That one great idea

December 15, 2008

As engineering consultants, we are approached by a lot of inventors that are looking to sell their great idea. Frequently, it’s novel, but sometimes, it’s an improvement on a product already on the market. Often, it involves some modification to a toilet seat because, let’s face it, that’s the only time many people have to just stop and think.

The issue is that it’s not terribly easy to get a meeting with the NPD people at Bemis Mfg.

We tell inventors that presenting intellectual property (IP) and a functioning prototype goes a long way toward selling an idea, particularly in the device market where we operate. The more risk you’ve driven out of the final product, the more value you’ve added. However, if you’ve proven the concept, shown some efficacy, or (DING! DING! DING!) commercialized a product and made a few bucks you have a much better shot at getting a meeting.

As Seth Godin pointed out, getting that meeting is only half the job. You still have to sell the idea. However, if it was a good enough idea to convince you to invest your own time and money, maybe it’s not that hard.


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