To give yourself and your amazing idea the best chance for success it’s important to avoid these mistaken mindsets and failure points that can turn your journey into a short one!

3 common mistaken inventor mindsets

It’s a million dollar idea

Often the first people we show our ideas to are friends and family, and with great affection they tell you, “it’s a million dollar idea!”  While friends and family are important to your success, these well intentioned statements give false hope.  I recently heard a very seasoned inventor say “there are no million dollar ideas, only million dollar executions.”  I completely agree. The idea alone unfortunately has little value, only a properly executed strategy will give you a chance at that million dollars. 

No one else is doing this

I often hear from new inventors, “I looked everywhere, no one else is doing this. I’m the first.”  Unfortunately, it’s a very rare case that you are truly first, just like Columbus was not the first to discover America and Edison was not the first to invent a light bulb.  In fact, most inventions are innovations on existing products.  The fact that an individual can take existing items and see them working in new ways is amazing and is an important part of our economy.  Move past your disappointed ego and embrace the fact that you were smart enough to still see something others had not. 

It’s so good, it’s sells itself.

This is very similar to the “build it and they will come” concept.  No product or service is that good, it just means that the marketing strategy was so good you did not realize you were influenced to buy it.  If you do not have a solid plan for developing the idea, a strategy for marketing and managing the money, an entrepreneur will quickly find themselves out of the last one.  Having business experience is not necessary, but it means a strategic partner is needed

3 Common mistakes Inventors make

There are certainly more than three mistakes that can be made when trying to get a new product idea to market, but I see almost all of them coming down to these failures:  Failure to plan, failure to research and failure to communicate.

Failure to Plan

This goes back to that first statement I hear about million dollar ideas, if there is not a plan for developing the product, a strategy for marketing and resources for money an inventor will quickly find themselves out of the last one.  Having business experience is not necessary, but it means a strategic partner is needed. The common mistake inventors make is in believing they’ll figure it out as they go or they follow more well- meaning advice to; patent it, prototype it and/or market it without validating the product idea first.  Companies follow a product development strategy and individual inventors should too. 

Failure to Research

Addressing that second common statement about “no one else doing it,” I do not doubt that that inventor looked everywhere they could think to look and didn’t find anything, it’s all the other places they don’t know about that is the problem.  Competitors are not just products exactly like the invention; it includes other products in the same market that they will be competing against. 

Failure to Communicate

In an effort to keep that million dollar idea a secret so no one else tries to do it, inventors don’t take the time to communicate with potential customers to make sure they are willing to pay for the product.  It is important to protect the idea, but not at the expense of creating a product or marketing message that has not been validated. Companies talk to their potential customers multiple times throughout the product development process, inventors need to do the same.

In the rush of excitement that surrounds the “aha” moment and the desire to capitalize on your spark of creative genius, it’s important to just pause and take time.  Time to plan, do some research and validate your idea, so you can avoid all these common mistakes and have a greater chance of successfully seeing your product idea sitting on a store shelf.

In the coming weeks we will share some more tips to avoid these mistakes!