It is not easy to be an inventor. Even if you have plenty of ideas, many other factors affect whether you will eventually succeed in your endeavor. Many have succeeded and we are now surrounded by their patents, but it is safe to say that even more have failed. Some of them had bad ideas, but there is certainly a plethora of those who had a great idea and all the prerequisites to succeed, but because of the mistakes they made, they ended in failure. Mistakes can be various. From the work on the product itself, to the mistakes around the prototype, the wrong steps in meeting the patent requirements, poor product placement, marketing and much more.
If you embark on this process, you must know that it is long and tedious and that you will surely want to give up many times. In order to spare you at least some of the mistakes you will make and so that they do not lead you to failure, today we will explain to you which are the most common mistakes that every inventor have to avoid.
Start without a clear plan
When an idea comes to your mind, you may be too preoccupied with the desire to bring everything to the final product as soon as possible and then forget to work out the whole plan in detail. But it is a step that must not be skipped. Clearly define everything and stick to that plan all the time. Think about everything. About how much time you will need and how much time you have available. Then about the costs that await you, the strategy in terms of production, sales and marketing. Of course, you can’t know every detail in advance, but try to work out as many things as possible. And make sure everything you write down is clear so you don’t miss something when you’re too busy.
This often happens to all of us in life with many things, so it is with this one as well. It is especially common with those for whom this is the first invention. They do not know the whole process and have high and unrealistic expectations in advance, although they have not even checked whether their idea unique or already exists. Then, everyone expects to get rich quick, and that almost never happens. Just a good idea is absolutely not enough to earn anything, especially not to get rich. So spare yourself the disappointments and have realistic expectations. It is always better to have low expectations, so that it turns out that you are wrong and that your invention is fantastic, than to be disappointed. So, be realistic!
Fail to conduct the research
At the same time as you make a plan, and maybe even sooner, you need to conduct detailed research. The first thing you need to investigate is whether someone remembered the same thing before you and has already patented it. Next, explore the market. You have to figure out if there is a need to do everything that awaits you at all, only to end up with no market for it. If you do not do this, it is possible that you will spend money and time without getting anything back from it. While it seems to you that everyone will rush to buy your product, it doesn’t have to be the real state of affairs. Investigate the price of production, whether there is a company that is willing to work with you, etc. You may have a patent that will bring you big money, but the cost of manufacturing is so high that you will not be able to launch it.
Think you can do everything yourself
If this is your fifth patent, then you can probably do it all yourself. But if you are just starting out, you will need help. While it’s good not to tell others about your idea, it’s also silly to be stubborn and refuse the help of professionals. There are companies, like InventHelp, that work to help inventors bring their idea from idea to product. As you can read in Jpost, such companies can also help you with legal issues. They work with lawyers who specialize in copyright and similar legal issues.
Talk about the product and sell it before it is patented
You can make a big mistake if you talk everywhere about your idea. While you are certainly excited and want to share with others, do so with a very small number of people, because someone can always have bad intentions and steal your patent. Even if you are talking, do not talk about details, but more general information.
As far as sales are concerned, you must file a patent application as soon as possible. Under U.S. law, you have twelve months to do so, and after that period, someone else can claim your patent if they apply. Make sure it’s twelve months from the time you first show it publicly, not from when you start producing or selling it. So be careful and apply for a patent as soon as possible. The law has been further changed in the last 10 years, so that it is no longer “first to invent” but “first inventor to file”.
Not paying attention to packaging and marketing
You did everything right. You invented a product that no one before you remembered and which would benefit many. Then you did everything right from the initial plan to the patenting. All you have to do is reap the fruits of your labor. And then make a mistake on the finish line. You think the product itself is great and decide not to invest enough money in packaging and advertising. That way, many people will fail to notice that there is a new thing in the market and you will be left without a significant portion of your profits.
You need to avoid all these mistakes. Any of them can be disastrous for you, and you don’t want your great idea to fail and you earn nothing from it.