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Lesson # 17 How Much Are You Willing To Spend On Your Idea Before Asking For Help?

rogerbrown's Avatargold

I get emails from Inventors around the world asking for help. The thing I find puzzling is the amount of money they have already spent before looking for any type of help. My question to you is why do you think they wait so long? How much money do you think is reasonable to spend on your idea before seeking help?

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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scooternauman's Avatargold
Hey Roger, It seems to me and I’ll be the first to admit the biggest problem inventors seem to have is lack of knowledge on the process. Until I found this place and started reading the posts here I was convinced I needed a patent to show my product to a company(and feel reasonably safe doing so). I had no knowledge of sell sheets and no understanding of how licensing agreements worked. I’m not saying inventors are lazy, believe me I’ve spent days on the internet looking for information on how this whole thing works. All that I kept finding was submission companies and other useless info. But back then I can’t even say I had the proper knowledge to know what to be looking for and that’s a huge problem. Thankfully, I don’t have alot of money or I probably would have been another inventor out there who spent thousands on lawyers and patents thinking I was doing the right thing to get my product to market. All I can say is that I am so thankful I found inventspot which led me to here. I am extremely greatful for having the opportunity of reading your informative posts along with many other members in here who have experience in this field. I still have mountains of information to learn and am excited for the opportunity to do just that. So I guess my answer to why do they wait so long is simply lack of knowledge.IMO
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

John, how much would you spend before you thought you would seek help?

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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scooternauman's Avatargold
I guess before I found this place I would have spent the costs of a proper patent search and pay to have a utility patent filed so several grand I imagine?
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scooternauman's Avatargold
For me it’s not about not wanting to seek help. I will try to find help where ever I can, and I have tried in the past(very unsuccessfully but I have tried). The problem is actually finding help. Submission companies sucker so many people into thinking their being helped and most the time thats not the case. Another thing is I think inventors have it built into our DNA to do things for ourselves and trying not to rely on someone else to do something we feel we should be doing, then you add on top of that the lack of knowledge I spoke of before and you quickly have a huge problem and not to mention the whole protection of your IP which adds to an already big problem. It doesn’t surprise me one bit the money people are spending before seeking help. They are probably lost like I was and truely believe their doing the right thing.
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marcus's Avataree_badge

I totally agree with John. I spent money on a patent, but I don’t regret that. The lack of knowledge of where to target my spending, other than the patent, was what kept me from spending way more. I sought knowledge on-line and found warnings about rip-offs everywhere.
That made me a little paranoid (inventors are well-known for that). Hence, do it yourself.
I was lucky enough to find EN. There is lots of good advice here, but even here the advice is nearly 100% how to do it yourself.
So Roger, some questions back at you:
How do I find help?
Who can I safely hire?
What is a reasonable rate for work done?
Where do I find all this money?
How do I know what to outsource and when?
These are the unanswered questions that keep me doing it myself.

Thanks for starting these interesting discussions.

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hey_holly_sunshine's Avatar

I paid for a provisional patent (I did the search myself) and the monthly insider dues and submission costs. I also bought a book that was on sale at BAM. But I used a gift card. (since it was technically free, does that get included in the cost?)
So that would be… what… less than $200.00?

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scooternauman's Avatargold
My first “invention” which was also my first submission to EN, I have only spent about $55 on it. But I have spent the better part of 16 years tweeking the design of it. I have made no less then 9 prototypes. Looking at it now and how it has evolved over the years makes me laugh to think about the very first prototype I made out of 2 small erector sets and some wooden dowels. I must say since my career path has led me to become a machinist, it has been a huge benefit to the development of this product and it certainly help keep costs of prototypes to virtually $0. That’s right I don’t call it an invention or an idea anymore because people don’t buy ideas, they buy products.
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Mark, you wrote:

So Roger, some questions back at you:

