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Jun 21

Most independent inventors can’t drop everything to focus on their invention. Inventors have jobs, kids, a spouse (maybe even more than one, if you’re slow in getting your invention off the ground). Simply put, inventors have a life other than just being an inventor. The problem is that life can get in the way of inventing.

Getting a concept out of your head and onto a store shelf is a time consuming endeavor. Tomorrows come and go. And before you know it, you either see a similar product in the market place or you just lose interest altogether and, in the process, waste thousands of dollars.

So after helping many of you manage this problem, I have some tips.

• Make sure you understand the time commitment and have time to commit.
• Set a budget and know that you can access the funds when you need them.
• Make a list of the steps in the process.
• Set time each week to get something accomplished.
• Get qualified people (not your drinking buddy) to help you do what you don’t have time for or don’t have the skill to do yourself.
• Check in with someone who can hold you accountable for your progress.
• Expect that you will make some mistakes (everyone does). Get help to get back on track and move on.
• Set a launch date for your product. This is important. The launch date may be a professional tradeshow. It is this target date that will help keep you on track.
• Create a timeline with all of the necessary steps and the launch date.
• Now, figure that it will take twice as long (adjust your timeline) and cost twice as much and you will have a reasonable timeline and budget.

From time to time, life will intrude but if you have a reasonable timeline it will be easier to get back on track. Your idea and your money won’t silently slip away because you were busy living.

What is a reasonable timeline? Read my next blog.

Jun 4

I just got back form taking 10 new products to the National Hardware Show.  What a wonderful experience for the inventors.  We had garden products, snow shovels, fun new home gadgets and even something for the swimming pool. 

After attending the show a few times, the only thing I can’t remember seeing is women’s fashion (as long as flip flops don’t count) and baby products.  This show is perfect for inventors with new products.  There is a lot of attention paid to new products and inventors.  Our booth was in the Inventor Spotlight section and we were busy all of the time.

The inventors were able to work the floor for their product and bring potential buyers to the booth.  It was a very successful experience for our inventors and their products.  I always tell inventors that a professional tradeshow is the best way to launch a new product.  All of the people you need to meet are at the professional level shows.

We are busy planning for next year already.  We learned how to better present the products in the booth for the various awards that are given.  We had a good show on two months of preparation.  With a full year of getting ready, I am sure we will have an absolutely incredible experience.  We already have six products reserving their spot in the booth under our affiliated organization, The Inventors Roundtable.