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Crickets Chirping...

tesladog's Avatargold

Ok, one of my concepts has been sitting at G5 for a loooooong while, which isn't a bad thing - means it's still alive and kicking. Now - and this is just a wild flight of fancy - what would be really awesome, and would make EN even cooler, is if we could occasionally interact with the EN team and just kinda hear a little feedback as to what you guys are thinking about our idea (say, after stage 4 and up). Just cause it's fun to know. Formulaic "feedback" when our idea makes it to the next level is good, but definitely limited. I realize ya'll have your plates full pretty much 24/7, so it couldn't be too interactive; maybe a live video conference twice a month with handpicked insiders who clearly understand the nature of NDA's, confidentiality, etc. Invite only, perhaps at a higher price point; we consumers love our options lol. There would have to be some very carefully established parameters around such an endeavor to protect IP, but maybe there's a way.

Can + Opener = Worms. I know lol.

Thoughts?

Chip
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Patric!

Thank you for the feedback and we'll definitely take these suggestions under consideration.

We work as a team to ensure all ideas are actively being reviewed within our searches. Oftentimes, things slow as ideas move higher in the process. As an Insider, as there is movement, particularly once a product reaches Stage 7, there are ongoing updates provided to your Dashboard.

Thank you!

Michelle

Patric J
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tesladog's Avatargold

Oh, I know - thanks Michelle :) I just want egg in my beer, my cake and eat it too, with extra icing lol

Michelle Sartori
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sjane722's Avatargold

Patric,

I'm glad for this post, as I too understand how much EN does, and how many submissions they have, but.... I have submissions stuck at G3 for what seems like forever- and while I understand the process takes time, it's hard to not be antsy!

Patric J
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chappy75's Avatargold

this is an age old "plight of the innovator" at EN. I will give Scott Dromms credit here. 

When many of us first joined all we had was our dashboard as an indicator for where our idea stood in the process. Even when our idea dropped out of a search completely there was little to no justifiable reason... We were simply left guessing as to why our baby was ugly. Then Scott came on the forums (pre Michelle) and he would explain reasons each stage might exclude an idea... We still had no feedback when the idea was 86ed, we would come to the forums and discuss why. That worked for a while but innovators still demanded answers for scrapped ideas. "Why did our coolers and grills that were so awesome not get selected for the NASCAR search?" Then we learned of the "Grill Graveyard" and that was an Ahah moment.

some of us got pretty demanding about feedback... I believe it was Scott that said "we don't give feedback because answers will never be enough; answers beget more questions."It was explained and the community came up with being able to pay more money for feedback and a whole host of other noteworthy solitions to lifting the shroud of the decision maker to reveal our conceptual weaknesses.

Some of us accepted that but others insisted on feedback. So EN started giving feedback when ideas were removed from consideration. That was an awesome day. 

Now when EN started giving feedback some said that submission prices were going to go up others said membership fees would reflect the extra step and added value... Just like Scott had said though, it wasn't enough for some and the complaints came to the forums about "canned answers". 

Funny thing is that the majority of the people who wanted the feedback so badly aren't even around anymore. 

I think it is a matter of patience. Don't get wrapped up in one idea. Occasionally, an idea can get jettisoned into limbo. Maybe once or twice in the 8+ years I have been here (could that be right?) an idea may get removed from consideration and not be updated. Never happened to me but I had a couple ideas jump to G5 pretty quickly and sit there until the day before presentation. The results were mixed; some went G7 while others met the rubber stamp of the Red X.

Believe me when I tell you, no amount of feedback will quench your thirst for more feedback. 

Just a little lesson learned from the Chronicles of Chappy.

Derrick James
Michelle Sartori
Patric J
williamj .
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kabuj's Avataree_badge

I've never agreed with ANY post MORE Chappy... I'm just jealous I would not have been able to articulate it as well. VERY well said.!!!

Best to all.

James Chapman
Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

If EN X's your idea and you want to move forward with it, either by resubmitting it to EN, or taking it elsewhere, in order for it to succeed, to not waste your own time or that of others, information is what you need. Being analytical in this case is likely not a bad a thing. I hear what you're saying about never being satisfied, but I do think getting enough information and a true critique is important. 

I started a post a while ago asking how beneficial people think it is to resubmit to EN. I didn't really get an answer. 