Q: How do I find help?
A: A good start is where you are right now, forums directed at Inventors. Places like this give you a lot of free advice and warnings. You have a large crowd to use as a resource to get information on companies, agents, places to avoid, others to use. Look at all the great feedback Jack with the Magic Toob is getting for free (whether he wants it or not LOL).
If you are not using the forums use the internet to find resources in the area that you are wanting to pursue. I get a lot of visitors to my website looking at the example sell sheets and other info I have available at http://www.rogerbrown.net Read articles on the companies you want to approach and see if they seem trust worthy or do they have a lot of consumer/inventor complaints. I get contacted by a large number of Inventors daily due to them finding articles I have written for Inventor’s Digest, online forums, online articles, my website, word of mouth from Inventors I have helped. It is all about networking to find the best advice and resources.

Q: Who can I safely hire?
A: This comes down again to doing your research on the company or person you plan on using. Ask for references, their successes, lawsuits. A lot of times it comes down to a gut feeling that they are not being upfront with you. If they are always avoiding to answer a question it is probably a good indication you need to leave them alone. That is why I tell Inventors to ask Invention Submission Companies " How many Inventors have made more money in royalties than paid you for your services?" If they change the subject or tell you they can’t get into that until you sign a contract with them. What does that tell you about them? There is no 100% guarantee when dealing with any company, but you can minimize your problems by doing your research up front, not after you have already given them your money.

Q: What is a reasonable rate for work done?
A: That is all up to the individual and their income. Paying $8,000 for a patent may be reasonable to one person and horrible to another. You have to make your decisions based on the same rule they tell gamblers “Don’t spend it if you can’t afford to lose it.” I always look for alternatives to the normal route or is it REALLY necessary or just what everyone else is doing?
I have 7 products on the market, with two more coming out this year. I did not get a patent first on any of them. I approached the companies with a sell sheet and an NDA. Most Inventors would be frightened to do it the way I do because they are paranoid about getting the idea stolen and all they have ever heard is “Get it patented before you show it to anyone.” While they are waiting the two ro three years for the patent to be issued I am getting products licensed and on the market. I don’t pay top rate for services I can do myself or find an alternative that works just as good. I tell Inventors to go to their local college and look for students in the graphics department to do sell sheets at a fraction of the cost a design firm would charge. Some design firms charge from $800 to $3200 for design work on a couple of sell sheets. A college student will do it for less than $100 or beer money. LOL

Q: Where do I find all this money?
A: I made it a rule a long time ago not to get others involved financially. Because you don’t want to be in debt to a family memeber or best friend and not have the money to pay them back due to your invention did not get picked up or sell millions like you told them.
You can get investors, but that involves writing a business plan, which most people are not knowledgeable on what is required to write one. Plus, investors are now partners and will be telling you how to run your business because they want to protect their investment. Also investors expect a return on investment and own a portion of the company for their investment. You can quickly become a minority holder in your company and shoved out by the investors who now take it over since they own controlling interest in the product.
I have gotten all seven of my products licensed and on the market spending less than $100 on each. So, it can be done with little money and a lot of work on your part. It just depends on how bad you want it and think things out realistically before you do them.

Q: How do I know what to outsource and when?
A: You base everything on need and ability. If what you want is beyond your abilities you need to seek help with that portion. Do the ones you know you can and hire out the parts you can’t. The when depends on WHEN is it needed. If I am researching companies to see what my market share might be, do I NEED to spend $4,000 on a prototype at that time? NO.
What doI do if I spend the $4,000 on a prototype and find the same product or a better product than mine already on the market? I wasted that money.Inventors are quick to go in debt and slow to do the research up front to save them that money.

I get contacted by Inventors all the time saying “I have this great product that will make millions, could you look at it?” Once they send me the information on the product I do a little quick research and find the product already on the market, but the Inventor swore they searched everywhere and it does not exist. They are shocked and pissed when I send them the link to their product. They are mad at all the money they wasted and mad at me for showing them what I found.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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hey_holly_sunshine's Avatar

“They are shocked and pissed when I send them the link to their product. They are mad at all the money they wasted and mad at me for showing them what I found.” <—- People fall in love with their inventions and get scorned when they find out they “aren’t the only one”… shame on you for telling them their “invention” has been unfaithful (kidding)!

