Successful inventors live by the 3 R’s of inventing
- (be) Resourceful
- (be) Resilient
- (be willing to) Reconsider
Inventors are creative problem solvers. Successful inventors, however, are resourceful in every aspect of their businesses, whereas unsuccessful inventors, all to often look to others first for assistance. Inventors must continually meet and overcome obstacles and to achieve success. Let me give illustrate with two hypothetical inventor’s approach to an obstacle.
Obstacle: Need a 5-minute video as part of a Kickstarter campaign
Inventor 1: I have never done a Kickstarter campaign before. Who can I find to write a script for my video? Also, I need to find someone to produce and shoot the video for me. Where can I find people to help me out with this and how much should it cost?
Inventor 2: I analyzed the key elements that would most appeal to Kickstarter contributors and wrote up a 5 minute script to encompass these. Next, I did some web searching and found some local videographers who seem to have good relevant experience and at least one can work with my $300 budget. Am I on the right track or should I be doing something else?
Clearly, Inventor 1 is not resourceful because he expected there would be “people” to step in and do everything for him. Inventor 2, on the other hand, immediately immersed herself in the challenge and did all she could do on her own, quickly writing her own script and also finding appropriate resources to shoot a professional video for her.
Resilient inventors simply do not give up. When they are dealt a setback, they forge forward.
Often someone you respect gives your product a negative review or appraisal. It happens all the time and it is extremely discouraging, sometimes even infuriating. Resilient inventors view every expert appraisal as an opportunity to gather valuable feedback, whether the appraisal is positive or negative. Ask them to describe specific issues and how might you address them to make your product more viable. This shows them that you are open to criticism, but also interested in their ideas to improve the product. You may come away with very valuable information to take your product to the next level.
Lastly, be willing to reconsider your approach to marketing, the key aspects of your product, even the viability of your product in the marketplace. I was very focused on taking my first invention to manufacturers and getting them to license it for me, then put my wallets into retail stores. After approaching several companies, it became obvious to me that they did not share my vision. It took me a while to get over my angst and even anger. Then I simply asked one company: why are you not willing to license it and what would you do if you were me? They said, “it requires explaining for consumers to understand the benefits and there is no one in retail stores to do that. But, it would make a great sell on TV product. Have you considered approaching QVC, I think they’d like your product.”
Suddenly a no turned into a new positive direction for my product, one I had not considered previously. It turns out the CEO of Tandy Brands was absolutely on target, my wallets did well on QVC and in other TV appearances. I didn’t get that valuable information, however, until I become open to reconsider my marketing approach.