As Sheldon Kopp said: All major decisions are based on insufficient information. Nevertheless, I say the more information the better. Or at least clear, directive information. 

I dislike vagueness in any situation. I prefer to always be given information, without being mean, as clearly and directly as possible.

Patric J
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tesladog's Avatargold

Thanks guys - I agree with all of it. My thought is that interaction cross-pollinates new ideas and opens roads we wouldn't normally travel. Collaboration breeds better ideas, improves existing ones, etc. I enjoy and welcome the opportunity to be active in the process. That being said, I also understand the EN team NOT wanting the inventors breathing down their collective necks :P Believe me, I see all sides of the equation. Doesn't stop me from wanting to improve the process if possible; without innovation everything stagnates, and nobody wants that :)

Sarah Mann
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Hey Sarah - in terms of resubmitting - I have found it to be VERY beneficial, especially if I enhance the submission or make changes based on feedback.

The fundamental thing (in an LPS) is that an invention is often *not* rejected because it is not a good idea - it may be rejected because it is not a good invention/product *for that sponsor* - either they already have something in development or it just doesn't fit in their product line (or whatever).

Sometimes, EN has even opted my submission into the open search for me - presumably because EN likes the idea even if a particular search sponsor doesn't.

I can't recall specific cases, but anecdotally I recall there have been multiple cases of resubmitted R8's or even R4's that ended up making it all the way, sometimes after many, many red X's.

Patric J
Sarah Mann
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sjane722's Avatargold

Robert,

Thank you!

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Robert, you hit on a very important part of the process when you said "I have found it to be VERY beneficial, especially if I enhance the submission or make changes based on feedback."

Having been a part of the review process at EN I can personally tell you that many members will just opt in their idea to the next open search they see without taking the time to look over their idea for improvements or if it is even a fit for that search based on the criteria. Then are disappointed when they get another RED X and don't understand why. 

As far as feedback goes you have to draw the line at some point because no matter how thorough the feedback is given it will never be enough. If you did do video chat with a select few, others would complain about how those few were chosen and others were not. 

This is not a new issue. Take a look at this post I made 7 years ago when EN held auditions in a select few cities looking for mass market products. https://www.edisonnation.com/forums/everyday-ediso...

I posted "Scott, that is the problem. There was no miscommunication on EE’s part. It was the Inventors signing things without reading them or not filling them out at all. Below is a post I put out after the Chicago auditions to try and help those going to the next stop which was Providence.

At the Chicago auditions before things started EE had a number of us go down the line of people and ask if they would have their entry form out and ready. We were to also look at the form and see if they had drawing, prototype, finished product, other checked. depending on which they had you gave them a particular colored card.
Weeks before the audition they could download and print out the forms online. More than half I personally saw had not filled the forms out, had the wrong box checked for the type of presentation they had. You would think a person with a drawing would know better than check “finished manufactured product”. This was not a isolated case it was a lot of the people there. When you told them they needed to change that box and they were getting a different colored card than the person they saw you hand in front of them they wanted to argue.
All through the online website it stated multiple times EE was running a audition for mass market items. It was stated again in the form they were supposed to fill out. More than half brought items that were extremely obvious that they were not mass market items and were offended that you told them that. Their rationalization was that their item was for people that wore gloves and there are 260 million people in the U.S. that COULD wear gloves, so their market was 260 million people. They did not take into account their product was for left handed people that worked on oil rigs in texas missing three fingers. That would defintely be a niche market.
The two minute time limit was posted just as often as the mass market. I was a time keeper for our panel. I told people when they came in again about the two minute time limi and that I would raise my hand when hey had 15 seconds left so they would know to wrap things up.
About 2/3rds of them kept on talking after I said “time”. Because they had wasted most of their time on talking about anything other than their product.

People wonder why only a few people win any of these product hunts even though hundreds submit ideas. It is because they don’t submit an item that fits the criteria of the product search. They throw something out there and hope it sticks. That is why I am constantly harping about doing your homework and know your target before you submit.
You don’t submit a bicycle idea to a company that makes wheelchairs thinking that since the have wheels they would be interested in your idea.

here is what I posted.

http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/everyday-edi...
Before you spend your time and money going to Providence make sure you follow these tips.
(1)Make sure your product has mass-market appeal. Everyday Edisons
has major retail chains wanting new items they can sell.
They are in the business to move product. Just because it’s
patentable does not mean it’s marketable.