Thank you so much for all the advice. I hope I’ll end up as fortunate as you are.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

I believe that a lot of Inventors feel they are admitting defeat if they have to ask for help. Here they are smart enough to have come up with this unique idea, but struggling to make it a reality.
This is one of the instances where you see some companies such as invention submission companies selling services can take advantage of the Inventors during their low point.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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scooternauman's Avatargold
I don’t think it’s so much as feeling defeated if they ask for help. In my case for example, I just had no idea who to ask or exactly what to ask them( especially when your on a tight budget) I think a lot of inventors are like me and are willing to ask for help just don’t know where to turn. That’s why these submission companies are making so much money off of us. Inventors ARE going to them and asking for help and getting screwed in the process. I’ve explored sites like the USPTO and NOLA and so on. I gotta tell ya, a lot of that legal stuff goes right over my head. I’d have to sit there with a dictionary to try to comprehend what the heck I’m reading. Apparently there’s a bunch more like me out there or these submission companies wouldn’t be making any money. Thank god I never fell prey to any of them, although they have tried.
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scooternauman's Avatargold

So my question is why is it so hard to find reputable businesses and so easy to find and get sucked in by the submission companies? It’s not like there was a class in high school like Inventing 101. It’s easy for me to say, now that I’ve found EN that I have a much better understanding of how this whole thing works. But I’ve been looking for years for some place like this. I thank you again Roger for your thought provoking threads as I have learned many things in my short time here and look forward to one day being a success story much like yourself.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

John, thanks for the kind words. I enjoy doing the Lesson # threads. It is great to see the viewpoints of everyone that gets involved and seeing what we all can learn from it.
As you stated it is really hard to find honest help. That is why it is important when you find a hepful site such as EN to tell as many of your friends as possible. The more people that find helpful sites the less people will find the companies trying to bleed them dry.
It is a shame how many Inventors contact me through my site AFTER they are already in debt over their head to a invention submission company. They just didn’t know they can do a lot of the same things they were paying for themselves.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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imajane's Avatarname search

I spent money thinking I needed a patent before I could show my idea to anybody. This was a long time ago. I was afraid to share the idea, thinking it was so great that someone would surely run with it or steal it or whatever. duh.

I read books and went to the library. I found a nice patent attorney to help. I set a dollar limit to spend… and it got me to my first refusal and I couldn’t afford to do the second attempt. I shared the info with several medical device companies. One was kind enough to tell me they thought it was an interesting idea, but that was it. Just about 4 grand. I kick myself to this day over that.

I was done even thinking about inventing until I found EN. I thought it was impossible for an individual with modest means to do this. I got the email for the ASOTV search last March and it was like in the movies where someone opens a door and the light inside is all golden and bright… an angel choir is singing… and they know they’ve found heaven! lol lol!

Roger, if I could have only gotten your CD’s back then!!!!

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bobk's Avatar

Short Answer; About $200

Long Answer; Long ago I had an invention for which, after much encouragement by multiple family members, I applied for and received a patent. I’d built prototypes and had some successful field trials, but I really didn’t understand everything that would make someone actually want to license the product. The invention was deficient in a couple aspects of that area and consequently any attempts to license failed.

But I learned a lot.

With that behind me, I spend ZERO initially and do a patent search and market research to make sure it isn’t already done, and that there could be a market for it. Then I might spend up to about $100 in materials making several rounds of prototypes to convince myself it can be done and will work and be useful. At that point I might spend the $100+ on a provisional patent.

I have several irons in the fire right now at EN and, while hoping for success, am also preparing lists of target licensees that I will approach should EN not demonstrate their wisdom and go G8 on all of them (I’m kidding here a bit).

I’m not sure what I’d be prepared to spend, if anything, beyond that, on any form of ‘help’.

