You can only make money with a new idea in two ways. The first way is to license the idea to a large company, sit back and receive royalties. Most new inventors believe this licensing approach works. It doesn’t. I’ve counseled over 1000 start-ups over a twenty year period and never seen the simple licensing approach work. The only time this approach usually works (with very few exceptions) is when a high-tech inventor creates a scientific breakthrough, such as a solar battery for outer space, and a battery manufacturer such as Hughes Aircraft buys the technology from the scientist/inventor in order to create a new line of batteries for the space program. (True Story)
The ‘little guy’ has practically no chance of selling corporate America on your new gadget. However, if you insist on trying, then go to www.inventorsdigest.com and buy an inventor’s notebook called the idea journal and have every page of your diary witnessed by a trusted person such as your accountant. Then hire a patent attorney to file a provisional patent application for under $2500.00. Then go to the library’s Thomas Register and make a list of every manufacturer you think could take on your product (Black and Decker for a new drill bit, etc.). Mail them a copy of your patent application or have your patent attorney do it. Follow-up with phone calls until you get closure on whether they’ll meet with you or not. Good Luck!
Now to the reality of how my successful clients have done it.
Visit www.skycoaster.com to see how one inventor created the SkyCoaster™ ride.
Visit www.bisondesigns.com to see how a rock climber built an international distribution company based on new ideas for key chains and water bottles.
Visit www.shoulderdolly.com to see how a furniture mover invented a new shoulder harness and used one to make millions..
Visit www.thermark.com to see how one inventor discovered a method to write on glass in color, using a laser.
Visit www.ez-campfire.com to see how a general contractor in his part-time launched several patented new products in the recreation industry.
Visit www.agromgt.com to see how soybean and canola vegetable oils may replace petroleum lubricants in your crankcase, create new cash crops and help clean up the world’s freshwater supplies.
Do you get the message? The above success stories are individual inventors who commercialized their inventions starting with their own funds. Some of them used outside investors to help get a start, and some eventually went public.
Here are the fundamental steps all of them had to accomplish:
- Do a patent novelty search; start for free at www.USPTO.gov and Google patents advanced patent search.
- Create a business plan to pinpoint start-up costs and production costs. See Wyoming Small Business Development Center
- Do market research to see if anyone cares about your potential product and what they would be willing to spend on it (Visit the outline on “Estimating the Value of Your Invention”);
- Figure out the simplest way to get a product to the market (catalogs, internet, trade shows, reps, direct mail, etc.);
- Determine other costs such as product liability insurance, incorporation costs, and potential patent infringement risks;
- Answer the questions: Why are you better than what’s out there;
- Give it a name and image (Please visit the article on trademarks);
- Take orders;
- File a patent (Go to Article Patents – a Second Opinion);
- Constantly network to seek joint ventures, more products you can sell with yours and market happenings;
- Build a team of experts to assist in every phase of your project. (Go to our homepage).
Our firm helps point the way from finding a machine shop to raising money, to getting a patent, to selling a patent license and suing companies infringing on your patent.
Sorry, we do not handle bankruptcies or divorce. Keep a sense of humor and be thankful America provides a free market that can still let the ‘little guy’ build his idea into a successful company.