It has been said so many times that it has become a cliche, but here it is again:
if you want to succeed you must be persistent, very persistent.
Persistence is a key element of all business success, but persistence is crucial to inventing. Why? Inventing is one of the riskiest business ventures. It is front loaded with costs (patent filing, prototype building, testing, etc.) and any profits come much later, often years later.
New inventors often fail to understand that marketing is a much greater challenge than is patenting or product development. Most new products fail. The success rate of new innovative products is typically less than 5%.
You must focus intently upon marketing your product and you must be very persistent to succeed.
James Dyson succeeded with his innovative vacuum cleaner because he was extremely persistent. He spent 5 years developing prototypes until he had the product ready for market. Then all of his initial marketing efforts were rebuffed. He finally broke through by marketing to catalogs and then small retailers after many years of effort.
Persistence has been absolutely crucial to my success with my first product, a thin, flexible leather wallet called the Savvy Caddy.
I knew my product provided innovative and unique features compared to any other wallets on the marketplace: it was comfortable to sit on (flexible), was half as thin as most other wallets but held twice as many cards.
But, it took thirteen years before I achieved notable success. I got more “no’s” than I could count in my marketing efforts.
After three years of attempting to license to the largest wallet manufacturers, I began manufacturing the product myself so I could test market it. I sold them in flea markets, festivals, military bases, and VA hospitals and buyers loved the product. Buyers loved the wallets, but I encountered continuous roadblocks and barriers when marketing to retailers, catalogs, and large marketing channels.
My first breakthrough was getting Savvy Caddy wallets on QVC, where they sold very well over a two year period.
From this experience I became convinced that this was truly a “sell on TV” product that could be a huge infomercial success (DRTV – direct response TV). Over the last 5 years I have presented to the major players in the DRTV space. All said it just wasn’t right for DRTV. But, I knew they were wrong. I just needed someone who could see my vision.
Last year, I took it to Bob Greenstone of Permission Interactive. Mr. Greenstone liked the product and thought it could be successful. So, he took the risk to test it. Over and over again the testing metrics were solid.
Today, my product is one of the hottest selling new products on DRTV: the Wonder Wallet. It sells on TV commercials, on HSN, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and soon other retailers all across the US and Canada. I have achieved the American Dream.