For this month's 4 blogs, I decided to go back to basics, to address where you and many other inventors may be right now in your inventing journey – at the starting blocks. You have a great new invention idea, but what should your first step be to move forward? Then, what are your second, third, and fourth steps.

So, now I have laid out the plan, this post is all about taking your first step with a new invention idea. Next week's post will be the second step, etc. You get the idea.

Before we jump right into it. I want to set up an analogy I'm going to use in all 4 of this month's posts – it may seem a bit strange at first, but stay with me and you'll see the point.

Think of the whole process of taking a new invention idea, developing it, marketing it and hopefully achieving financial success as akin to buying a racehorse. What? No, really, here is why the analogy is apt.

Any new invention is a risky, often expensive business venture – like buying a racehorse. You are guaranteed to spend a good deal of money long before you reap any return on investment, and you may never get an ROI from the time, effort and money you've invested (your ‘horse' may never win a race). The marketplace is very competitive (like a race track) and your invention must offer something unique that is in many ways better than other products in the marketplace.

Is Your ‘Horse' in Good Health – Does Your Invention Make Sense?

You'd never buy a racehorse without first checking medical records, etc. to ensure the horse is in good health.

Is your new invention idea in good ‘health'? Does it even make sense in the marketplace? Every new idea seem fascinating, interesting, and valuable – but you must dig into the details a bit.

How about a new, improved unicycle for adults? As the link shows, people still do buy unicycles – but it's a very narrow niche market. It takes lots of training, it is unstable – so it falls over very easily, and how do you even brake? With apologies to unicycle mavens, this seems to be a bad idea for a new invention – lots of training, high risk of injury and something very few people would buy.

So, how can you objectively assess your idea to see if it truly makes sense in the marketplace? Here are three measures to consider:

  1. Would your invention appeal to a broad spectrum of buyers, potentially millions of people?
  2. Can consumers begin using it immediately, with little of no instruction?
  3. Are there any risks that could create negative reactions, perhaps even lawsuits?

The unicycle concept described above would fail on all three measures: very narrow niche market; lots of training required; lots of risk.

How does your invention measure up? Is your ‘horse' in good health? If not, it is time to move on to your next invention idea.

In next week's blog, we'll take up your second step:

Is your new invention competitive with others in the marketplace?

Stay tuned!