The intersting thing, to me anyhow, is the encouragement/pressure I get along the way from acquaintances and family members to start spending on things like tooling, patents, etc. Some of them have even offered to invest. These are well-meaning people who just don’t understand the whole process.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Jane, sorry to hear about the money you spent witout getting the results you wanted. You need to put that behind you as a lesson learned. It has made you more savvy and better equipped to more forward. Thanks for the kind words about the CD set. I am getting very good reviews on it.

Bob, dealing with friends and family is always strange when you are inventing. Even with all the successes I have had I still get the “So, when are you going to get a REAL job?” The other side of the coin is the pressure as you said of family members trying to give you advice on an area they don’t have experience in and then you have to deal with their attitudes if you don’t incorporate every thing they told you. Don’t let family and friends pressure you to go down a road you know is not productive.

http://www.rogerbrown.net

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Jim. glad to hear the success is moving forward. I agree Invenitrs need to have faith in their idea or it will be hard to hey ahead. All I want is for them to have faith backed by informed knowledge to make a good decision.

http//www.rogerbrown.net

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Thought I would bring this back to the front based on the emails I have gotten this month. A large majority of Inventors that have contacted are all in the same boat. They are in debt over $4,000 and have nothing to show for it other than frustration. Why? Because most of them did not want to admit they needed help or did not want to admit they did not do the research needed up front to make an informed decision.
Unless you really have no problem with wasting your money please take the time to do some research before you open your checkbook.

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angelirizarry's Avatar

How about a person who have a great idea, but is poor and have no money at all, will it be help for that person or not? Roger, can you answer, pleaseeeeee.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Look what you have to pay here to enter into a search $25. That is less than most people spend on a dinner out. All of the products I have gotten licensed I did for under $100 by myself. So, can be done. You just have to be willing to do the research and make informed decisions. No one can guarantee you success, but you sure can give it a try for a lot less than you hear most people spending. As I have told many people I would much rather get a No spending $25 than $4,000.

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imajane's Avatarname search

bump

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Does pride override your willingness to ask for help once you have spent a certain amount of money? From what I see with Inventors they are embarassed to say they lost X amount of money trying to go it alone or they used a invention submission company without first understanding the risks involved and the chance of success.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

The issue I see in my opinion with Invention Submission Companies is they feed off of the hope of the Inventor in the beginning and then they feed off of the embarassment of the Inventor once they get in so deep. Add hard sales tactics and it makes it hard for the Inventor to cut their losses and get out.

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pegman's Avatar

I don’t think many inventors wait to get help. I think they start looking for help right away, especially since they probably don’t have any idea on how to make “it” (their idea) into an invention.

IN THE PAST:

Most probably secretively rummage around looking for the components to make it work (using others products). Then have a few custom parts made and if it works, they get a patent app filed. Provsional of course, due to the cost.

Then since a real working prototype cost thousands of dollars, they start seeking “help” showing it to the biggest boys on the block (since they can’t get in to show it to them). Thus, invention submission companies. When that fails (99.9%) of the tme, they must file the non-provisional because time is running out.

Then with no where else to turn. They start seeking financial help, only to realize that banks to lend money to risk takers, then lend it to people that can repay the loan. So a business plan is considered and the little guy in the garage working alone soon realizes that he will never get the financial help to go it alone. So he then seeks help from family and friends.

Then with the help of the internet, selling it can be SO EASY, that he bulds a website. Well the big guys he’s competing with are page one, and he’s page 894. So he might seek help for SEO to get better visibility.

This can and does go on indefinately into more prototypes, production, trade shows, machinery, tooling eventually one day he realizes that it’s been four or five years. Several businesses have shown great interest, but are willing to pay a 2% royalty.

Then, if they are extremely fortunate, they have only sought help from reputable businesses and people. Doubtful, since they are on a very limited budget, and those willing to help, where unreliable and probably a thief.

By this time, they have discovered that they are now experienced busness people, maybe not successful yet. But experienced to know the value of time and money.

