How hard are you really working to call yourself an inventor? Do you work on your inventions every day? Is inventing your job, or is it just a hobby? My point is this. About five years ago my wife said to me, “your’e a good inventor, what if you invented full-time?” God, I love this woman! It was on, and I ran with it all-out. I was so excited, I only slept about four to five hours a day. On the third or fourth day, I realized that every two days that I slept only 5 hours, I would pick up an extra half a day of inventing. So, for every week of sleeping four to five hours per night, I picked up two full days of working on prototypes. I turned a normal week into a nine day work week.
I have been working a nine day work week for about four years. Yet, this post is not about the time I have invested in inventing, it’s about a woman that invested in me. How can you let someone down that believes in you like that? YOU CAN’T.
I wish every inventor had a wife just like mine. Dorothy is truly AMAZING! She is my biggest fan sent from above, and all those PB&J’s were so special because we ate them together. Thanks for believing I could do it. I love you babe, InventorMan.Read More
Let’s talk about one very important thing all inventors should do when considering trades hows in 2012.
When your idea is protected and ready to present to the world, find all the shows that are Just Right for your Product, and then go to as many as you can. Go to all of them. Here you will find a cross-section and positive opinions from people who may be interested in your product, and also some pretty honest criticism from those that aren’t. Trade shows are the starting point when you have something to show.
Don’t fill your garage or warehouse with your product in advance of taking orders. (Trust me on this…) Find out FIRST if consumers will buy your product, and THEN crank up manufacturing. This might sound funny to go to trade shows without any product to sell, but you have to do it this way. Make sure there is a need, and then fill it. At the trade shows, shake as many hands as you can, pass out lots of business cards and give away as many samples as possible.
Don’t be afraid to attend the same trade show more than once. Here’s why:
Orgill is one of the nation’s largest distributors of hardware related products. At the time of this writing, Orgill has eight distribution centers thast service over 6500 stores – Orgill is important to us! Results from our first Orgill trade show were not our best. We shook hands, got lots of positive feedback, but not much happened. But, we knew we had to try it again. The second Orgill trade show we attended was nothing short of AMAZING! We landed some CRAZY deals with the BIGGEST names in the US and Canada!
Like me, you’ll probably discover your love for marketing your products is almost equal to inventing them. For me, the ideas come easy and often, the marketing is really a different animal all together.
Invent on my fellow inventors, invent on.
Did you know that if you surround yourself with the BEST people, you will be at your BEST?
If you surround yourself with a bunch of crack heads, well, you can see where this is going. Find people that will work as hard as you, and who also want the same things out of life. I work everyday with my brother Drew. His position at Just Right Products is Vice President. Yet, he is so much more than that. He’s a 50/50 partner, inventor, web master, bookkeeper, deal-writing expert, etc… and the list goes on and on. The most important thing is he is my brother and he wants the same thing out of life that I want: ALL OF IT!!!
As a team, we want more than most people do because we hate the “9 to 5 schedule”, working for someone else. Instead, we prefer the “5 to 9 schedule”, working for ourselves.Read More
Inventors sure are different people. In all my travels to different inventors clubs and talking to inventors on the phone or emails, I can honestly say, we are somewhat crazy. We are different than most because we look at things that are out there and try to make them better, or we think about things that are not out there yet. Never seen before products. This is what I love about inventing one of a kind products. Knowing when I show someone a new product that no one as seen before, there eyes get big and they say, “that is really cool, can I buy one?”
I truly love inventing so much that I can’t stop. I eat, sleep, breath, thinking about new products. So this goes out to all inventors. Keep inventing, and keep thinking that you will come up with the next big thing, if you haven’t already. A true inventor never gives up!!!!
Invent for life,
Good day to all. I just wanted to say to all inventors out there, never, never, never give up. If you have to hear the word “NO” 999 times to get to just one “YES”, well, that “YES” is coming in March from the Edison Inventors Association. Inventors have long been the brunt of scam artists and shady characters looking to make a quick buck. The Edison Inventors Association is about to change all that by creating a place inventors can truly call “HOME”. One word describes it best – “AMAZING!!!”
Our hearts go out to the companies who’ve been making a living charging unsuspecting inventors ridiculous fees for services never completed. This is not a threat, it’s a promise.
Thanks, and keep inventing.
