I can’t stress the importance of teamwork enough. As I’ve said before, I’ve relied on the strengths of my partners my entire career. When I first began inventing, I had one partner. I came up with the ideas and he drew them. Together, we submitted our work to companies over the fax machine – the Internet didn’t exist! It was as fast and as simple as that. Today, that’s not the case. Huge changes in technology have been made, and those changes are reflected in the skills of my teammates.
Although I rely on a number of teammates, I couldn’t do anything without my right hand man, James Sheehan. This one man makes me look fantastic. He truly does everything I need; he runs my business, he creates sales sheets, he designs and runs our website, and he even files for trademarks. Without him, I’d be in trouble.
I believe you’re only as strong as the team you’ve assembled. Look for partners whose strengths and weaknesses complement yours; you don’t want a partner who has the same tools and skills as you do. If you’re shy and quiet, find someone who is outgoing and conversational. It’s going to take a lot of people for you to be successful.
When you choose a company to license to, make sure that they are willing to include you in the process of bringing your product to market (in some way). You want to be a part of that team. Give them all the credit – but stick around to make sure that your product sees the light of day. It all comes back to the team you’ve created.
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.