Invention Ideas...

All my life, I’ve always had these ideas. As time progressed, I’ve seen many of them become actual products that are for sale, a few of them actually being successful. Those who knows me well, can vouch for me.

As of now, I have at least 3 products… that are yet to be in existence. The very few people that I have mentioned it to, are very excited about them. My question is this… how would somebody like me go about taking this to the next level.

I understand the process somewhat, but I’m interested in a more detailed explanation. Thanks in advance!

Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s all about execution.

There are many different paths for developing a product and taking it to market. Much depends on what kind of product you’re talking about, how it would be manufactured, where it would be sold, etc. Do you want to make and sell it yourself? Do you want to sell the rights to your invention to a big corporation? All of these are questions that have to be answered before you can figure out the next steps.

Yeah, raw ideas aren’t worth much. The people that actually exploit them spend actual time and money working out the details, maybe starting a company to execute it, finding factories that are willing to build it, cominbg up with effective marketing plans, and distribution channels just to name a few things. You can patent a unique idea without that much difficulty but patents aren’t worth all that much either unless you have the cash to defend it.

People that find a way to execute their ideas either start a company with much risk or go to work for an existing company and use the idea to further their career even they obviously won’t get most of the cash from it.

It is all about execution and the million details, large and small, that go about making it happen.

I can’t give too much of a factual answer, but I too, have been an inventor all my life. I tried to get one of my ideas going and even went to the U.S. Patent Office to research my invention to make sure it wasn’t already on the market or patented. When I was in the clear, I hit a wall, a large brick wall. That wall was money. It cost approx. $300 an hour for a lawyer and about $17,000 for the patent work and that’s IF you can even get your invention to market. Because you have to have a working prototype if you want to go to a trade show.

And if you want a patent, you have to have schematics and plans, too. Long process and I wish you luck. You basically have to be already well off financially just to make a buck. The old adage, takes money to make money comes into play when it comes to inventing.

Oh, and be careful out there. There are weasels who scam fortunes out of aspiring inventors. Watching American Inventor this summer, it was painful to see how many nice people had spent all their money for nothing.

Thank you so much, so far for the input.

Regarding marketing plans, execution, etc… I never really thought much about them, because to be honest, I never thought about any of my ideas becoming an actual creation/product. Rather, it is the opinions of others, that are so eager to push me to make something happen.

As far as patents go… I understand that it is a costly matter. That, along with the cost to construct a prototype, and the effort to spread the word in a convincing manner. Those reasons alone have narrowed down my choices to the 3 ideas that I currently have… ideas that barely cost anything to make… ideas that can be applied and found useful to a broad span of consumers.

I remember coming across a company that “helps” people with invention ideas. Whether or not they are a scam, I cannot say because obviously I have never dealt with them… does anybody know of any reputable ones?

On a side note: I’m merely a newcomer, AND, I’ve yet to “pay” for a subscription. BUT, I have been eying this forum for a while now, and have noticed many great minds here. Even if a dozen of you guys (and girls) get together, and sign some type of agreement, and use your combined minds to generate a million dollar idea… then spread it amongst the dozen… wouldn’t that be a good idea??? Wouldn’t that be achievable? Ok… now my mind is REALLY overthinking… :smack:

It’s not totally about the money. Most people don’t follow through on their idea because they don’t want to take the risk. $17,000 isn’t a lot of money if you really believe your idea is viable. People borrow more than that all the time to buy a car, for example.

Are you willing to risk your house? That could get you a few hundred thousand of seed money. Scary thought isn’t it? That’s why ideas are a dime a dozen. No risk involved.

I’m quite sure that the U.S. Patent office no longer requires building a functional prototype. I’m under the impression that you can file for patent pending status for an invention and then you have a year to actually file the patent. If your idea is really all that great, you may be able to acquire funding to pursue the patent. Of course, the further along you can develop your idea (receiving a patent, building a functional prototype, starting a company and setting up manufacturing), the more control and profit potential you will have with respect to any venture capital investment.

The Patent Office stopped requiring them in 1880.

They’re hoping the word will get around sometime before 2880. :slight_smile:

Do you know anyone who invented something in their garage and got rich as a result?

I’ve never met one.

It’s not to say they don’t exist; they do. But they’re very, very, very rare. That should tell you something.

The era of the lone “inventor” is gone. 99.9% of new products are invented, developed, designed, tested, and sold by companies who are already knee-deep in the technology. The engineers who work for these companies are on the “inside track.” They attend symposiums, trade shows, sit on technical boards, etc.

No matter how good your idea is, if you are an “outsider” in the industry the product would fall under, your chance of success is almost zero.

And BTW: A patent will not make you rich. A patent simply gives you the right to sue someone. In most cases, patents are worthless.

I’m not expecting to get rich here. All I’m saying is… if I had a good idea (or ideas in this case), and not the resources to pull this off on my own… where would I go about getting the product some recognition.

I’m all about selling the “idea” to a company WITH the means and finances to make it happen. Whether I receive $20 for it, or 10% royalty for 10 years, it doesn’t really matter to me. Just a point in the right direction, that’s all… :slight_smile:

I think the old cliché “ideas are a dime a dozen” is misleading. Thoughts are a dime a dozen, but from my experience, ideas do have value. (If you haven’t done any leg work to demonstrate that your idea will generate revenue, then the value might be minimal, but companies are always looking for ideas.)

As other have stated, the first step is to get a patent. Protect your idea and don’t discuss it with anyone for two reasons: 1) they might steal it, and 2) you’ve got one year from your first “public disclosure” to file for protection—and public disclosure includes telling your best friend.

The likelihood of you bringing your idea to market yourself is slim. However, as I said, companies are always looking for ideas. I’d suggest you investigate businesses that are already operating in the market, and after you’ve been granted a patent, approach them about purchasing or licensing your patent.

This approach has several advantages: 1) You don’t need to build a factory, 2) the companies will probably have market research to validate the viability of the idea, and 3) you’ll be able to generate income without much additional work.

Of course, on the downside, if your idea is the next pet rock, you won’t make as much as you could if you went it alone, but that’s the trade off for reducing your exposure.

The biggest difference between dreamer and an inventor is the courage to execute the idea. There is a risk involved, but if you do nothing, then you’ve only had a thought. It’s the people who move it to the idea stage that see results.

There’s only one way to know if you’re idea has value and that’s to take it to the next level. It takes courage and it takes confidence, but if you have both of those, then it the cost of entry is pretty low.

All true, but that $17,000 is just for one, single thing out of hundreds you’re going to have to pay for. I was merely giving him insight into how broad of a scope of what he has to get into. Not discourage him, but giving him facts. I know you probably realize this, too and I agree with what you said as well. Go for it if you belioeve in yourself !

lol, yup. But the Patent office does want to see how the invention is going to work. Basically, they’re saying that you can’t patent an idea. You do have to have something for them to see, something tangible. That’s what was told to me anyways. You could hit the patent office website and learn a lot I’m sure.