(2)Do your research before you arrive. Panelists will look online
(U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Google, etc.) to see if your
idea is already on the market, already patented or to close to
existing patents .

(3)Fill out paperwork at home. All forms are available online at
www.everydayedisons.com. It’s less stressful than trying to fill
out a 22-page document while in line.

(4)Be prepared. You have two minutes to get your idea’s benefits
and marketability across to the panel. If you can’t show a
consumer the benefits of your product within 30 seconds, it isn’t
worth pursuing. Prioritize your invention’s benefits. Lead with
the best first and work your way down. Rehearse your presentation.

(5)Know the difference between a homemade prototype, finished
prototype and a commercial product. You do not want to be sent to
a review room for products that are ready for retail and looking
for a distributer when your product is in the “needs refinement”
stage.

http://www.rogerbrown.net "

Here is another thread on the topic https://www.edisonnation.com/forums/everyday-ediso...

and what I posted 

"Flora, glad you liked the article. Below are some posts I pulled out of the past threads that might help. As stated above you can find a lot of great info if you use the search feature at the top of the page.

http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/everyday-edi...

http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics...

http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/market-resea...
This is a portion of a post I wrote here http://www.edisonnation.com/forums/other/topics...; that pertains to the same discussion here on feedback. No matter what system you set up for feedback you are always going to have a percentage that won’t feel the feedback is enough or they want to argue on the feedback because in their eyes it is wrong that they got rejected. I review a large number of sell sheets and proposals for Inventors. On average it takes 4 emails from them before they stop arguing their point and accept that the product I showed them is the same as theirs that they told me did not exist anywhere. EN does not have the resources or time for that.

“Look at EN, everyone was complaining that they would get so far on their dashboard on a product search and then get dropped with no explanation. They wanted EN to give each person a indivdual response. This would require more time and expense than they could handle. Because each person would rebuttal their rejection with either a more detailed explanation of their product or ask additional questions all requiring another response.
They had over 900 entries on one of the product searches and only a couple of items got picked. So, lets say 890 of them got No’s and 400 ( that number is lower than would really want more explanantion)of them did not like the NO they got and rebuttaled it wanting a response and now half of the 400 wanted another response once they heard back from EN. That would be 600 additional emails. Look at ENs main page they are running 6 product searches right now. So if you had 600 emails in addition to the original 890 you first sent out emails per product search you would need to respond to 3600 additional emails.”

http://www.rogerbrown.net

Here is a response I thought might fit here about feedback.

Patrice, I like your idea of addtional cost for more feedback. The only drawback I see for it is that with most people that would not be enough. You would get stuck in a never ending circle of EN giving an explanation and the Inventor rebutting the response and wanting an answer to the rebuttal. I know this from experience. I get emails daily from Inventors wanting me to take a look at their invention. They say they want an honest opinion, but they really want a positive honest opinion.
Lets use this as an example and you are the Inventor. Your invention is an adapter that fits on the tip of the can of compressed air used for blowing dust out of computer keyboards. This adapter is suposed to be used to blow out the candles on a birthday cake.
Your assumption is that since everyone has a birthday everyone is going to buy one giving you 263 million buyers. You have asked me to review this idea and these are my responses.

1. This seems like a very very small niche market if it has a market at all.

2. The air pressure in the can would blow the cake apart.

3. Why can’t the person just blow it out using their mouth instead of buying this product?

4. Who would you approach to market this item?

Undaunted you answer back that I am extremely wrong certainly all 263 million people would buy it because you invented it for them. Where would you sell it? Why, every store would carry an item that everyone wants.
You could adjust the pressure on the can so it would not blow the cake apart. (You forget your idea was to attach your adapter to the compressed air can someone else is making. So unless you make your own compressed air can and get the proper pressure your are stuck with theirs. You also don’t take into account that now that you are making your own compressed air can your cost per unit has changed dramtacally.)

