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Can you be a bad inventor

mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

I don't want to crush anyone's dreams, including my own. However, is it possible that one can be a bad inventor? None of us want to believe that we are bad. I envision American Idol and those contestants that sound like dying cats. However, they honestly believe that they have the best voice ever. Is there ever time to call it quits and just stick with your day job?

Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

In every single category of things people are there are those who excel, those who are okay, and those who suck. It's one thing to get a bad cobbler, it's another to get a bad surgeon. Plenty of both abound. Look at all the bad art in the world! So why not bad inventors?

There are plenty of sucky things out there in the world. Even if they are loved by the masses and/or have strong financial backing it doesn't make them good.

So what's the criteria?

If you feel you are an inventor, and love the PROCESS, who's to judge? 

Erin, I'm interested to know what you think the criteria for being a  bad inventor would be?

Greg M
Patric J
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

Sarah, I love my ideas, but can't get any companies to feel the same way. Not sure if that qualifies. The Snuggy and Chia Pet are pretty darn bad. However, the inventors are laughing all the way to the bank on them.

Greg M
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chappy75's Avatargold

There are some inventors that get paid to go away. I would consider that pretty bad but they made money. Is money the ultimate barometer? 

Perhaps we phrase the question in separate ways to parse out the issue at hand. 

A) Are there bad inventions?

B) Are there people that invent things that are bad?

C) Are there people who are bad that invent things?

D) Can good people invent bad things?

E) Can people that we consider bad invent good things?

F) What is the definition and measure of good and bad when it comes to inventing?

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, as Sarah pointed out above no matter what you get involved in you will always have a cross section of all the above. Keep in mind that the majority of Inventors will tell you they have gotten more rejections than successes. 

Have you gotten any feedback from the companies that turned you down? What was the feedback if they did? Just make sure if you post anything it is not disclosing our idea in the forums. Keep it in general terms. 

You can get rejected for a long list of reasons and a lot of them can be in or out of your control. Such as they are not wanting to license anything new right now as they finish up their current line. They have already assigned their budget for the year. Your product is niche and they want mass market items. They have something similar already in  the works and so on.

It can also be your presentation doesn't really GET the point across of your idea. Your idea may not answer the Better Than question. They might only look at patented ideas and yours is not patented. You could be approaching the wrong person within the company. 

How much research have you done on your idea to see where it stands in the market place. Have you studied your competition to make sure you stand out in that market? As you can see there can be a lot of things that can cause you to get rejected.

You can have a issued patent, a working prototype, great sell sheet and still get rejected multiple times.  I have had 11 items licensed and about half were licensed with the first company I approached. The others got multiple rejections before I landed a deal. None of the companies said they didn't like the idea or that it wouldn't make money. It just didn't fit them at that time. You have to find that one that fits and that can take time or it might never happen. 

You have to be able to take criticism, not think everything one has to love your idea, approach everything like a business, learn to adapt and improve and keep at it.

You might find it helpful to look through this list of threads. It has many topics that can help you find what works for you.  https://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics/l...

Patric J
Michael Heagerty
erin hoff
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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

Roger, usually my feedback is great idea but not a fit for us. If I had a dollar for every time I hear that. I hope they mean it but could be that they just don't want to hurt your feelings or get yelled at.

Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

When I licensed design I saw a lot of very talented artists who made beautiful work not attain success. Though there are definitely trends in markets, there's just no telling what the companies will want. I saw, similar to reports I've been seeing on this forum, the process is unpredictable- a product can go all the way to market and still get pulled. 

Many artists don't love the business side of art. They don't like selling or promotion. This must also be true for some inventors. One of my very successful CraftArtist friends once said : " I get out there and get out there and get out there. And when I feel like I can't do it any more, I get out there again." Paraphrased, but you get the idea.

Look how many stories there are of authors who have received scores of rejections before their work becomes a best seller. 

If we love the process of our work, if we don't want to censor our brains, if we believe that what we produce is of beauty or value, if we want to make a positive contribution to the world, if our motives have integrity, then why not have faith in ourselves? 

To me the only bad inventions are ones that are deliberately destructive or hurtful.

Greg M
Patric J
Michael Heagerty
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, sounds like you are just hitting the companies that are not a fit yet. I would keep at it and take a good look at the materials you send out and see if they can be improved or are you promoting your ideas Hook to their attention.

Sarah, you are correct. You can do everything right and still get a no. And you are correct not everyone is cut out to run a business and might need to look for alternative options.

Greg M
Patric J
Sarah Mann
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Erin, read this thread and see what you think https://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics/l...

Patric J
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enigmamusement's Avatargold

What we don't hear from these companies is unfair pay, not meeting the minimum wage for factory workers, any threats made to the boss through stopwork meetings. Boss may bargain customers with product discounts to attract customer orders without factory workers getting a pay increase at all. Leaving you no choice but to organize it yourself if you win big time winning lotto, or life insurance from a deceased parent, married partner or some other way to get big money "*"

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Arthur, not seeing the relation to the topic. Sounds more like a Union problem.

