Welcome to the forums!

Our encouraging community is a dedicated resource for innovators everywhere.

Learn about industry trends, common questions,
and stay informed of the latest happenings at Edison Nation.

Lesson # 47 How Much Time Do You Spend Inventing?

rogerbrown's Avatargold

I was wondering how much time do you devote a week to your invention/inventions? I have broken it down into a list ( I know I don’t have everything covered, but lets start with these)
Copy the list into your response/post and put the hours next to each one. If you don’t spend any time on ta topic skip it or put 0/Zero.

1. Researching your idea-
2. Making calls to companies-
3. Writing ,reading and responding to emails/letters from companies-
4. Reading articles/magazines/books on the topic-
5. Building prototypes and testing the product-
6. On forums-
7. Writing and responding to emails/letters from Inventors-
8. Making Sell Sheets -
9. Wandering stores looking at other companies products=
10. Watching QVC and HSN-

http://www.rogerbrown.net

posted    Report this topic
Reply
cowgirl8's Avatar

0, but, i’m waiting for the right moment. I’ll know it when its right. Plus, some of my ideas take years of thinking on. Just when i think i have all my bases covered, an improvement crosses my mind. My fear is to come up with something, spend money and time getting in the market, only for someone to come along and add a doohicky that should have been added before it was ever made in the first place. This is assuming any of my ideas will ever go further than my mind…lol

posted    Report this post
reed.thegrinch's Avatar

0.An idea occurs to me
1.Then I spend several hours online often finding that some or several products already exist…so it gets crossed off the list in my notebook.
2.don’t call companys
3.Occasionally E-mail Querys to companys/rarely recieve answers
4.read a lot can’t estimate hours
5.I spend weeks at a time building rough prototypes
6.usually check forums a couple times a day occasionally post a comment
7.rarely
8.at this point i don’t even know what a sell sheet is.
9.occasionally..should probably do more
10.dont even own a tv if thats what QVC is

posted    Report this post
plavery85's Avataree_badge

1. Researching your idea-
Pretty much all my waking hours and most of my sleeping ones. Once an idea gets stuck in my head I am constantly looking for any and all things that relate to it and am thinking about it constantly. I have no choice. Once I get going on it I have to finish it. I get obsessive about it. If I had to give a number of actual go to the store or sit at my computer research I’d easily place it at 2-3 hours a day. I also easily spend 2 hours a day just doodling through a concept any free moment I find I’m sketching away different ways to do what I’m thinking.

2. Making calls to companies-
I have not approached any companies directly yet, but plan to in the future if the right idea arises.

3. Writing ,reading and responding to emails/letters from companies-
I have not approached any companies directly yet, but plan to in the future if the right idea arises.

4. Reading articles/magazines/books on the topic-
I read everything I can find on the topic. I’d say about 30 minutes a day.

5. Building prototypes and testing the product-
This is a hard one. Some prototypes are easy, some complicated. I might spend weeks on one prototype and have a proof of concept prototype done in minutes on another. Most of the time I 3D model my ideas because I find thinking about it in 3D can really make you have to re-think what you did in 2D. Also, by modeling it as opposed to building it I can fix it much quicker when I find problems than I could a real world item.

6. On forums-
45 minutes to an hour a day.

7. Writing and responding to emails/letters from Inventors-
I take them as they come. Some days I’ve spent as much as 2 hours or as little as nothing.

8. Making Sell Sheets -
I don’t really make Sell Sheets but I do spend a lot of time developing 3D renders or detailed illustrations in Adobe Illustrator of concepts. When I’m in the thick of it 3-4 hours a day.

9. Wandering stores looking at other companies products=
I do this constantly. Even when I am not working on an idea. I always look at what is out there and notice anything that is mechanically different and unique and then I think of how I could apply that to anything I could invent. Realistically at least an hour a day probably way more.

10. Watching QVC and HSN-
0. I do not see watching them sell something they way they do on QVC as a real benefit to inventing. I do see that some of the products are innovative but if they are innovative enough I’ll find them on a tech blog or the internet. Watching them say how pretty it is and how it comes in 42 different colors is not going to help me invent the next one.

posted    Report this post
rjlinnovations's AvatarRest In Peace

IMPORTANT: I spend countless hours. Like a sports nut…practicing, watching, learning…it just becomes a way of life for those people that they enjoy and just can’t count up the hours…or do they care to. These are the people that go on to play pro ball and make the millions.

Then there’s the guy that just loved to cook. Countless hours of experimenting, cleaning up, but the smiles from others of appreciation never made them even think of counting up the hours because the time spent did not matter. Want to see these people? Watch the Food network and see these chefs that own a string of restaurants across the country….because they love what they do and preparing food IS their life.

For the inventor it is no different. Inventing or bringing a product to life so people can enjoy or be helped is a way of life for me. I do not want to count the hours because it does not matter. The good news…I’m the type of person that will make it in this field. The bad news….the recreational idea person/inventor will probably not “make the cut” unless they get very lucky.