IN THE VERY CURRENT PRESENT:

They see companies that take snapshot ideas and launch 1 out of a thousand with varying degrees of success. Instant gratification.

Then these companies will as time goes on, will be able to select only the best, most profitable ideas from an incredibly large pool of ideas. Most ideas submitted, will be turned away.

Then, the inventor will have a choice. Go back to how it worked in the past, give up, or… as you suggest, offer to share the idea and hope that company honors the trust you put into them (this is nothing new, business has been conducted this way for years).

So, the answer to the question. Inventors start seeking help right away. How much they should spend, should be based on how much reward they want to recieve. Betsy idea is a great example that the new system may work for a few and generate millions. But there are costs, risks, and rewards no matter which path you choose.

Myself, I love to invent and build it. I’d get no satisfaction from a computer generated do-hicky. I’m successful in many ways, and will be again successful financially. But that is not why I do it.

Boy, the coffee is working this morning.

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corsaire's Avatar

Inventing, screenplays, books, acting, modelling, gambling, stock market, investments, con jobs.

They follow the same structure with minor nuances. Though I imagine embarassment can happen to a number of people; I don’t think it informs the largest % of their decisions other than the one where they don’t tell others or take action to prosecute when they’ve been had. I think in each case it is more gambler’s fallacy and “in for a dime in for a dollar” than anything else that brings people to maximize their losses.

The start is the offer of: Fixed effort for a many thousands times reward
The hook: It doesn’t work for everyone, but if you have a special talent, skill, idea, “trustworthiness”, insight, secret knowledge: it will work for you
The alternate hook: This is a rare opportunity and you seem to be someone who deserves it
The “proof”: In each category, there are always cases where it worked; and the taken have mostly kept quiet rather than admit to either their own foolishness or accepting the lack of one of the above hook traits

The savvy bottom feeders know just the right type of message and cash hook to reel in each person.

People who aim to help but resort to castigation and ridicule will just push folks into the arms of the very bottom feeders they think they’ll help people avoid. Because people will pay a lot of money to be told they are smart and talented rather than a fool or a goober.

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inventormom's Avatargold

Well Scott I’ll take a bit of what your drinking. … This is a great thread Roger thank you and everyone who has picked up the end and added a knot. I think Inventing is so personal and that’s what makes the experiences so great. Vision, Interpretation, passion, unwritten influences that contributes the essence and to the soul of invention. While I have chosen my own style i know opportunity is out there to learn, grow and change direction at any time .. and having choice is part of this American dream .. Your right, and Betsy and others before her have shown us Keeping it simple or complex, both can produce .. The WOW !! The Glue that holds it all together ….

Getting your hands dirty .. I can see it now Scott, it creates such a beautiful image in my mind, almost Norman Rockwell-ish and I envy you and those that possess such a gift. Jumping right in, heart pumping with any challenge that comes your way. Fingering through the pile of heavy and light, oily and gritty must be like the gardner who has lost their thought while digging in a pile of moist
dirt. Your mechanical edge, gift, the dusty path that is every much a part of the simple complex journey ..

So how much should we spend Scott … Good point, how valuable is this journey and what are it’s rewards? I would be willing to bet if everyone listed them here the list would go on forever ..

Greg this post slipped in out or order … It was not meant to throw off your thought wave ,,, Sorry ,,

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pegman's Avatar

I’ve been taken by the bottom feeders because they are at the top of the food chain. There many, and I try to warn others that you have to get through, past, or around them. I’ve warned others, had all that I could prosecuted in court, and won each time. That does not stop others from replacing them, nor does it stop them, and only to a very small degree have I been recompensated.

Unfortunately, due to the numbers of the bottom feeders, to be a successful inventor / entrepenuer the bottom feeders will take their bites. The idea is to not let them eat you whole, but to get up and learn and make others awaire that this is not a 9-5 job where the reward is about a paycheck and nothing else. When I say this, remember that I’m saying when an inventor tries to profit on their invention, they are now the prey who thinks that they have what the consumer wants. But they are venturing into a field with business people who want money and only money.

