Frequently in dealing with inventors, I find that they have multiple new product ideas. They think all of these new products are wonderful. They have a difficult time focusing on just one new product idea to market. Focus is critical. It is like shooting a gun at a target. If you don’t focus on the bullseye, it is unlikely that you will hit your target or successfully market your new product.
Deciding on a single product and doing everything that is required to be successful will require all of your time, money and effort. It is highly unlikely that an individual inventor will have enough of these three resources to pursue more than one product idea at a time.
Second, by focusing and getting one new product off the ground as quickly as possible will provide the resources necessary to to develop another one of your new product ideas. Rather than limit your resources per idea and slow your progress, it makes sense to focus on one at a time and build the resources that will allow you to pursue your other ideas.
Over the last several decades, we have witnessed the growth of Just-in-time manufacturing. This has really amounted to cost shifting the responsibility for inventory. Instead of manufacturers having supplies of what they needed for production, they made inventory the responsibility of their suppliers and got what they needed just as they needed it on the manufacturing line. For the most part, it did not change the way the products were manufactured in batches. Manufacturers have struggled to reduce setup costs and make smaller and smaller batches to reduce their costs, but it was still and is still a batch process.
As an inventor, it is very easy to fall in love to your idea and be blinded to the truth. Sometimes it is very difficult to get to the truth. That is why doing your research is critical to your success.
As an example, Back in 2009 I did research on infomercials and called a number of inventors who had spent large sums of money with some infomercial companies with nothing to show for it. The research was not very difficult as there were many complaints that were easily found using google. Recently, I performed the same search on google and found only a few hints of problems. The Ripoff Report detailed one complaint from 2005. Articlebase had one from 2009. Invention City had another from 2011. The articles all talked about the problems with Direct Response Television or Infomercials, but the tone definitely tempered over the years.
The first investment for every inventor should be in Inventor Education. All too frequently inventors spend money on the wrong things at the wrong times and then don’t have the funds they need to invest when they need them to move forward. Often the investment most needed is time spent in learning rather than money spent on prototypes, patents, tooling or inventory. Websites like this one are free and provide an incredible amount of free education if you are willing to invest the time to do a little reading.
Another website that I have found to be helpful is http://www.inventorfraud.com . There is a wealth of information on this site and some of it is better than others. One place where I differ with this site is that I don’t believe that anyone can do as good a job of marketing your idea than you can.
Marketing discussions are complicated by strategies, tactics, and jargon, but Marketing is Not Complicated. As students and practitioners of marketing, it is very easy to get drawn into the complexities of the marketing mix, the 4Ps, the product life cycle or some other aspect of marketing. Discussions like this cause the uninitiated to think that marketing is complicated. It is not.
Successful marketers know that marketing is all about the development and refinement of a product and it’s presentation to consumers with a need for what that product can do for them.