Time after time, beginning inventors fall into the same traps: hoping to get rich quickly, not fully understanding the risks and resources required to bring their idea into reality, believing new products are easier to bring to market than they really are, and living in denial. These four mistakes are a recipe for disaster, so it is best to learn about them so you do not repeat them.
Mistake One: The Myth of “Get Rich Quick”
Although all forms of media love to tell stories about inventors who made it big quickly, the United States Patent and Trade Office statistics reveal that 97 percent to 98 percent of all patents issued for new products never make it to market. Although it is not clear how many of the patent ideas that do make it to market are generated from established manufacturing companies introducing new products, it can be assumed that it is the majority. The multi-billion-dollar manufacturing sector of the economy risks many millions of dollars on research and development and employs countless business professionals, marketing professionals, industrial designers, and engineers to guarantee that their new products will be brought to the marketplace. Therefore, it is likely that independent, beginner inventors make up a very small percentage of the 2 percent to 3 percent of patented new products that are created.
Believing they can get rich quickly is the biggest mistake that beginner inventors can make. If there was an easy way to make it big, surely that multi-billion-dollar manufacturing sector of the economy would employ it. Instead, it employs professionals who work hundreds of hours and spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars for each new product launched.
Mistake Two: Not Understanding the Risk, Effort, Money, and Resources Required
Yes, the multi-billion-dollar manufacturing sector of the economy employs many professionals who work hundreds of hours and spend many hundreds of thousands of dollars for each new product launched. These professionals also use expensive resources like their company product data for similar products, their existing customers and distribution networks, their test laboratories, their prototype facilities, and their existing manufacturing facilities to effectively bring their new products to market.
The average new product that is brought to market takes one-and-a-half to three years to develop and launch. When the general public makes a trip to any store, they are unaware of the grand effort and expense that is required to put those products on the shelves. Similarly, most beginner investors are unaware or underestimate the risk, effort, money, and resources required to bring a product to market.
Mistake Three: Believing It Is Easier than It Is
Since many beginner inventors believe the “get rich quick” myth and are unaware of the risk, effort, money, and resources required to bring a product to market, they also believe that there is a simple and easy way to do it. However, again the multi-billion-dollar manufacturing sector of the economy would employ simple and easy answers if they existed. Instead, they know all too well the difficulty of bringing a product to market. In fact, they continually try to simplify and make easier these costly processes because of their need to maximize profits. It requires expense and hard work to bring new products to market and there are no simple and easy answers. Someone has to take the risk for the new product, execute the work, and pay for all resources. This is neither simple nor easy.
Mistake Four: Living in Denial
Beginner inventors are especially vulnerable to the typical human tendency of “hearing what we want to hear.” This vulnerability is driven by the belief in the possibility of getting rich quick. As beginner inventors slowly become aware of the risk, effort, money, and resources required to create a new product and learn that there maybe are no simple and easy answers, they fall victim to hearing what they want to hear. It is only when they fully accept that there is no simple and easy answer that they will stop living in denial.
These four mistakes made by beginner inventors are a recipe for disaster. They can cause inventors to loose money — big money — and never get their patented new product manufactured or placed in the marketplace. But with careful planning and an understanding of the risks and resources involved, the beginner inventor can at least have a shot at making their dream a reality.
(c) Copyright 2005, M. R. Benson. All rights reserved. M. R. Benson, a Mechanical Engineer with 24 years of experience in R&D, product design, and manufacturing is senior engineer of ACE Inventors Services.com. Benson holds seven U.S., one European, and three German patents.