Andre Nel talks about his inventor journey over at

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.

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.

Too often in developing my product, I was lazy or in a hurry. Take the packaging for example, I did not want to take the time or make the effort to learn how to do it myself. So I spent upwards of $10,000 for results that were useless. The packaging was flimsy and the graphics awful. The text was white on a pale yellow background. The acrylic box cracked and fell apart. So I had to redo it myself.

I spent 20 hours learning PhotoShop and redoing the packaging. The costs were around $900.00. If I had known, I would have done it myself from the beginning. Ignorance is not bliss; it is expensive. It pays to know something about the details of all facets of the product.

Dealing with contractors was challenging. I tried too hard to be the good guy. Because of this, some of the firms I contracted with gouged me. One firm charged me $15.00 to sign for a package. They also charged me $30.00 to watch an emailed video.

They submitted a bid of $6,000 for the work and estimated that it would take 4-6 weeks. The final bill was about $18,000 and the project took 9 months.

Continue Reading: “Inventor’s Journey From Idea To Market”

Photo by BagelPod.