Now, if you are a goober and have a lousy idea be thankful that a friend said you’re nuts and you walked away from inventing (for the most part). If you’ve been told “that’s a great idea, you should go for it” then you are talking to someone that has absolutely NO experience and THAT is the worst thing to believe.

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countofmontecristo's Avatargold

Great thread and responses!

Another question comes to mind: How much did great inventors like Thomas Edison spend in terms of materials, time and effort? Remember he was relentless in his pursuit of achieving results. Thomas was what I would call ‘driven’ or compelled to see results. This may sound like a fanatic to some, but I see it as one who knows the end results can be achieved…but he just isn’t there yet. Thomas was not only in a race with others but racing against the clock and himself. Sometimes that’s the hardest race to run. We are all given 24 hrs a day so time treats us as equals. The difference is what you do with the time given to you…

~TCOMC

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pegman's Avatar

Keep going Patrica, I like your writing. I am definately old school. Did you go get some coffee?

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inventormom's Avatargold

Thanks Scott, i appreciate that… Yes, with my cup filled to the brim here’s a toast to " Old School " !!

"
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Patricia glad you like the topic.
Ralph that is an interesting question because how do you separate all the inventions he is credited for from the number of people he had helping him solve those problems. He didn’t do all of his work alone so were all the solutions strictly his or a combination of the whole?

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joeyatlas's Avatarg8_badge

There is no definitive answer to this: “how do you separate all the inventions he is credited for – from the number of people he had helping him solve those problems. He didn’t do all of his work alone so ….”
-

JoeyAtlas—-

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Thought this would be a good topic to bring back to the top.

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williamj's Avatargold

I’ve not read any of the responses from Roger’s opening post as I wanted this to be all me and not for me to be influenced by the thoughts and reasoning of other members.

Just off the top of my head I’d say it was fear. We as a species have an innate fear of the unknown. We all, literally, fear that which we do not know.

Just like every other member here, I never had the slightest clue as to what was going on when I first started this inventing stuff.

I remember (how could any of us ever forget) the very first ”bestest idea in the world that I or anyone ever had. This wasn’t my very first idea but it was the absolute bestest that anyone could ever come up with.

I kept that idea deep within the vast emptiness located between my ears, lest anyone take it from me. At that time I had absolutely no idea of what to do with it and rather than seek help I kept it a deep, deep secret. I kept it a secret for over three decades until finally I sought help. And in seeking that help I learned a very important thing… my idea would never have flown, it would never have gotten anywhere close to taking off.

I still remember the self-assured feeling I had as I kept that deep secret all to myself. Yeah, fear will do it just about every time.

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carlganio's Avatar

Good question Roger. I imagine we are so passionate about our ideas, we expect everyone else to feel the same way. For me, I made a prototype, had an injection mold made, made a few thousand pair of product, packaging, website…and then never received the trademark I sought. I was $20-25K in the hole, and I have never recouped the loss. I have NOT made that mistake since EN and ENM. In fact, some contacts made through ENM are trying to resurrect the idea. In the future…ALL ideas go to Edison Nation first. So, for me…20 dollars is reasonable these days.

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jdowney9000's Avatar

It could be cynicism too. Some people treat ideas like money. I’ve even talked to people who treat their one great idea as their retirement fund.

“…from there it’s all chauffeurs and loafers.”

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dlovley's Avatargold

Before EN it was in the thousands but now it’s 20 bucks : )

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jdowney9000's Avatar

Darrel, plus there’s the Inventors Digest, right?!

Roger, once again, your post has me thinking. Not only to consider “money spent”, but also “time spent”. How much is reasonable?

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dlovley's Avatargold

That’s true I love my inventors digest.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Jacob you bring up a good point. The time spent/lost can be just as valuable as the money spent. Which is why I stress doing as much research as possible upfront so you are making an informed decision.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Jacob asked a great question How much time do you spend on an idea before you decide it is good to go or should be dropped?

