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Are you an inventor?

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

What should you do with your great invention idea? Before you start blabbing about your invention to the wrong person or run to the first company that offers to buy it, there are few steps you need to take:

Patent Research:

Just because you haven't seen your invention doesn't mean it doesn't already exist. Before you hire a patent attorney or agent, complete a rudimentary search for free at to make sure no one else has patented your idea.

Market Research:

Before you spend a lot of time and money creating a product, you should know if anyone will want to buy it. Look at what's out there and size up the competition. Do products that are similar to your idea exist, and if so, where are they sold and who's buying them? Answering these questions will give you an idea of your target market, as well as what you'll need to do differently to stand out from your competitors.

Develop your product and make a prototype:

Once you've found your market and ensured that your legal path is clear, it's time to start bringing your idea to fruition. At this point, you'll need to decide if you're going to have your product manufactured or licensed. Either way, you need to develop your invention to a product which looks and work as you find out your market and final customers want.

Challenges of inventing

Success in the world of innovation is all about getting your timing right. If you wait too long, someone else will have capitalised on a similar idea and captured your niche already. On the other hand, if your invention is the first of its kind, the market might not be ready — and you'll have to fight an uphill battle to carve out a place for your product.

Another big challenge for inventors is figuring out how to get their product out to the public. It may not even be something you consider at first — your idea may be great, but without a marketing plan, no one will ever know about it.

Some tips for success

Take time to research

Inventing a product requires a lot of initial investigation, patience and resilience, Lininger said. Before you begin the process, make sure you have the time to dedicate to due-diligence research. This is especially true when you're looking at patent protection for your idea.

Continually test your product

You should remember that your product is NOT going to be perfect in its first iterations. You'll have to tweak your concept and prototype and make some changes along the way, and the best way to figure out those changes is by testing your invention with real consumers.

Work on your elevator pitch

Even before you have a finished product to sell, you'll need to start talking it up to your friends and professional contacts. You need developing a great elevator pitch — a short, concise sales pitch that includes a hook, a value statement, statistics and other data, your product's uniqueness, and a call to action.

Don't go it alone

There are a lot of steps involved in the invention process, and it can be overwhelming to try to take care of everything yourself. Seek out professional assistance so you can be assured that certain elements of the process will be in capable and experienced hands.

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