You in turn would wait for my response and the circle continues. Giving any feedback would only be useful if the Inventor would take the first set of feedback and be able to stop there.
You are asking the Inventors to be reasonable with something they are emotionally attached.
I saw this first hand as a panel reviewer in Chicago. You would tell the Inventor they have 2 minutes to pitch their invention and that you would tell them when their time was up. 80% of the people that came through had to be told multiple times their time was up because they kept pitching. They were not prepared when they came in, most had not practiced their pitch, and they wanted to make sure they said everything they wanted to say.
You need to look at inventing as a business, not as a personal attack on you if a company does not like your idea.
EN is looking for ideas that have mass market appeal that they can take to retailers that have nationwide outlets. If you have done your research you should know before you approach them if your idea is a niche market or mass market. If it is niche your chances are low it will get selected. If you are told what you thought was a mass market idea is really a niche market idea don’t get mad. Instead look at your idea and consider why they think it is a niche not a mass market idea.

http://www.rogerbrown.net "

As you can see the issue has not changed in 7 years. The feedback has gotten better but the demand to always get more has not. No matter if you had one on one in person updates there would still be people wanting more.

Patric J
Robert Pontius
Sarah Mann
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sjane722's Avatargold

Roger-

OH GAWD!

I hear you! And I hear your frustration on so many levels!!!!

Patric J
Robert Pontius
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Sarah, it is more sadness than frustration that I feel for not being able to get the point across to the people that really needed the help. Especially when it is after the fact, such as the audition. The advice may help them with the next audition they go to but it didn't help them succeed in the first one. And you don't know how that first loss affects them. It could make them go back and take a hard look at how they are doing things or it could be the thing that makes them give up, even when they may have had a decent idea that just needed tweaking. 

Patric J
Robert Pontius
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Sarah, also keep in mind that you had people that paid for round trip airline tickets to Chicago from wherever they were in the U.S.( I know of several that did this from California), a hotel for two nights, meals, stood in line for 4 to 5 hours at the event, all for a 2 minute presentation and spent most of their time telling about their journey to get there instead of pitching their product. That is sad.

Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

Roger,

There's always a learning curve with new endeavors. 

Some people will get on board, and some people will be weeded out. There are so many factors that determine success. 

I know there are things I have been utterly dense about, or that weren't temperamentally a good fit for me. I guess this is true for a lot of people! 

You certainly did, and are doing your best, to be helpful and instructive.

Patric J
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crystaldiane's Avatar

Roger, Sarah, I always appreciate that you guys take the HIGH GROUND.  Teaching people what YOU all know is HARD HARD HARD HARD Work.  But there are a number of us that Really appreciate what you are trying to do here to help all of us. Please keep the dialogs going. 

Patric J
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jdowney9000's Avatar

Well, Jimminy!

Patric J
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi guys!

Another quick note on our feedback process. 

As the Community Manager I have seen the evolution of feedback since my early days at EN. As Chappy outlined, in the beginning, it was to those who were presented but ultimately not chosen from an innovation search, then we introduced our feedback process for Insiders who were declined. 

Now, Edison Nation provides feedback not only to those Insiders who are declined within a search at the time of their decline, but also to Insiders who have ideas that are actively being pitched out to companies. That is "ongoing feedback" and is provided directly to the EN Dashboard. Do these updates happen daily, weekly, even monthly? Unfortunately no. But, my promise to all has always been that when we have information, interest and feedback from companies, positive or negative, we're going to share it with you. 

As Roger pointed out, feedback draws a fine line. We want to share some examples and/or reasoning as to why a product did not move forward, but we cannot say, "here's what to do to help, here's how to modify your idea for success." Our goal is to educate you to improve your idea(s) and decide the next best course of action.

As always, you are welcome, as Robert added earlier, to update your submission based on feedback you received either to clarify, or make changes. As Insiders, you can do this and opt an idea into another innovation search for additional consideration. And, as Roger pointed out, please be sure before you opt an idea in that your idea fits the criteria outlined for that search.

Okay, so maybe that wasn't so quick of a response...

I thank you all for your feedback and thoughts, as always. This is not an easy process and it is never easy on our end to decline ideas. 

I wish you all a good start to the week!

Michelle

Derrick James
Thom C
Patric J
Sarah Mann
Robert Pontius
Robert Pontius
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sjane722's Avatargold

Michelle,

Thank you! 

I hope you know that while I express antsyness, I fully appreciate all that the EN team does, and the challenges you face!

