Welcome to Productified Blog!
So you’ve got a product idea – congrats! You are an inventor and innovator, a member of an exclusive club!
When I have a new idea, I always feel overwhelmed with emotions, whether it was my first or twentieth. My top three emotions are joy, pride, excitement, optimism, and paranoia. I feel overjoyed that I still got it. I feel proud of my ingenuity. I feel excited about the prospects of developing the idea into a product. I feel optimistic that this is going to be “the one” that will make me millions of dollars. And, finally, I feel paranoid about sharing it with anybody because this is such a great idea that surely everybody would want to copy it. People often say “steal” the idea, but it is impossible to steal an idea, as it stays in the inventor’s head. Ideas can be copied, not stolen… well, at least until they invent a technology to copy them and then delete them from the inventor’s brain. But this is for another futuristic movie script.
So many emotions make you vulnerable. You become vulnerable to various sales professionals trying to convince you to buy their service because your idea is the best, and it will surely make you millions of dollars. These emotions also start affecting your thinking about the business and your decision-making process.
So, let’s think rationally together about what you should do when you come up with a product idea.
First, you need to research if your idea is sufficiently unique. Too often, inventors spend time and money developing a product idea only to discover that a very similar product or a patent already exists. You can follow the Productified step-by-step Guide to do market research and then patent search.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that your idea is unique and possibly patentable.
Next, you need to think about your long-term strategy. Do you want to pursue a licensing deal or develop and sell your product? Our short blog article “What are the pros and cons of licensing?” can help you there.
The good news is that you likely don’t have to decide right away, no matter which path you choose. Work on your patent and your prototype – you’ll need them in both cases, whether you’d like to pursue licensing or move forward with your product development. Our short blog article “What should be my licensing strategy?” has a bit more information.
There are a few questions you may want to ask yourself:
– Am I okay settling for a licensing deal, or do I have an entrepreneurial itch?
– Do I have what it takes to become an entrepreneur?
– How much of my own money can I commit to this business?
– If I need more money – do I have what it takes to raise money?
Here is the good news: our Productified platform will help you to become an entrepreneur with our step-by-step Guide, expert advice, and access to reliable, affordable freelancers.
And more good news: you don’t need to be a fundraising expert. Follow our Guide and our phased strategy for raising money in multiple steps. Please read our short blog article “How to raise money before making progress, and how to make progress with no money?” to learn about the steps to get there.
If you believe that your idea is novel and potentially patentable, you should apply for a patent. In most cases, the best strategy is to file a provisional patent application first. A provisional patent application is significantly less expensive to prepare and file than a non-provisional patent application. It will give you 12 months to develop your idea and the potential to come up with additional inventions. Also, you may be able to raise some money to fund the idea development, and therefore you will not need to pay for a non-provisional patent application out of your pocket.
A quick summary of the benefits of a provisional patent application:
1) Establish an early effective filing date.
2) Allows the term “Patent Pending” to be applied in connection with the description of the invention.
3) It has a pendency lasting 12 months from the date the provisional application is filed.
Many inventors are curious about licensing. Well, it’s a complicated business. Here are some pros and cons of licensing that anybody considering it should know:
1) It’s a passive income.
2) It eliminates the financial risk of developing, marketing, and selling your product on your own.
3) You get more time and freedom to pursue other opportunities.
1) A probability of getting a licensing deal is low.
2) The income from the royalties is lower than from selling the product on your own.
3) It takes longer to get to the income from the royalties, than from the sales of your product on your own.
4) Upfront legal expenses to negotiate and execute the licensing agreement can be significant.
5) You will have no control over your product and its branding, marketing and sales.