Oftentimes, when we look in from the outside at highly successful new inventions, we get the impression that these inventors’ success stories were almost overnight. We picture in our minds inventors having sudden and brilliant insights that resulted in new product ideas that solve critical customer needs. Then we imagine the inventor writing and drawing a description of the invention and submitting a patent application as soon as possible to the US Patent and Trademark Office in order to protect their valuable market rights. After getting their utility patent, we picture these inventors becoming an instant success. In our mind’s eye, we see them becoming fabulously wealthy because their inventions offer such unique and valuable features that they seem to sell themselves.
Overnight success makes for a great story. However, what you’ll find when you really start digging into the background of successful new inventions and the people who developed them is that their road to success was often long and arduous. In reality, the creation, patenting, manufacturing and successful marketing of new inventions is anything but an overnight phenomenon. In this article, I explore the myths and the reality behind how new inventions become successful products used by millions of people worldwide.
Myth #1: Most successful inventors suddenly come up with brilliant new product ideas out of the blue.
Reality: New product ideas don’t appear in vacuums. Insights about critical needs and problems that need solutions are rarely obtained from doing internet searches or reading a couple of books at the public library. In reality, new product ideas arrive in an inventor’s mind because they encountered a problem that didn’t have a good solution. Most successful inventors are immersed in a particular industry. New product ideas are the result of their encountering problems as they perform their job or when they were doing everyday activities. It is through their searching for new solutions to the problems they encounter that new product ideas are born.
Myth #2: The success or failure of new inventions depend on getting the design and features right before offering them for sale.
Reality: In most cases, developing successful new product ideas are an incremental process. It is extremely rare for a first version of a product to be right on the money in providing the best solution to one of your customer’s problems. In reality, most successful products have undergone numerous refinements after they’ve been tested in focus groups or undergone beta testing. It’s usually a constant cycle of customer feedback, refinement and testing, and getting customer feedback again. If you are truly focused on making the absolute best product to solve a particular need, this feedback loop never ends. As a result, don’t expect to get the features and design of your product totally right on your first time out the door. You probably have a better chance of getting hit by lightning. If however, you are willing to get customer feedback and continuously strive to make improvements in your invention, you’ll have a good chance of creating a winning product.
Because your new invention will be constantly evolving, it is important that you have your patent attorney periodically review your utility patent to make sure that its’ patent claims are providing sufficient protection with regards to any new features or designs that were subsequently added. If significant changes in your product occur, you may need to submit a new patent application to the US Patent and Trademark Office. It is important to be aware that the Patent Office will not allow you to update an existing utility patent or a patent application after it has been already filed. As a result, if you add a critical component to your invention after it is patented, you’ll need to submit a new patent application to fully protect your invention.
Myth #3: An invention’s success is primarily a result of its superior design or features.
Reality: Coming up with great new product ideas and obtaining strong patents are only a small part of successfully commercializing new inventions. In reality, many great new product ideas never get commercialized. In most cases, it’s not because these new inventions were poorly designed or that they didn’t work. The main reason why so many new inventions never see the light of day is because most inventors don’t have the talent or experience to successfully start and run a new business. In addition, most inventors don’t have the promoting and marketing skill, or the industry connections to sell or license their invention.
If you are an inventor that is interested in starting your own business I would recommend that you visit NewBusinessCreator.com. This web site simplifies and condenses the important things you need to achieve business success. It also serves as a portal to a number of affiliated listing sites that enable you to obtain the business funding, human resources, materials and marketing tools that will be required to make your dreams a reality.
If you are an inventor that wants to sell or license your utility patent, you might want to consider enlisting the help of an invention licensing agent or a product promoter. These professionals have major industry connections and can get your invention in front of the decision makers that can turn your idea into a reality. One way to showcase your patent to hundreds of licensing agents and product scouts is to pitch your invention on IntellectualPropertyStore.com.
IntellectualPropertyStore.com also attracts thousands of people and companies that are actively looking for new business opportunities. Many of them are very interested in intellectual property that can be commercialized and turned into a thriving business. Instead of making cold calls and knocking on company doors to find these people, why not let them find you! When you place a listing on this site, you can use narratives, pictures and movies to pitch the commercial marketability of your utility patent. This is a very powerful and time saving way to either sell your patent outright or license it.
In summary, the secret to developing successful new inventions is to immerse yourself in your industry and into life itself. View the problems that you encounter in your work, play or daily activities as opportunities to inspire new inventions. Once you have developed a new invention, always be looking for ways to improve it. Seek out customer complaints. Go out of your way to get feedback on how to make your product better. The other important thing to remember, is that inventing a product is only a small part of successfully commercializing it. In order to get the knowledge and tools you will need to bring your invention into the marketplace, I would recommend checking out NewBusinessCreator.com and IntellectualPropertyStore.com.
Written by: Mark J. Krupp, Confounder of NewBusinessCreator.com