Inventors Need to Make Good Business Decisions
One of the most critical pieces of advice I can offer you in the process of getting an idea to market is to learn the right steps and make good business decisions. Don’t drink the Inventor Kool-Aid- in other words, don’t let delusions of grandeur shadow your grip on reality. Inventors need to make good business decisions if they want to succeed.
I speak with too many inventors who jump from “I have an idea” to living on a beach drinking little umbrella drinks. As much as that sounds, it’s just not realistic.
Common Bad Decisions Inventors Make
So what flavor of kool-aid are you drinking? Here are some of the most common things I see that lead to BAD decision making.
Filing Your Patent Yourself
Listening to anyone who tells you to file your own patent (filing pro se). Legally, yes, you can do this but it doesn’t mean you should. I often ask inventors “does that sound right?” There are times when your instincts give you a warning. This should be one of those times.
There is a reason why registered patent attorneys went to school a long time and paid a lot of money for the education. Reading a book about how to file Pro Se and then creating your own utility patent is like doing your own brain surgery: by the time you realize you have made a mistake, it is too late to fix it. The person selling the books made his money on you. That was his business model.
Not Filing a Patent At All
Another book you should use as fire starter is the one that tells you not to file a patent. It tells you to just license your idea and the licensee can file the patent. No, NO and NEVER!!!
Does this even make any sense to you? It shouldn’t. Ideas are like belly buttons. Everyone has one. It doesn’t matter how cute yours is; I can’t sell it! Your patent is the only thing that gives you the right to negotiate. You always keep control of your patent when dealing with licensing.
Allowing Anyone Else to “Use” Your Idea
Another flavor of inventor kool-aid is watching the late night commercials that promise to make you famous if you just pay them to take over your product. These companies, and there are several, have a collective success rate of less than 1%. This is a public report. Why would you do this? They business model is to make money off of you not to get your product to market.
Quality Resources That Can Help the Inventor
Inventors need to make good decisions, just like any other business oriented individuals. The key to success in the inventing world is to make business decisions one at a time based on what you learned during the last step. Above is a link to the Inventor’s Galaxy Guide. Learn the phase of the process and the costs of each. Learn your options and ask questions; but for Heavens Sake: Don’t drink the Kool-Aid.