the newspaper. Everywhere – an atmosphere of doom and gloom. But in truth, a lot of opportunities to bring your product to market continue to exist and have even increased. I don’t care what you call yourself, be it a creative person, an inventor, or a product developer. We’re the creative group in the country and we’re problem solvers. And there are simply new problems to solve.
In short, the economy isn’t an excuse to not move forward with your idea. In this blog, I’m going to detail the many options that exist to help you bring your product to market. They’re not perfect, but you need to know what’s out there and how you might choose the best path for you.
Inventions wanted? Absolutely.
Very large companies have begun to publicize their desire for outside innovation. This list includes Kraft, Proctor and Gamble, Kelloggs, Dial, and Rubbermaid. Many of the companies list the products they seek on their websites, or at the very least, have created a way to submit your ideas online.
But submitting to these companies is by no means the perfect way to bring your invention to market. After having worked with them myself, I’ve learned that it’s difficult. They’ve been in business for so long, and they have one hundred guys in the back trying to produce ideas as well. They ARE looking for ideas – that’s true. But there are roadblocks. For example, it’s likely you’d need to understand how they manufacture before finding a hole in their product line. If you don’t understand this process, you’re at a disadvantage. If you become an industry expert (or work with one when designing your idea), you can have a lot of fun. But simply coming up with a brand new idea for Kraft? It’s not that simple.
Additionally, read the fine print. Then read it again. They say they want inventions, but do they really… For example, on some official pages where inventors can submit ideas, a company states that it will only accept ideas that are patented. That’s ridiculous. For one thing, you must wait three or four years to receive a patent. If you were to wait for that long, you’d miss your window in the marketplace. And spending the money it takes to issue a patent before you’ve gotten any green lights? Irresponsible. And finally, it’s easy to redesign around patents.
Several new television shows are all about innovation. Shark Tank. Pitchman. Everyday Edisons. American Inventor used to exist. After working as a consultant for that show, I learned that there really IS very little reality in reality television. Are your chances of making it big through a television show slim? Yes. Is their value in pitching in front of judges, in front of a camera and an audience? Absolutely. As long as you’re having fun and not taking it too seriously.
There are also product hunts, such as the one put on by the Big Idea Group. They produce roadshows that have lists and lists of clients looking for ideas. But there are also 10,000 inventors who are submitting ideas. Those aren’t odds I love. And you also must realize – if your idea is selected by Staples, then it is only going to be produced at Staples. That’s frustrating. Here are some additional product hunts and scouts.