The economy sucks. It does. And there’s a debate going on within the inventing community. Is it better to weather the storm from within our homes, safe and dry, or to continue approaching companies to license to? Is it better to take this downturn as an opportunity to do research, to network, but also to ultimately shelf our products “for the time being”? The losses seem staggering. When a huge corporation like Kraft is witnessing enormous profit losses, how can we not be daunted? But my friend Roger Brown offered some great advice for experienced inventors (and courageous inventors) on a latest forum that I think you must read.
Brown offered a number of elements one must consider when deciding to continue pursuing licensing deals. First, the specific qualities of your product. Is it inexpensive for the manufacturer to produce? Is it inexpensive for the consumer? Does it fill a need or solve a problem? Can it be added to an existing line easily? The answer to each question must be yes. Although many corporations are facing losses in profit, it’s not true that all are. Consumer’s desires are changing. And if your product meets those changes, it may be successful. For example, Brown pointed out that one grocery store chain has opened 75 more stores this year – it’s cheaper than other grocery stores, and as a result, it’s doing well. “Need” items are still selling well.
And secondly, consider the practicality of taking an entire season off. Be prudent about which companies you approach. But out of sight is ultimately out of mind. When the economy does improve, it’s likely that inventor-friendly companies will be inundated with new inventions. If your invention could increase sales now, why wait? The rules of the inventing game have changed, at least temporarily. But as inventors, we’re creating for the world as we see it and as it exists– not the world or consumer market we wish existed. What problems do you see? What solutions can you provide?
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.