Back in 2004, when I really got serious about inventing, I really had no idea what I was in for. I think back to that time and look at what is different today for inventors,”NOTHING”. Our next invention is going to change everything for inventors all over the world. 3/21/2012 is going to be the date to remember. The Edison Inventors Association is going to ROCK the inventing world. Invent on my friends, invent on…Read More
To see how you can help end senior hunger, please contact the Meals on Wheels Association of America by visiting their website, or calling them using the number below.
One thing I’ve noticed, is that some families just seem to be bred as inventors and/or entrepreneurs. Maybe it’s something in our genes. Both of my brothers, my father, my grandfather and even my great grandfather were all self-employed.
If you are accustomed to working for others, it can be quite an adjustment moving into the world of being self-employed. Give it serious thought and lots of planning before you quit your day job. Especially, if you wish to invent on a full-time basis. It can be extremely tough to both you and your entire family.
My younger brother Andrew was recently visiting with an uncle and learned the story of how our great grandfather owned a railroad near Escanaba, Michigan. We believe the railway moved passengers and possibly freight for the logging industry at the time, but we’re still gathering details. It’s kind of exciting to see your family name on the side of a train.
There’s a great book (and, it’s free) that was written in 1910 by author Wallace Wattles that every inventor should read. It’s titled, “The Science of Getting Rich” and you can download it for free. The premise of this book is that anyone looking to get wealthy should always do so non-competitively. It states we should all be creating new, innovative solutions to things. Create new markets vs. trying to take business from someone else. I think we as inventors are the key to this – we bring new ideas to the public. Better yet, everything we currently use every single day of our lives started with an idea. Think about that for a moment – EVERYTHING THAT SURROUNDS US STARTED WITH AN IDEA. A SINGLE THOUGHT that led to more thoughts. If you really think about this, you realize the world needs us inventors. Without us, there’d be nothing to read, no cars to drive, no homes to live in. That’s a pretty powerful motivator when you think about it. It all begins with us!Read More
Sometimes a product “finds it’s actual use” doing something other than what you first imagined. When I designed the Super Rope Cinch in 2008 I thought it would be used mostly for boating. Since I love watersports, I envisioned the Super Rope Cinch being used for tying up a boat, securing a jet ski to a dock, etc… As it turns out, there’s a million uses for this product that have nothing to do with boating. (Even better!) Another design element that’s changing is the size. I started with 1/2″ and 5/8″ rope in mind, but have since designed a smaller, Mini Rope Cinch. It may turn out that the Mini Rope Cinch is the one that consumers will purchase more often. Plus, it’s a great product to sell at the register in a fishbowl. People use 1/4″ rope for so many things like tie downs for tents, holding their trunk closed when moving a big item, etc… It’s little changes like this that can have a HUGE impact with your products. Don’t get stuck on what YOU think the product should do, let consumer’s tell you what they want to use it for and go from there.Read More
Probably the toughest challenge for new product developers is staying motivated. We have up’s and we have down’s. It’s easy to get discouraged and give up. But remember this – Anyone can give up. Successful people are the ones who refuse to quit. In fact, you can’t fail if you refuse to quit. If you hit a lull, here’s a few books I strongly recommend to give you inspiration and motivation: (And, 4 of them are FREE)
Give your products away. Find the people who can benefit the most by using your products and let them use them. This creates real-world testing and usage that is invaluable, and provides honest feedback. One of the coolest things we did in 2007 was donated some Water Stations to the military. Soldiers have told us they use them in their tents as a shelf to keep sand from ruining their laptops, iPod’s, cameras and other small electronics. We could never have expected the Water Station would be used for something like this until we gave some away and received excellent feedback.Read More
I started creating things at a very young age. I remember way back in 1985 creating a portable cradle for babies aptly named, “The Porta-Cradle”. As all inventors soon realize, you need a lot of funding, marketing and support. I had the support of my family, but the rest was nowhere to be found in 1984. Infomercials were just starting to boom, but very few companies were taking risks with products outside their company. I never gave up, but realized I needed to have a support system and the financial wherewithal to succeed. It’s a catch 22 – You need money to make money and launch a product. I use that time to remember that you can start with nothing but a great idea and learn as you go. And, you’ll never stop learning as an inventor. Be honest with yourself about money and marketing. That is possibly more important than the idea sometimes. It takes a team of people to launch a product. It took me years to realize that. Get your friends, family (and, anyone else you know!) involved early. Know that even the best ideas take time and resources to get off the ground.Read More