I’ve often written about the ways manufacturing costs determine whether or not a product makes it to the retail marketplace. This knowledge largely comes from personal experience, especially with my invention “Spinformation”. The product’s journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster.
When I first developed the technology, it was an easy sell. The technology added seventy five percent more space to the label – space that could be used for just about anything. The trick though, was manufacturing. I naively thought, “Of course this can be done!” They had put a man on the moon hadn’t they? The label did eventually sell over 300 million units, but very quickly ran into some serious problems. The cost for the label was much more expensive than a standard label. And although the beverage guys loved the idea, I realized it wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.
But today, a method has been devised to produce that same label for less than a penny. I’m nervous. I took time off from Spinformation after it stopped being produced initially until revisiting it several years ago. We ran tests in Mexico, but it never got off the ground. It’s not that the product didn’t sell – it’s that I couldn’t even get it out of the manufacturing plant and into the marketplace. Will I face the same roadblocks again?
I just returned from several test meetings in Pittsburg. After working out a few kinks, things look good. I’m crossing my fingers. Things could still go wrong, but I’m excited. Disney, ABC Beverage, and I have coupled together to release two new children’s drink products in the next months. There are no guarantees, but there IS always the possibility of reworking an old idea! Start thinking about manufacturing immediately. Learn as much as you can to prepare yourself and to determine if your invention is worth pursuing.
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.