Inventor’s Journal From Idea To Market

Ever wonder what it is like to take an idea and turn it into a product? Andre Nel, the CEO of Bexter7 LLC, recounts his own experiences in a recent article at IPWatchdog.

I admit it! I fell for it hooks, line, and sinker. It seemed so easy! Come up with an idea, file a provisional patent and pitch it to a manufacturer. The manufacturer is so giddy with excitement that they file a patent for you and let you retain the full exclusive rights. Not only that, the company would further develop the idea and give those rights to you too. On top of this, they would pay you royalties for sales of the patented product.

I got this idea from attending the talks of so-called patent gurus. Based on my experience, I now call them the false prophets of false profits. I wish I had done some research into their claims. I have found that most of these gurus have few patents within an extremely narrow scope. For example, multiple patents for one type of low margin product. But what they said sounded so good, and I wanted to believe. What a mistake.

It generally takes a lot longer and costs a lot more to get an idea licensed. New ideas are hard to sell. The capable companies are not interested because they are generating their own ideas. The not-so-capable companies might be interested but would probably drop the ball. Most workers at these companies just want to make it through the day. An unfinished product looks more like work than an opportunity. It is also risky. Employees are not compensated for risks but are punished for failure.

However, I did not let go of the idea of easy money quickly. For the longest time, I kept thinking that the next step would get the thing going. That is, if I just push the thing a few inches forward it would go over the cliff. However, it was more like pushing it up a mountain than over a cliff. It was not until I had the fully finished product that I was able to get it licensed. In a sense I got it to the top of the mountain. If I had known that I had to completely finish the product, I would have done things differently. I would spend more on long term goals and less on short term fixes.

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Photo by m o d e

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