Over the years I have learned there is quite a spectrum to how people anticipate their success or failure when it comes to successful inventions, and it ranges from pure out fantasyland to a horrible reality involving bankruptcy. Like most things, the truth of success lies somewhere in the middle. In fantasyland, inventors have delusions of grandeur that their invention generates impractical sales figures leading them to owning their own private island. I regret to tell you, that very rarely happens and I have never met anyone who has accomplished this level of inventing success.
The other end of the spectrum is where abject failure and poor choices have lead to total bankruptcy and the loss of their home. I wish I could say I’ve never met anyone in this group, but I have, and it is unfortunately more common than the other end of the spectrum.
Some Fantasyland thoughts tv-reality-shows-and-inventors
I’m shooting to help you land somewhere in the middle, a realistic place I like to call Happy Land, where the ultimate goal you’re shooting for is extra disposable income. While everyone wants their invention to be the next one that changes the world, when you really sit and think about it, how many have done that? Certainly fire, the wheel, even the automobile and the airplane, can all get classified as world changing. But most of us don’t rank there. Much more common we see industry game changers. Like an insert for disposable coffee lids to prevent them from spilling, Bluetooth head phones, clothes that wash themselves…just kidding. We all know that one would change the world. But you get my point. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFWERENCE BETWEEEN “Fantasyland AND Reality”?
Now I’m not saying that if your idea isn’t a game changer you should just chuck all your plans and never try to get it to market. Our economy is built on innovation and much of that innovation is improvements to existing products, think the flashlight that wraps around something or is magnetic.
I’m just trying to help you manage your expectations because you have a better chance of achieving your goals and not getting discouraged if you have realistic goals. There will always be those few inventions that yield millions in profits. The American dream realized. You just can’t let that be your sole focus or you will most likely be destined for disappointment.
Extra disposable income allows you to be optimistic and realistic. It might not mean you get to quit your day job. Unless you have multiple inventions and that extra gets multiplied a few times. But it could mean you don’t have to work a second job, or you get to take a sweet vacation or get that new car you always dreamed of. Fantasyland AND Reality AGAIN CHECK AND CHECK!
also read managing-focus-expectations
A typical licensing deal can net $120,000-$150,000, depending on the product. Maybe more, maybe less. But you have a much better chance of getting to Happy Land if you make good decisions. That means setting a budget for yourself based on what you know you can afford in regards to money and time. Does that equate to the level of successful inventions?
When I ask an inventor about their budget, it’s not because I need to know. You need to know. Believe me, allocating your available funds helps you determine what you can spend on the different steps of the process. And it will help prevent you from losing all your money on one step. Something I see happen all too often and totally derail a potentially lucrative idea from ever getting to market.
Money is a great reason to take the path of licensing your product. I recommend it to anyone trying to get to market on a limited budget because so much of the monetary obligations will be taken on by the licensor. Manufacturing costs, product liability insurance (which is a BIG one), marketing…all of these are high cost areas and you get to say bye bye to the burden of them when you sign a licensing contract.
Avoiding costly mistakes is possible when you complete the process steps in the right order. So if you’re floundering on making those good decisions and need some advice, come to one of our virtual meetings. They are there to help all inventors, no matter what step they are at in the process. Meetings are the best place to ask questions and learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
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