"I have a brilliant invention idea and I need your help."

“I Have an Invention and I Need Your Help.”

MAKO Design + Invent – January 22, 2019

The inspiration for an invention idea can come from anywhere. It could solve an everyday problem to make lives simpler, improve an existing device, or perhaps be a new invention completely. But once you have the idea, product development is an intense world to navigate. Here at MAKO we always get asked the same question by our home-inventors and startups at the beginning, and that is —-

“What do I do next about my invention idea?”

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We aim to be mentors in the practice of product development.

We have streamlined the process into steps, that all new inventors should take in order to achieve success with their invention ideas. As creatives ourselves, the MAKO team understands the risk of putting yourself (and your invention idea) out there with the possibility of failure. This is why we aim to be mentors in the practice of product development. We are here to educate and encourage our fellow inventors with the knowledge we have obtained over the years in order to prosper.

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Thoughtful choices must be made about your idea first to begin the process of development.

Stage 1: Decide on your invention

Every great idea needs structure in order to be successful. Thoughtful choices must be made about your idea first to begin the process of development. Ask yourself these key questions; will you manufacture and market your invention on your own? Will you license for royalties or a lump sum? These are factors you will need to think about to know what’s right for you and your lifestyle.

If manufacturing and marketing is the path you would like to take, be prepared to become an entrepreneur and build a business based off of your idea. This enables your invention to have a higher success rate with a higher payout, but also means a lengthy process is ahead. Hard work will eventually pay off if you do decide to go this route, so never rule this option out if you’re just looking for a quick paycheck.

The second option of licensing leaves you with two choices; receiving royalties from the company you end up selling your idea to or receiving a lump sum one-time amount. While royalties may sound enticing, you’re actually acquiring significantly less than if you were to market the invention yourself. The standard royalty rate is between 2-5% of the Gross Profit the company receives. The lump sum choice gives you a one-time payout from the company who is purchasing your idea. Essentially you are selling the rights to your idea. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is the best fit for you and your product.

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The lump sum choice gives you a one-time payout from the company who is purchasing your idea.

Stage 2: Conceptualization

The conceptualization phase is where you’ll really understand your invention’s potential value. Does your invention solve a need or improve an existing product? Are there already existing products in the market; what’s the size of the said market? Do you understand how you can build/direct others to build your invention?

Mentally preparing yourself to execute the ideas you have decided on will be your next move. Your job is not over once you’ve come up with the idea, seeing the invention process through requires careful and strategic planning, self-motivation and good developers (being that yourself or a professional design firm like MAKO). Developing an invention doesn’t mean you should quit your day job and work on it full time, especially if you’re partnered with a developing firm that takes on most of the burden. Your invention will, however, require a long-term commitment.

Stage 3: Documentation

Document everything. Record all the progress throughout every stage for organizational purposes and legal protection. You will need to protect your ideas privacy and not disclose any specific information to the wrong parties. Ensure you have your concept written somewhere in ink, that way if anything should happen you are covered. Don’t hesitate to go the extra mile and create disclosure documents where you see fit.

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Document everything in a notebook

Stage 4: Market Research 

Now that you are mentally prepared, organized and have made important decisions for your invention, start doing some research. Market research will help you decide if you need to re-work your idea or if it’s original enough to succeed. More questions ahead if your product seems similar to one already on the market:

Does that product have a patent?

Does my invention have advantages over theirs?

Is my product design better?

Is my product design more efficient?

Is mine more environmentally friendly?

Does mine cost less to make?

Are there any other benefits to my product that theirs doesn’t have?

We want you to be excited and confident in your idea to be successful in achieving your product goals. For a fact, most inventions are modifications or combinations of existing products. Never give up!

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Market research will help you decide if you need to re-work your idea or if it’s original enough to succeed.

Stage 5: Design your invention

Now for the fun part; designing the invention. MAKO suggests computer aided-designs (3D CAD) to bring your 2D concept to life. Visualization is key in understanding your true product design. Ways of achieving this can be either by yourself using an engineering software like Solidworks or hiring a company like MAKO to design this for you. Photographic renderings are next as you delve into the true design of your idea. Here at MAKO, we believe including mechanical and electrical design is key to truly understanding the way your product will function. Many firms do not design for manufacturing, and this can lead to a costly rework. MAKO brings together industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical design all in-house to ensure products look great but also function as they should.

