Thursday, March 19, 2009

So, I have an Idea, now what?

Do you have the "So, I have an Idea, now what?" syndrome? I've heard this a lot, and all I can respond is there is no easy answer for that. I bet then you've also heard the saying that an idea is a dime a dozen. I know some people consider it "easy" to come up with an idea, though I think it's less trivial to come up with a good idea. In my world a good idea is not just one thought, it is a stream of consciousness built from a problem, followed by a logical solution that is well supported against all sides of argument.

Unfortunately, most of us are not Major Nelson with Jeannie besides us to blink us a finished product. In order for our dreams and ideas to become a reality, it does take time.

There are many carefully set up ploys that will quickly get other companies rich. I don't know of a single company that is out there to get you rich. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. From what I've heard, the resources advertised on TV like hooks you up with a series of people which of whom you pay for their services, and they are definately not the cream of the crop. So in the end, the services win because they have a steady stream of business, but the inventor... not so lucky.

And then there is the occasional casting call for TV shows such as American Inventor, and Everyday Edisons. Keep in mind that if you show off your product on national television without a patent, your product now becomes public domain and you are no longer eligible for a patent. Funny how that works. So, if you really think you have the next huge idea, it's probably not the best thing to wait in line with 40,000 other contestents. If you want to wave to your mom... then stand in line. If your idea is something you aren't serious about pursuing unless you make it to the finals, then it might be worth it too.

Competitions arrise here and there for products. My sister sent me this one:
It's an interesting concept. Smart advertising for bed bath and beyond, similar to Fox's American Idol. They gain publicity just by having this contest, and it costs them practically nothing to run it. Edison makes out because they charge a $25 screening fee per product. For the inventor, it is small risk, a low probability of return, but with a high reward. If you have a good concept but would not go through the trouble of going through the process, it would be good to submit it here and try your hand at success.

Lastly, if you have the energy/passion/stubborness to do it yourself. It is the highest risk and highest reward thing you can do. If it doesn't work out you can say you've tried it, and probably learned a wealth of knowledge. And if you make it big you can look in the mirror and know that you've beaten the odds and can be proud of yourself for having the chutzpah to make it happen.

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