Inventing is a Team Sport
Modern invention is a team sport. The ideal of the lone wolf inventor is out of date. It takes many skills to develop an invention idea to the monetization point, and very few individuals will be good at all of them. As you progress, assemble experts in a variety of areas, both as core team members and advisors. Cover the following areas of expertise: product design, engineering, branding, manufacturing, finance, legal, marketing, public relations and sales. You might possess several of these skills, and someone else might be able to handle several of them. You just need to make sure they are all covered. Many of these skills can be brought into your team at no expense at first; interview some lawyers and accountants. They’ll give you some basic advice in your interview! Recruit your designer and engineer for equity.If you are manufacturing your invention find a sales rep in your industry and sign a deal to start getting their input on strategy. You want power players for each role in the invention process. Each person should be great at what they do, so you can focus on your own strong suits.
Once you have a great team in place, it becomes easier to create the next product. With each person knowing their role, you can eliminate most of the bottle-necks in the process. After 16 years of being in the invention business, it takes me 10 percent of the effort to accomplish the same work due to the strength of my team.
Since it is inventing, one of the most important team members you need to locate is a manufacturing partner. For most items, China is the place where things are made. There are many agents that can help find reliable manufacturers. You can also use Alibaba.com (a web-based directory of Chinese factories). However, I recommend auditing any factory you plan on proceeding with past prototyping into production. Either go yourself (it’s cool in China!) or send an auditor like AsiaInspection.com. The right manufacturer won’t charge for basic engineering and will provide inexpensive prototypes as proof that they can actually produce the product.
Most of the “invention services firms” you see advertised on TV are a waste of your money. They offer to “help” you for a fee, sometimes quite large. Then they do nothing active to secure a licensee for you product, merely adding it to their catalog of inventions which they publish. It takes focused and special attention for every single product that is licensed. This kind of approach very rarely provides any useful value for what you pay. You need to work with devoted partners who are committed to your product.