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Visualization is key in understanding your true product design.

Stage 6: Prototype

To cut-costs ensure you use good quality designs so you only have to make one prototype. It will help you begin your pitches to someone evaluating your idea. This stage helps you test the functionality as well locate any weaknesses/improvements to be made. Do not skip this stage, it will lead to more costly errors and potentially faulty products down the line, and no one wants that.

Stage 7: Patent your invention

You are ready to get serious now and apply for a patent. We do recommend acquiring a provisional patent so your idea is protected for a 12-month trial first. This way you have time for trial and error to market the product yourself before applying for a full patent. The trial period gives you time to build credibility for your brand as well and helps you get your name out there. That way, when you’re ready to sell the idea, your invention may be worth more to potential buyers.

Stage 8: Manufacturing

Seeking out your manufacturer’s is your next move. This is for entrepreneurs gearing up to open their own business, with a focus on their new invention. For those looking to license, this is not a requirement, however, it will increase value to potential buyers, as mentioned before.

Most products have more than one part to them, meaning you may need to seek out more than one manufacturer. You may need to seek different companies for each task as well, like one to make the parts, one to assemble the parts, package them and ship them to the buyer. Outsourcing on your own is a good idea as well in order to keep a competitive edge in the global manufacturing marketplace. MAKO generally does all of this for our clients, at the time that we produce the prototype. As we can utilize this collected information with our suppliers in Canada, the US, and China to finalize the production logistics for you.

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Once you’ve obtained some sales under your belt, you can sell the product outright or license it at a much higher premium, because it’s worth more now.

Stage 9: Sell or License

The final phase of creating your product after sourcing out your manufacturers and parts is to either sell your units to a product buyer or license your invention. This is the exciting part! You can now say you are an inventor. You have your 3D CADs, your photographic renderings, your prototype, and the supply chain. We recommend; while still under the 12-month trial to promote your invention to as many buyers as possible. Find the decision makers within these potential buyers. Work out the kinks while you have the time to experiment.  

Licensing deals can sometimes be more difficult to obtain. If you keep busy and market your product under the 12-month provision patent trial, you will earn your product more value in the eyes of potential buyers. Once you’ve obtained some sales under your belt, you can sell the product outright or license it at a much higher premium, because it’s worth more now. Know your buyer, do your research on them and know how to negotiate. Be realistic and don’t get greedy and blow a good deal.

Conclusion

To keep costs and timelines low, MAKO Design + Invent pools together the invention development processes into 2 major steps; Research and Design, & Prototype and Manufacturing Supply. We’ve developed hundreds of consumer products for inventors for over 12 years and are able to streamline and expedite every stage in the process. We cater to home inventors and small businesses, keeping the process cost effective, on time, and on scope. This is why we can say we are one of the only firms in North America that cater specifically to home inventors and product start-ups.

Becoming an entrepreneur and an inventor can be a daunting task to some, but it is all worth it, we promise. Everyone has the ability to think of a good idea or new product, the difference is the ones who succeed put in the work to see the invention through. With our streamlined process of what to do next, we hope MAKO can guide you in the right direction to becoming a successful entrepreneur or inventor.  

If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 416- 855-1137 and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst.  

MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, 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. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

22 Comments

  1. stephane

    September 20, 2019 at 7:30 am

    i got great ideal will safe poeple from burning

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      September 24, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Hi Stephane,

      Thank you for your comment! We will send you an email directly to discuss your idea further. Looking forward to chatting!

      Reply
      • David crosby

        March 22, 2020 at 4:16 pm

        Hi im looking advive with invention idea cannu help

        Reply
        • MAKO Design + Invent

          March 24, 2020 at 1:02 pm

          Hi David! Thanks so much for your comment. We can certainly help you with your invention idea. We will reach out to you at the email provided to schedule your free product consultation and send you the non-disclosure agreement to ensure your idea is protected. Looking forward to working with you!