Jacob Downey
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williamj's Avatargold

I guess for me its all determined by how much time it takes me to get an idea functional. An idea is just that, an idea, It may or may not work as envisioned. You have to conjure up 'some method' of getting it to work. If I can't get it functional then it's a definite no go.

After determining functionality determinations must be made as to weather it's patentable or not and if it's marketable or not. Each of these steps require their own time frame. The amount of time spend on each step is dependent upon the individual and the idea itself, individuals and ideas are all different so no one time frame fits all.

That being said, I've spent as long as years or a little as weeks or even days in determining functionality. Determining patentability and marketability takes me a great deal of time and effort (not really very good at it). I'll mess around and do what little I can but generally I end up letting EN make those determinations.

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

William I swap some of what you do in a different stage. Once I have the idea I check to see what is already on  the market, the competition, is it unique, what companies would I approach. All of this can be done yourself and only costs me my time. I don't spend money until I absolutely have to. Once I am satisfied with those items then I look at it to see if I need a prototype to prove proof of concept or would a good sell sheet get the point across. You can see a better breakdown of how I do it here.

http://rogerbrown.net/sealing-your-licensing-de...;

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williamj's Avatargold

Roger, I don't drink (my Dr. says it's a no_no) , go out and see how much trouble I can get into and out of (when I was much younger that was indeed a favored past time  ;  !  ). My wife and I only go out for dinner or movie occasionally.

So for me this is of entertainment value only, I do not count on it, in any way, as a means of income (now or in the future). I only submit on the off change that I can get a big ego bust out of it.

What can I tell ya... I'm low maintenance.

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jdowney9000's Avatar

What do you bill your time at?

Multiply that by the hours you have spent on your invention.

Would you pay someone else that much to accomplish what you have accomplished?

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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Jacob, in some of those cases it is not just the time but the other person's experience, skill and tools they have you don't you have to factor in to the cost. 

Jacob Downey
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

From the emails I have been receiving since 2016 started there seems to be a trend to spend money on prototypes first before doing any research into your competitors and seeing what is already on the market and does your idea answer the Better Than question. I guess with 3D printing people see this as a great tool. It is a great tool but only if used at the proper time. Why spend $2,000 or $3,000 or more on a 3D prototype when you could have walked into a couple of stores, looked online and seen the same product already on the shelf.

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sprinklerbuddy's Avatar

No matter what one spends or doesn't, few realize the reality is only 1-3% actually ever make more than what they have invested.

Unfortunately most learns this fact after spending thousands if not more. With the power of the internet, if one is willing to put in the time to research, research, and more research!!! They may avoid many pitfalls. 

No guarantees! The odds are against you no matter what the patent lawyer, prototype guys, these helpful forums all over the internet, etc... may tell you.

Take your TIME, and RESEARCH,RESEARCH,RESEARCH!!!

Elizabeth Crouch
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rogerbrown's Avatargold

Leo, I wish more people would heed that warning. Got contacted by two Inventors that were over $8,000 into their idea before seeking help and were not happy with the results finding out their idea is not as unique as they thought. Please do the free research first.

Elizabeth Crouch
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betzy's Avatarg8_badge

For me, I budgeted the amount of money I wanted to spend to bring my idea to fruition.  I knew I needed to include patent app, website, manufacturing, and start-up.

I hadn't found EN yet, but continually looked for help along the way.  All I found were companies that only cared about the buck they could get out of me.

I ended up learning to do a ton of things on my own since I was on a budget, and it was an education that cannot be purchased.

Also, I got so much rejection along the way.  I didn't let that stop me because I believe in my product.

And now I know that America loves my product, too, because I was just on The Steve Harvey Show and was bombarded with orders for The Cupcake Rack!

I think it's important to keep your mind open to constructive criticism, but stay true to yourself, but be honest with yourself, too!

Mary Kisko
Jacob Downey
Crystal-Diane Nappi
Frank White
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