Inventing: First Steps
by Mike Marks
An invention is like a baby. Conception is fun. Birth is hard and painful. And parents always think their baby is beautiful. But an invention is not a baby. It's a high risk investment. Successful inventors minimize risk and maximize the chances of success by doing their homework.
Beware of "FREE" Inventors Kits and don't pay someone else to do your homework
"Free" Inventors Kits are come-ons to get inventors to sign up for expensive services. They will not give the inventor an honest assessment of the invention's chance for commercial success. The hard truth is that most inventions are not worth developing. Even if the ideas are sound they will not make enough money to cover the costs of bringing them to market. Invention submission companies will almost always encourage you to develop your invention because that is how they make their money - even if an idea has little or no merit.
A typical invention development company focuses on getting the inventor a patent*. The inventor is led to believe that a patent is the key to success. It is not. Patents are complicated things and can be very valuable. But an inventor can make money even if there's no patent at all. The one thing that is absolutely positively 100% needed to succeed is a market for the invention, a big pool of people who will pay for it. How well you can protect the invention (patented or not) will determine how you go about making money with it. But the first step - I cannot emphasize this enough - is to find out if there is a strong market. Learn how to validate your idea here.
You will have many great ideas during your inventing career. The key to success is spending time and money on the ideas that will return a profit.
Learn more about getting started at Inventing 101.
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