          Reply
  2. Addy

    April 25, 2020 at 11:44 am

    I have tons of stupid and useful device ideas. I came up with a stupid one that involves hay but it could be useful and i have one that helps with writing songs with musical instruments but i think it has already been made. I really want to become an inventor. But i don’t have the tools and resources to create them.

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      April 27, 2020 at 10:24 am

      Hi Addy,

      Thanks for your comment. We are a fee for service company; however, your first consultation with our strategy team is free! We will email you at the address you provided to schedule your first meeting. Looking forward to chatting with you!

      Reply
      • Wendall Brown

        June 18, 2020 at 8:10 pm

        I have a awesome idea that will turn heads.

        Reply
  3. Cassandra

    April 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    I have a baby product idea and read that first consultation is free, but before anyone decided to go through MAKO, do you guys break down cost and how much the inventor would be spending? What the average costs inventors are spending through you guys? -Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      April 30, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Cassandra, Thanks for your comment! Yes, your product consultation meeting is free. So in advance of that meeting, we will both sign an NDA to protect your idea. Then in the meeting, we will discuss the details of the product and what services are needed in order to bring it to life. From there, we will prepare a custom quote for you that will outline the cost of development. We will email you at the email you provided to schedule your free consult!

      Reply
  4. Sourav sharma

    July 23, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    Hi i have a great idea to solve regular problem of water heater rod many of the population dosent have suffecient money to buy a geyser this new invention will help poor family to live a luxury life like a rich person and idea is as simple as some one has thinkes before

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      July 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      Hi Sourav, Thanks for your comment! We will reach out to you at your email address to schedule your free product consultation. Looking forward to discussing your idea with you!

      Reply
  5. Axel Meier

    August 10, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Hello guys, how can we get together and see your faces and your installations. We are very interested in working with you on one of our projects. Have heard nothing but good stuff of this great team. Please contact me ASAP to see if we can meet this week in your Miami Offices. My name is Axel Meier and my phone number is : (239) 464 3838. My Email is : meieraxel@ yahoo.com
    Thank you
    Axel

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      August 11, 2020 at 11:23 am

      Hi Axel, Thanks for your comment! We will reach out to you at your email address to schedule your free product consultation. Looking forward to discussing your project with you!

      Reply
  6. James Uyah

    October 21, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    A device that protect any body in emergency/accident, send signal to friends and agencies for quick response, keep record of the incident if you survive or die.

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      October 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm

      Hi James, Thanks for your comment! That sounds like a great idea. We will reach out to you via your email address to discuss your idea further. Looking forward to chatting with you!

      Reply
  7. Thomas Carter

    January 25, 2021 at 8:09 am

    I have an invention that I know is going to be a great idea that is going knock the sock off the other competitors and, I want to know if you can help me

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      January 25, 2021 at 8:10 am

      Thanks for your comment, Thomas. We will email you at the email you provided to schedule your free product consultation. We look forward to chatting with you!

      Reply
  8. Jason Prakash

    January 25, 2021 at 8:19 am

    Hi there, I have a highly innovative and useful invention. I don’t know where to approach for a place or investment. This invention can make a great change in the way we perceive about electricity. I hope this idea gets proper attention. Thanks

    Reply
    • MAKO Design + Invent

      January 25, 2021 at 8:20 am

      Thanks for your comment Jason! Our team has contacted you at the email you provided. We look forward to hearing from you!

      Reply
  9. STEVE

    April 3, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Curious. I have a new invention idea and there is no competing/current version of it anywhere.
    So how is my idea protected while I engage Mako during the process to get it designed and patented?

    Reply
    • Mako Design

      April 14, 2021 at 3:39 pm

      Hi Steve, great question. I believe Junnel reached out to you about this recently as well. To clarify, at Mako Design, we take intellectual property protection extremely seriously. Thus, we ensure an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) is signed prior to the first product consultation with us. We sign these with all of our clients to ensure that we have confidential and secure discussions surrounding your invention idea and proprietary information. You can find a copy of our NDA on our website: https://www.makodesign.com/resources/nda/. If you have any follow-up questions about the NDA or anything else, feel free to email Junnel or contact us at https://www.makodesign.com/contact/.

      Reply

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