Many inventors spend their time tinkering away at a model of their idea and end up with a fully functional prototype. This finished prototype will often sit unattended for a period of time during which the inventor considers the next logical step. Often times, the inventor is unsure about where to go from the prototype stage and they may put off thinking about it until it eventually slips their mind.
Thus, many incarnations of brilliant ideas get reduced to mere dust collectors.
If you are about to complete the prototype stage or you already have a prototype that is collecting dust, try not to get stalled in the invention process. Your idea may be valuable and you’ve already put in a significant amount of work, so you should decide whether or not you are going to pursue your invention before it’s too late.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is there already a product like yours in existence?
- If there is, does your product provide a better or cheaper solution?
- Is there a demand for your particular product?
- What is your target market, and how large is it?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine whether or not your product might be worth pursuing onward. If you feel confident about it and truly believe in its potential for success, your next step is to file for a provisional patent. A provisional patent will allow you to associate the “patent pending” status with your invention, which will then enable you to begin searching for a way to sell or licence it.
Whether you want to license your invention or build a business around it to start selling physical units, some intellectual property protection is necissary.
Self-motivation and knowledge fuel the invention process and without them, ideas tend to get put on hold and forgotten about. Don’t get stuck in a standstill wasting your idea and your time on a dust collector. Wipe it off, give it some good thought and ask yourself, what’s next?
Once you’ve got IP protection, it’s now time to get that prototype out there to start making some money. Ideally you will sort out your manufacturing base so that, when you show someone the prototype and they like it, they have the option to purchase an order of units.
Once you’ve got your manufacturing and IP protection, take your prototype and find potential buyers, licensors, wholesalers, retailers, traders, etc. to start getting your product onto store shelves!
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!