Inventors like Galileo, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison and more made breakthroughs that had made up the foundations for our modern lifestyle. Of course, inventing decades or centuries ago was less complex in many facets than in 2019. This can include changes in the market, government bureaucracy, and societal needs.
Inventions don’t necessarily have to be tangible goods like the light bulb or can opener, it may also consist of processes or methods that can be put on paper or in digital format. An example of a non-tangible invention would be a new computer programming library that solves a pressing problem. While an invention may exist and is patented, being marketable is another story.
Testing Your Idea
Everybody probably has ideas frequently throughout their lives. Whether it surfaces during a shower or while on the job, putting it into a coherent idea that’s scalable is what makes the difference. If you have a working prototype, or at least a partial one, putting it to the test is essential before thinking about commercializing it.
For some applications, you probably won’t be able to test the thing out in just your garage. There are inventor assistance programs that can help with finding resources related to testing or the creation of prototypes. You may also need to hire or partner with other companies if things are beyond your technical capacity, which is where an invention non-disclosure agreement comes in handy, especially if there isn’t a registered patent.
A lot of inventors or startups find funding via venture capital, whether it is through high-net-worth individuals or organized firms. Venture capital companies may have streamlined processes where you can send a pitch while some investors would prefer to offer to fund ideas that catch their attention. You may also work with an invention startup agency that already has connections companies needing your type of creation.
Crowdsourcing has also become popular in recent years for both digital and physical products. Platforms like Kickstarter allow users to ask for startup assistance and may optionally give their products to early contributors. An example of a successful crowd-funded invention is the 3D Doodler, which is a 3D printer consolidated into the form of a pen.
Protecting Your Ideas
If you feel that your idea is time-critical to the market and someone else might come up with it, you need to hurry up and get a patent if you wish to capitalize on it. You will need to make sure your patent qualifies for protection by the USPTO, as well as doing a patent search to see if your idea is taken.
There are companies that can help with the submission process of a patent, which can be quite useful if you’re not good at navigating the cryptic legal system. While it isn’t a requirement, it definitely helps to have a lawyer to hold your hand to cover the legal end of things.
Monetizing Your Idea
Since the internet is the closest you can get to raw capitalism, this is where you can market your product with little inhibition. Consolidated platforms exist, like Amazon or Etsy, in order to sell your product in the worldwide marketplace.
If your invention. is purely digital, you can sell licensing rights, services or consulting depending on the scope of it. A trendy business model selling a Software as a Service (SaaS), in which you may lease online access to your software in the form of monthly payments.
For both digital or physical items, you should also have website available for product information, customer service and/or payments. With the content management systems and cheap hosting, this should one of the easier parts of your operation.
With the amount of information and resources out there nowadays, it is quite easy to get started with turning your invention into reality. Of course, you may also soon find out your idea isn’t viable for the market or covered by some other invention from another part of the globe. That doesn’t mean you should jot down your ideas in a notebook as they may become useful later in life.