Patric J
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psinventor's Avatargold

Arthur , we need to have the ladder of success in America start out with a step at the bottom or there is no way to climb up and no hope for anyone. 

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crystaldiane's Avatargold

Arthur, I am truly saddened you really feel this way.  I also realize that not everyone in this country has an equal chance and that IS NOT on topic - nor a place for this forum. however, as a group that supports inventors dreams - even with that said, From my perspective there has never been a better time in this country for the average person to do something and achieve something above average.  technology makes so many things possible and inexpensively. Take the Fiverr platform as an example - for only 5 dollars you can get a professional looking business or calling card designed - that was impossible only 20 years ago.  With that calling card you can  now make a better 'first impression. And advance yourself and your dreams slowly - the old fashioned way.

With work, grit, and lots and lots of patience.   And if it does not work out - at least you took the ride and that is a lot more than most people can say.

Best to you.

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sjane722's Avatargold

I don't understand how the people on Fiverr can offer services for such low prices. Yes, it's great for those using their services, but it kind of underlines Arthur's point- are people so desperate for a way to make any money at all that they charge $5 for skilled work? How are those people going to ever get anywhere?

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mmmbopingmommy's Avatar

Sarah, I've always wondered that myself. I get full animation done for 5.00. I always leave a tip because I feel guilty. I believe that a lot of the sellers there are from other countries. Their money must go a lot further.

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sjane722's Avatargold

Going further in the context of impoverishment :-/

erin hoff
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thom33's Avatargold

Yep...

Crowd sourcing has devastated my profession.

Great if you don't live in a major urban center in a first world country.

People trying to better themselves at what cost?

Would you hire a physician this way?

erin hoff
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sjane722's Avatargold

It blows me away. It seems they're not even charging $5 an hour, which would be more than a steal, but $5 per project, many of which I imagine, are labor intesive.

For students, or people starting out who might do it to build a portfolio, when they work for one of us and sign NDAs, they can't even use the work that way. Though they can accumulate references I suppose.

I'm happy for people the site has helped, but it seems to have a lot of down sides to it. 

Thom, yes, I can see that the $5 and excellent reviews would definitely undercut freelancers and small firms!

Thom C
Thom C
Thom C
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crystaldiane's Avatargold

Sarah, I have used a number of people on Fiverr.  Many of them live life in what we refer to as a second world or third world country. One job I did I hired a very Talented designer from Pakistan.  Delightful person to work with and I was happy with the results. I ended up 'tipping' him at the end of the job - then I looked online to see how far the total american dollar went in this country.  Truth is, 5 dollars goes much farther than one thinks. My 25 dollar job paid his expenses for a week.
Put that into perspective. No its not perfect but it does offer an alternative for things I needed - I would have never been able to afford to hire a US Based designer - - At some point I would LOVE to be able to source things on this side of the pond again because frankly its HARD WORK Managing a job in this way - one must be able to manage language and time zone barriers over a private communication protocol  - there are NO face to face, No phone Calls, No Texting, No Videos - Nada. Note too, the cancellation rate is HIGH. Most people that have used Fiverr either have a great or awful experience.  The language differences are vast - and not all things translate well over such a protocol.I started one job a while back only to realize the designer on the other end could not comprehend - fortunately for ME nothing was lost - I (the designer cordially agree so we)  canceled the job, received a refund and am now working with a new designer.  But its a hands on time intensive process - imagine translating your vision this way - 
The exchange rate is what keeps these people in business.  Until my business is far enough along to afford to pay US Rates I must do what I must do - one day maybe - sales cures all right? Best

Sarah Mann
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sparkjockey's Avatargold

Sarah, Crystal, thats spot on about fiver.  Ive worked with a fiver artist on two different projects and found a super good voiceover artist for my video sell sheet.  My rendering artist lives in Bangladesh and yes, there is a small language issue but Ive been able to get my ideas across fairly well by scanning/saving drawings and then using the windows 'snipping tool' to make arrow suggestions to the original rough drawing as we discuss more.  The time zone issues CAN be a hassle too but my artist was so eager to build up his feedback ratings that he worked into the wee hours of the morning local time. LIke you I also felt a little guilty:) Like most fiverr artists, he advertises for $5 but that's a bare minimum.  A lot of fiver artists have a menu with prices for more involved, time consuming work.  My final product design 3D rendering cost me a total (after 2 different design changes) of $50.  You are correct, those US dollars go a lot further in Bangladesh than here in the states.  The voiceover work MADE my video sell sheet come alive.. and it cost only $5.  The best $5 I ever spent.

Crystal-Diane Nappi
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