"There's No One Way to Get to Heaven."
A young inventor asked for advice on how to get started. In particular he wanted to know how to get in touch with investors. Here was my reply:
After graduating college I briefly worked for a reknowned photographer named Leigh Weiner. He told me a story about a photo shoot he'd done with J Paul Getty in 1967 back when Getty was the richest man in the world. He asked Getty for advice on how to succeed. Getty told him, "There's no one way to heaven."
After three decades working in a wide range of businesses and with many inventions I've come to understand the wisdom of Getty's words. There are many ways to succeed.
Early stage angel investors are hard to find unless you have rich family and friends. They also complicate things. More often than not investor money, the time spent pursuing it and the time spent keeping investors happy, is wasted. Writing a business plan, while useful, takes a lot of time to do well and the odds are good you're not ready to write one. In any case, the key to success isn't investor money. It's good people who will work with you and refusing to give up. Try and find partners who are interested in profiting with you not from you, people who can provide the things and services you need. Focus on your goal, try to take at least one step toward your goal each day. Don't be afraid of failure but don't repeat mistakes. Be careful about making long term commitments to people until they prove themselves. And remember:
"There's no one way to heaven."
Note in response to the comment below: "heaven" was used by Getty as a metaphor (the "h" is not capitalized) and was not meant in a religious context. In the same way I might write that "the invention process can be hell..." - Mike
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