Patric J
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Hi Sarah!

No worries at all. I completely appreciate any antsyness! I understand how these things go and believe me, I'd love nothing more than communicate to everyone about ideas everyday...ah the promise of human cloning...

:)

Patric J
Sarah Mann
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tesladog's Avatargold

Great discussion folks!

Roger, great stuff as always, you've usually got your finger right on the pulse of it. I feel your pain when you see people pay the price for not doing due diligence. As a designer, I know what it's like when you're trying your best to help folks who won't allow you to. You end up being Jerry Maguire - "Help me, Help YOU!"

Michelle, you're saint. There, I said it. I'm sure much of your day is composed of facepalms, but you've always got an encouraging word for everyone. Thanks for all your good work :)

Robert, Sarah, always good insights from both of you - thanks for taking the time!


EN does a bang-up job all around, so please don't think I'm complaining about anything. More like I 'm just noodling around out loud, and allowing others to hear the process. You never know what idea might float to the surface as a result of the discussion - I view the forums largely as a collective think tank for everyone here, including the EN team. Irritation produces pearls or gets swatted like flies, but it also produces the flyswatter, so overall that's a good thing, ain't it?

Sarah Mann
Robert Pontius
Rob F
Michelle Sartori
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bobf's Avatargold

What about an anonymous suggestion link where members can suggest and or vent?

No need for EN to reply and it may keep some of the frustrated members from venting on the forums and on other sites.

My friends company had a employee suggestion link that was not anonymous and all they received was mostly praise and not many suggestions. After changing to anonymous, they received five times as many suggestions/vents and my friend felt much better after venting her pent up frustrations. She also felt her suggestions contributed to the health of their company.  

Patric J
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magurn's Avataren_staff_badge

Thank you for the suggestion Rob! It is definitely something the team will consider further.

Rob F
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sjane722's Avatargold

I received my first X today- a big fat R4!

The feedback is thorough, and on point. Not only that, it is full of encouragements and "don't give ups," which no company owes you!

Michelle Sartori
Patric J
Robert Pontius
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Sarah:

So now you've truly been initiated! I've lost count of how many R4's I've collected, but I know that I learned from each one.

Is this a "tweak and resubmit" situation for you?

Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

Hi Robert,

Ha ha! Thanks! That's how I feel!!

I do not think I'll resubmit it. It's the concept I mentioned in the thread where you encouraged me to make prototypes. I was impatient, and didn't. I also knew the idea needed ergonomic and physiological testing. I whipped it up in a couple of days, and was happy that I made my first sell sheet.

The criticism I received is that there are competing products that are too similar. There is definitely truth to that, and I'm fine with letting it go.

Immediately after I submitted it I found a lot of competition, but I thought that was good- that it showed a demand for the category. I updated the submission to include them.

In addition to having at least one feature that I felt is better than existing products, I felt that the design of mine was superior and more appealing than what's already out there. I still believe that. But we all know that aesthetics are subjective. 

I might put it on the back burner and at some point follow through with researching the physio and ergonomic aspects. That might be interesting. And that might be the thing that would make a difference.

Robert Pontius
Patric J
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rpontius's Avatarg8_badge

Sarah - that's a really enlightened approach. It's so hard for many of us to let our beloved ideas go and move on to new ones. Who knows, if you back-burner it, an LPS may one day come along with a sponsor company that is looking for exactly that kind of thing, in which case it can make sense to think hard about how to further differentiate the product and then resubmit for free.

Patric J
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sjane722's Avatargold

Robert, 

That's so nice of you to say.

I really think that because I didn't have proof of concept, didn't do the homework around the physio aspect I wasn't able to sufficiently demonstrate how my product differed from the others. 

It comes down to SHOW don't TELL. I wasn't able to show that my concept worked. I TOLD them it did ha ha. Not good enough! And I knew that when I submitted it.

It addressed an entirely different function than the others but without proof of concept it wasn't evident that the product accomplished the goal. 

Your obsession with working prototypes makes a lot of sense!!!

Since this thread is about EN feedback, I think this is a good example of taking a good honest look at the reasons for the rejection. If you still feel that EN was wrong then move on to other prospects!

I am still very happy that it kick started me into making my own sell sheets!

Patric J
Robert Pontius
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