If you want to be the best at something you have to be TOTALLY dedicated or else simply…someone else will be more dedicated and beat you to the top. If you want to invent the next kitchen gadget…don’t you have to be dedicated to learning about kitchen gadgets more that everyone else to discover the next big new thing?

You have to be a car nut to come up with the next big accessory…no?

To be this dedicated to pull off “the inventors feat” takes countless hours…well…maybe not countless…but do you really want to know?

If you don’t feel this way about inventing, find something else, another field that you can find this kind a passion for…and maybe you will find success there.

Ron Komorowski
Inventor of Handi-Straps
www.handi-straps.com

posted    Report this post
inventodd's Avatar

1. Researching your idea-
I always research a little and design a lot at the beginning of any new idea, very important, because to much research at the beginning will prevent me from using my own imagination. I design at least an hour a day, every day.

2. Making calls to companies-
This is where I need some work. If the company heads spoke blue collar, I would be a successful inventor by now. I’m really learning on this website how other inventors learn to communicate with the professionals in this field. I’m not as passionate about this as I am with the actual inventing process.

3. Writing ,reading and responding to emails/letters from companies-
Another weakness of mine. I’m not sure if this is a problem with a lot of idea people, or maybe I just haven’t gone to the next level yet. I am definitely ready to learn!

4. Reading articles/magazines/books on the topic-
I love how to books. Mainly internet searching on related topics 4 hours a week.

5. Building prototypes and testing the product-
Ok, this is where my obsession for inventing can get out of hand. I start prototyping an idea only after I’ve proved it in my own mind on paper. I program CNC mills and lathes for a living, so prototyping is the fun part for me. I’ll start on a project and won’t stop until its done. Morning till night and beyond for sure.

6. On forums-
At least an hour a day.

7. Writing and responding to emails/letters from Inventors-
Man do I have a lot of work ahead of me. I think this is where I could be more aggressive.

8. Making Sell Sheets -
This is new to me. I’m going to start my first sell sheet right away.

9. Wandering stores looking at other companies products-
I’ll purposely set aside one day a week, at least 4 hours just for inventing in the store isle. I wish it could be more. My wife cringes when I say I’m just going to go window shopping.

10. Watching QVC and HSN-
We bought three TV’s from them. I watch both maybe 3 hours a week.

11. Patent searching and writing the patent application using the USPTO website-
An hour a day.

Putting this in writing makes me look a little harder at my weaknesses. Thanks Roger.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Todd, that is one of the reasons I started this thread. The list I made came from emails I get from Inventors and where I see they lack confidence or experience. As you said it does make you look at how you approach things a little more when you see them in black and white. Eveyone is different and excels or has issues with one or more of these topics. Others just don’t spennd any time at all honing their knowledge or skill in these areas.
I have gotten some emails aboutthis post and laughing at the number 10. Watching QVC and HSN. You would be surprised how much you can learn taking time to watch and really look at how they try and pull the viewer into the benefits of the product verbally and visually. Look at the difference how they pitch the product when they have just a few minutes to spend on the product versus when they have 20 minutes. You can also use this as an aid to writing your own sell sheet. Watch a product that comes up record it with the sound down and think what you would say to get a persons attention if you had to pitch that product. Then replay the segment and see if you used any of the points they make and did they miss some points you saw they didn’t. I challenge everyone here to do it and see how well you make out. I am going to put this challnge down as a separate thread in case others miss this thread.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Thought I would bring this topic back to the front so the new members could take a crack at it.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

posted    Report this post
sampson_j's Avatar

All day long Even in my sleep…

posted    Report this post
sampson_j's Avatar

today was about researching potential companies product portfolios and sales statistics…over kill maybe but i figure it may help when approaching a company.

posted    Report this post
051263's Avataree_badge

Roger, I see you are a list guy.
I am a recovering list guy (thank God for Zanex). No offense it’s just that now I’m afraid it’s like smoking cigarrettes, if I have one I’l be back where I was.
I’m not sure how much time I have dedicated to each category but for the last five years I have gone to sleep thinking of this one project and it’s my first thought in the morning.
Throughout the day i have to force myself to stay focused on my job. I hope someday they will be one in the same.
Good subject.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Greg, I tend to make lists when I post things like this that have more than one question involved. Because I get emails from Inventors that are two pages long asking about 14 questions mixed in with the other information and then they want me to answer all 14 questions. Which means I have to cut and paste all the questions out of the email so that I don’t miss them. Because if I miss them they send me another email just as long with even more questions mixed in along with the ones I missed the first time. LOL
So, it is more a self defense tactic.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

posted    Report this post
051263's Avataree_badge

Ah ha, I understand.
Much appreciation to you and the rest of the team

posted    Report this post
junqdiva's Avatar

1. Researching your idea-40+hours
2. Making calls to companies-(at this time) N/A
3. Writing ,reading and responding to emails/letters from companies—(at this time) N/A
4. Reading articles/magazines/books on the topic- 5-7 hours
5. Building prototypes and testing the product-7-10 hours
6. On forums-5-10 hours but most of this is researching relevant topics
7. Writing and responding to emails/letters from Inventors-2 hours
8. Making Sell Sheets -(at this time) N/A
9. Wandering stores looking at other companies products=3-4 hours-mostly I do online searches
10. Watching QVC and HSN
N/A because I don’t ’Do" TV…not enough hours in the day…

