Author: John Rau

The Secret to the ‘Wow Factor’: Understand the criteria; learn from past examples

The co-founders of Wham-O, Inc., were experts at deriving their own version of an object and creating a buzz for it. Perhaps you have read on these pages that according to general estimates, fewer than 3 percent of patented new products ever generate money for the inventor. Mike Marks sums this up in his Invention City blog: “Inventing is a pursuit of failure marked by occasional success.” To overcome these odds, you need a product that stands out or has a “wow factor”—defined by Cambridge Dictionary as “a quality or feature of something that makes people feel great excitement...

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One Path to Success: Think Lazy

Believe it or not, you can commercialize inventor laziness! You can invent products for lazy people to use, or you can let lazy inventors invent things for other people to use. To put this discussion in perspective: Donna Rodriguez Claims in a 2010 blog, “Technology is Leading to Laziness,” at that technology is progressing every day to make life easier—which will make people become more lazy. We now have devices that will do almost anything. She says that with the internet available to anyone,there is no limit as to what people can do or how lazy they can...

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After the Idea, Think Marketing

Follow these early steps to increase your odds of success So what makes your invention idea marketable? If it’s just an idea, it has no marketable value. The product that the idea is converted into is what is potentially marketable. Its marketability will be based on successful demonstration that the invention works, and that enough people want it and are willing to pay for it. Consider these marketability steps as your new product moves through its early lifecycle: Assess When you start with an idea, conduct an initial assessment as to whether your product or service concept addresses a problem that needs a solution. The marketability of...

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Don’t Ignore this 4-Letter Word: Risk

Risk is a crucial consideration for all inventors.   Inventors seek patent protection for many reasons. There is the fear that others might steal their idea; personal credibility or vanity; for the experience; the potential to make money from the patented new product; and perhaps because someone told them they should do it. But as with many other endeavors, it’s imperative to consider the risk factor. Sean Butner addressed this in his article, “What Risk Does an Inventor Assume When Filing for a Patent for an Invention?” Good question! On the other hand, what risks does an inventor...

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