Would you take a bet where your odds of winning are 49.5% to 50.5%? Still seems about the same as 50/50, right?

Wrong.

Millions of people take that bet every year at gambling casinos by choosing to play Blackjack – where the house edge is as low as 0.5% – best odds of any game for gamblers.

Even with that slight edge, casinos make money on every game, including Blackjack. Even with only a slight edge, the house will win over time – or there would be no gambling casinos.

How would you like some strategies that may give you the slight edge – in the “game” of inventing? Click on the blue button to grab your free copy of Gaining an Unfair Advantage – Cheat Sheet now.

Are you interested in licensing your invention for royalties to make money from your product?

Click on the orange button to sign up for our next LIVE free webinar – Licensing Your Invention for Royalties.

Read on.

3 Slight Edge Strategies for Inventors


1. Validate your invention – early on

You have a new invention idea and you're absolutely certain that it will sell millions of dollars. Right?

You realize you are a bit biased – we all love our own inventions – even if no one else does. So, you do a validation test of the concept – by asking for feedback from your friends and family. What is the outcome of this “test?” They all think it is great, right?

Odds are (back to gambling) they all think you are great, not your product.

You describe it to them (which you shouldn't do anyways) and then ask them, “don't you think this is a great idea?” What are they all going to tell you? “It is a great idea!” Because they want to support you – they don't want to let you down. They know less about your product – or it's chances for success in the marketplace – that you do.

To validate properly, you must present (with a signed non-disclosure) to an unbiased source with expertise in the industry, such as a retail store buyer or a product rep. They have no reason whatsoever to puff up your ego. Instead, they are going to give you their truthful opinion. You may not like what you hear.

While that opinion will be very valuable, the reasoning behind it will be even more valuable to you.

For best results, pitch your product to several buyers or reps. Very probably, there will be a consensus of opinion – either in favor of or against your product. If this doesn't go well, you should celebrate. Why? They may have saved you thousands of dollars by preventing you from pursuing a product that had little chance of success.

2. Do a pre-mortem on your product

What the heck is a “pre-mortem“?

In a pre-mortem, a product team meets before the product has launched and assumes the worst-case scenario: that the product has launched and failed. Then everyone works backwards, looking for any possible root causes that might predict a failure after launch. In this way, remediation plans can be set in place to either correct risks or the project may be canceled.

How can you as an inventor do a pre-mortem on your invention? Carefully consider potential liabilities that could escalate to become financially ruinous. For new products, the most common liability is customer injuries resulting from the use – or even misuse – of your product. America is perhaps the most litigious country on the planet.

Product liability lawsuits can quickly bankrupt a new venture. How about a motorized skateboard that can travel up to 30 miles per hour? How about a pogo stick where kids can jump up to 6 feet off the ground?  Red flag! Red flag! Fatal flaws ahead.

Other more mundane pre-mortem flaws may include a high-tech product that could quickly become obsolete or a new product with too many “bells and whistles” that consumers may not want.

3. Search and ye may find

There is nothing out there like my invention!

Really? Where have you looked?

The single biggest mistake that most new inventors make is to become so enamored with their invention and – perhaps their own perceived cleverness – that they make, at best, a cursory search to find similar products already in the marketplace. This is a huge and potentially costly mistake.

What should you do?

Look everywhere you can think of – expecting to find something very much like your product. Start by simply browsing through retail stores that have similar products. Check both their websites and physical stores. Many retailers sell products on their websites not sold in their retail stores.

Next, search in at least this list of online sources: Alibaba.com, Amazon.com, Catalogs.com, eBay, Google, HSN.com, and QVC.com. These companies collectively sell thousands of products, many of which are not sold in retail stores and elsewhere. This will take some time, but is time well spent and is free.

Lastly, search in the www.uspto.gov – the U.S. Patent Office website. Start by searching patents issued after 1976. The website has lots of resources to help you become a skilled patent searcher – use them. Here again, be prepared to take some time to learn the tools and to do a fairly thorough search. I have on many occasions, found products on USPTO.gov, when inventors assured me there was “nothing like it out there.” If the process seems too daunting for you, it might be worth paying a professional search firm to do a search for you or your patent attorney agent.

Using the above 3 strategies for your new invention ideas will definitely give you a slight edge as an inventor. Check out Jeff Olson's great book The Slight Edge for many more strategies for gaining the slight edge in success for yourself.

Click on the blue button to grab your free copy of Gaining an Unfair Advantage – Cheat Sheet now.

Are you interested in licensing your invention for royalties to make money from your product?

Click on the orange button to sign up for our next LIVE free webinar – Licensing Your Invention for Royalties.

Stay tuned.