It’s not a secret. Inventors fail. We fail and we fail again. In the course of my thirty-year career, I’ve made every mistake imaginable. And I’ve seen other inventors make the same ones time and time again. But some mistakes ARE avoidable. The following blog is devoted to the top ten stupid ways inventors fail – the beliefs and actions that lead them away from success. How many have you made?
10 – “The company rejected my idea. I guess I should just give up.”
There are many possible reasons a company has rejected your idea. Maybe it wasn’t a great fit for their current line. Maybe it was too expensive to manufacture. The truth is, you won’t know until you ask. Do so. Why didn’t they like your idea? What could be made different and better? You may be able to redesign your idea and resubmit it. You may need to begin to find other companies to submit to. But regardless of what you do learn, giving up beforehand isn’t the best strategy.
9 – “I have been working on my idea for ten years. I think now I will show it to a company.”
Inventing is a numbers game. The more ideas you come up with and the more companies you submit to, the higher your chance of success. Investing all of your time and energy into a single product is dangerous – it doesn’t work out, you may be both emotionally and financially devastated. Strive to entertain multiple ideas at a time.
8 – “Wow, I just signed my first licensing deal, but I am not getting a royalty check.”
Don’t be romantic about royalties. Learn about all aspects of licensing contracts, including term sheets, standard royalty rates, and minimum guarantees. The more solid information you have, the more likely you are to have realistic expectations. Never sign a contract with completely reading and understanding it first – hire a licensing attorney for advice if need be.
7 – “If I just had the right contact, I’d be able to submit my product to a company for review.”
Never rely solely on a connection or referral to submit your idea. Realize that you are in charge of your future, and establishing your own relationship with an individual in the company who will champion your idea is the only way to go. It’s as easy as using Google to find a corporation’s telephone number and asking to speak to someone in sales or marketing. The company probably has a specific process for submitting ideas. You want to feel empowered – not dependent.
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