If you have read many of my posts, you know I like to write about inventor myths. Why?

My goal is to help you steer clear of such myths and the thousands of dollars and years of wasted time they can extract from you.

Grab your free PDF – Product Development Companies – click on the red button.

So, let's get started!

Myth #1 РEveryone Loves My Invention РIt will Sell Millions 

This one certainly sounds good, doesn't it? Don't you want a product that “everyone” loves? Sure. I have been told this by many inventors.

But, when we ‘look under the hood' – the truth is quickly revealed.

I soon discover that ‘everyone' is a small collection of friends and family. When I dig a bit deeper and ask who else they have shown the invention to – store buyers, product reps, or others – the answer is that they have not shown it to such people at all. When I ask “why not?” they tend to shrug their shoulders or simply say that they “haven't gotten around to it yet.”

Here is the reality.

Your friends and family love you, not your invention.

They don't want to disappoint you or let you down, so, naturally, they give enthusiastic endorsements to your product. Such people have good intentions, but, unfortunately, they are enablers in that they allow you to believe something that often is not true – that your product is great.

Instead of seeking opinions and validation from friends and family, you must do the one thing you least want to do – seek opinions from buyers and reps – who make a living from selecting promising products and culling laggards. They will always tell you the truth as they see it, which is extremely valuable information. Their assessments will either support your beliefs and validate your product – which is great – or they will point out problems with your product – which is also great.

Why is the latter great? Because you can reconsider and retool and often reshape or rework (4 r's there) your product. In the end, you'll either make a considered decision to move on to another product or you will make improvements to your product that will make it much more viable.

Myth #2 – I'll Only Manufacture in the U.S. – Not in China

I remember watching an episode of Shark Tank. An inventor had a clever item to fit in the beds of pickup trucks. He was told that his margins were too slim for commercial success (I believe about 3X mark up), that he would likely need to manufacture in China to improve his profit margins. He rather indignantly replied, “I'm manufacturing right here in Alabama. I want to create jobs in this country, not in China. As I recall, Kevin O'Leary paused momentarily to gather his thoughts and then said, “Well with your current profit margins, your business cannot succeed and you won't create jobs anywhere – here or in China. You must do what is best for your business.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Kevin's statements, they certainly reflect my reality.

When I decided to manufacture my thin wallets called Savvy Caddy, I researched extensively, looking for wallet manufacturers within the U.S. I discovered there were perhaps only two or three such companies, all of which used only specialty luxury leathers for wallets that sold for $100 – $150 or more in retail. That was the only way that all their costs – including labor – could be supported at a sufficient profit margin. There was no way my wallets could sell at such sky high retail prices. So, I manufactured in China, using a company that manufactured for Randa Accessories and several other large U.S. companies.

In so doing, I created jobs here in the U.S. Later, when I licensed my wallets to Allstar Products as the Wonder Wallet, they sold over 1 million wallets in the first year – no doubt creating quite a number of jobs in the U.S. in the process. The Wonder Wallet is also manufactured in China.

The key takeaway here is simple: if you can manufacture in the U.S. and still maintain sufficient profit margins, that is great. But, you must always do what is best for your business – including manufacturing overseas if necessary.

I Found a Company to Take Care of Everything – So I Don't Have to Do it Myself

I have written several blogs about invention marketing companies – the bane of many inventors.

I get it. After many disappointing setbacks – promising pitches that always seem to end in the disappointing it's not really for us – you begin to doubt your own abilities. Often invention marketing companies will find you, especially if you have an issued patent.

Their appeal always follows the same, predictable format:

  • We have relationships with all the big-box retailers
  • Your have a million dollar product – they tell this to everyone, no matter the product
  • They'll file your patent for you
  • It will only cost you $10,000 or $20,000

I actually blame inventors for giving into greed (this is a million dollar product) and laziness (we'll do it all for you).

I have fortunately rescued quite a few inventors from this debacle, but far too many inventors fall for these schemes. The best strategy is to simply tell them “no thank you.” Also, you might ask them for a list of inventors who have had success with them that you might call for referrals – that will shut them down instantly!

Grab your free PDF – Product Development Companies – click on the red button.

Stay tuned!