I’ve always believed that you never fail until you quit. When you’re submitting ideas, when you’re a product developer and an inventor, you’re going to receive a lot of rejection letters. This is without question. As I’ve told you before, I’ve received enough letters to wallpaper my home. But there are intelligent strategies you can employ to work smarter, not harder.
Try to spend just five minutes with the company on the phone. Ask, “What went wrong? Where did I miss the boat? Was my product too expensive? Did I fail to identify a need? Did my product not fit your line?” You deserve to know why your product was rejected, and furthermore, you’ve spent too much time developing it to simply accept a rejection without questions. Learn from the answers! Change your product appropriately so you can resubmit your idea. It’s hard to ask these questions, but the information is critical.
But there’s a second element to this argument. At what point do you walk away from an idea? How many rejection letters do you have to receive? How much criticism? How many times does someone have to tell you, “It’s just not a good idea”? After an inventor has invested so much money and so much time into an idea, they’re incredibly reluctant to let it go.
I don’t have the answer. But what I can advise you to do is to ask yourself the following challenging questions BEFORE a situation like this arises. Before you begin work on an idea, ask yourself these questions.
Is there really a need for my product?
Will people buy it?
Can people actually make any money manufacturing it?
How big is the market my product sells in?
If you don’t receive the right answers here (i.e., positive ones), then you need to rethink your idea. Maybe it isn’t as strong as you thought it was. Get back to the drawing board. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how hard or for how long you try if all the essential elements don’t exist. Maybe your idea hasn’t hit the market at the right time. Maybe it doesn’t have benefits. Maybe it can’t be produced at a cost that makes sense, given the risks. But regardless, know the answers to these tough questions at the beginning of your adventure, not the end.
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