11. Brainstorming new ideas- this process is ongoing/ never stops sometimes even when I sleep (note notebook and pen on bedside table)

12. designing and drawing up ideas -continuous between other tasks

13. Sleep (What term is this ….sleep…I am not familiar…does not compute….aarrrggghh….)

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

I forgot to add to the list spending time at local Home and Garden or other trade shows near or in your town. I spent 7 hours last week at a local Home and Garden show held in our Concert/Convention center. Some very interesting products to see demonstrated. Came up with two new ideas based on problems I heard several people complaining about. Doing research to see if they have merit.

posted    Report this post
skyflymom1's Avatar

I have noticed one of the first things you start with is ‘calls to companies’. I think I would worry they might like my idea and run with it without me. How can you protect yourself? (I am new to the Forums section – so might have missed a previous answer – also, could be obvious and I am just missing something)?

posted    Report this post
joestuder's Avatar

Welcome to the Forums Katrina,
http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics...

posted    Report this post
magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Katrina,

If you were to submit your idea to Edison Nation to pursue licensing opportunities, your idea is protected under the terms and conditions of our Innovator agreement. You can learn more about this process by checking out our Help page here: www.edisonnation.com/faq

posted    Report this post
williamj's Avatargold

uhhhh…. didn’t Katrina make her post ’bout four years ago ???

posted    Report this post
awildx's Avatargold

Glad this one resurfaced. It’s revealed a lot to me in just a few minutes time.

1. Researching your idea- 5hrs MAX / week
2. Making calls to companies- 0-1hrs / week
3. Writing, reading and responding to emails/letters from companies- 3hr / week
4. Reading articles/magazines/books on the topic – 3hrs / week (lumped with #1 Research)
5. Building prototypes and testing the product- 2 hrs / idea
6. On forums- 3hrs / week in tiny increments.
7. Writing and responding to emails/letters from Inventors- 1hr / week
8. Making Sell Sheets – 2 hours / idea
9. Wandering stores looking at other companies products- 1hr / week
10. Watching QVC and HSN- 0 hrs / week

11. Sketching / CAD – 2 hrs / week
12. Writing EN Submissions – 2 hrs / week
13. Building a “Target” list of companies to call – 2 hours / idea
14. Listening to invention podcasts or watching videos – 8 + hours / week

What I learned:

A. Most of the time I’m learning how other people did it successfully via EN stories, Roger Brown CDs, Stephen Key videos, and Invention Podcasts. Maybe some of this time could be better allocated into the act of inventing versus the act of learning.

B. If I want to shop ideas on my own, I’ll need to dedicate more than 1 hour per week making calls.

C. I limit my research and sell sheets time now because I used to spend way too much time here. And this time could be better spent coming up with more ideas. If I can’t find it in 2-3 hours online and in stores, I’m moving forward and submitting to EN.

D. I am putting about 26 hours / week into inventing.

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

Great breakdown of your process Adam. Shows you are taking it seriously and treating it like a business.

posted    Report this post
jdowney9000's Avatar

I call shame on Frontline.

Their most recent documentary contained much propaganda.

For example: A video was blurred just enough to obscure the statistics in the video.

Upon research, the statistics oppose the narrative (Documentaries shouldn't have a narrative).

Why were they hiding documents? That's not very documentary.

Frontline could have clarified disbelief. Or discredited them. But instead decide to hide them.

Why bring this to my favorite invention discussion forum?

Because it relates to an advertisement I viewed recently.

The advertisement was for a snow blower. Battery operated.

The problem I have is with the camera constantly speeding up and slowing down.

The video shows some beautiful slow motion shots of snow coming out of the shoot. Then speeds up to show the user taking strips of snow off the drive; zip blink blink zip blink. The video juts forward a bunch to speed through the process.

The first question I ask when switching from gas to battery is; "How much slower is it?"

This commercial appeared to try to hide that apsect.

Why all the hiding?

posted    Report this post
rogerbrown's Avatargold

On a recent item I came up with I kept up with most of my time and was surprised to see that I spent almost 50% of my time researching the companies I planned on approaching to make sure my item was a fit and they did not already have something similar.  How much time do you spend on your target markets?

Sarah Mann
posted    Report this post
crystaldiane's Avatargold

Hi, good post. I have been offline for a while - Its honestly all I can do just to manage my little craft biz - for NEW inventions - alas, I kind of set all those things aside for now - I found that too many roadblocks for NEW ideas are not good for my mental well being - think I got told NO a bit too much even for me.  So for now I am just focusing on what I can do - and that is my little handmade product. Been busy setting up shows, have the new website LIVE to take orders at last (thats a story!) and plodding along trying to figure out the mysteries of social media marketing - going to a SCORE Seminar on Saturday.  Anyway - maybe one day I will get back to it

Sarah Mann
posted    Report this post