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Entering Invention Contests or Searches

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Entering Invention Contests or Searches

Post  Roger Brown on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 10:53

Fiest, before entering any invention contest or invention search make sure you FULLY understand what it is you are entering and if you retain ownership, or what fees if any are required. Everyone that enters an invention search or invention contest is hoping they have a winner. Here are some things you need to consider to improve your odds of making the cut. I have had a number of Inventors that got rejected in one of the searches or contests contact me asking me to look over what they submitted. They can’t understand why it got rejected and hoped I could help them understand.
I had them send me everything they submitted to the search or contest or entered on the online form.
After reviewing what they sent me and asking multiple questions back and forth to the Inventor to get clarification it is very apparent why most of them got rejected. I am not speaking for any of the companies holding contests or searches. They may have totally other reasons you got rejected. But, as a person that looks at a large number of sell sheets and submissions from Inventors I can tell you these are areas you need to fix to improve your chances.

Here is what I found:

The idea is not a mass market idea or is already on the market. I have not seen any of these contests or searches saying “Send us your Niche products” they are looking for mass market products.

Your explanation of the product is horrible, hard to understand and does not “GET” the products benefits across to the reader.

Your idea does not even fit the search. Example: Why are you sending a Spatula idea to a search that is looking for lawn mower accessories?

You don’t know if or when you have filed a PPA, design or utility patent. Or the patent has already expired and you don’t know it.

Your attachments are done in a program that you bought because it was easy to use, but others don’t have on it on their computer and will not be able to open it.

You have 15 attachments when 2 would do. The other 13 attachments only add to the confusion and don’t add value to your presentation.

Your video is 29 minutes long and the last 4 minutes actually show the product. You are asking a lot of the reviewer who is looking at a large amount of presentations. Plus, if they plan on showing this to the search sponsor do you think they want to tell them they are going to waste 25 minutes of their time to get to your demo? Or are you asking them to edit everyone’s video so they can piece together what is needed? Shouldn't you be doing that?

You tell everything about the product except the benefits of the product.

You tell everything that is bad about your competitors product and nothing about yours.

You state you have a video of the product in action, but don’t include it in the attachments.

You state that you have a factory prototype of the product, but don’t include a photo of it in your attachments.

You list that you showed your product to a company over a year ago with no NDA signed.

You list a number of sites as “Competitors” and two of the competitors you listed are selling your exact idea. It appears you ignored the fact that your product is already on the market.

You did not do any research and they easily found several products on the market that are better than yours. So, why would any company want to put an inferior product on the market against those already selling that are better?

Your product is like a Swiss Army knife. You threw everything and anything you could find into one product. It is so loaded with features it will cost $80 to make and would have to retail for $210. Your nearest competitor is selling theirs for $24.

I hope this list helps make you stop and look at your presentation harder to make it the best it can be. You can have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t GET its benefits across you are destined to fail. Use this as sort of a check list before submitting your idea and good luck.



Last edited by Roger Brown on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 10:55; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added more content)
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Entering Invention Contests or Searches

Post  Ready2Invent on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 11:48

Great Post!! Now I have a question for you.......How do you let someone down easy? I am no pro at any of this, so I try not to ever pass judgement on someone's idea.

But when you see one that you know their 19 minute video is to long, and you try to tell them.....Get In...."WOW THEM" and get out. Then on top of that you know that you have many things in your home that already have the same benefit, or could be used in the same manner. How do you tell them without offending them?? I'm finding that part very difficult.

Most people I try to send over to read your post, but when they want your opinion, and ask repeatedly, so you give it to them.....It offends them.

I have seen a couple that are already near 10,000.00 in already Sad
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Advice or Opinion

Post  Roger Brown on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 12:51

I always tell them what I am saying is to help them not meant to offend them. Some people will not accept the truth no matter how you say it. They are not wanting to hear they made a mistake and are angry they lost a lot of money. I tell them I am giving them my opinion based on my experience working with companies, reviewing countless sell sheets, and my goal is to help them not continue down a path that is not going to work.
No one likes to be told their baby is not the golden egg they thought it was, but if they ask for my help, I tell them my honest opinion. I would rather see a person stop going in debt using a company that makes the majority of its income from selling services than say everything is great just so I don't hurt their feelings. Do I enjoy the ranting and raving I get from them, No. But, I also don't like seeing people mortgage their house to pay an invention submission company for services they don't need. It is appalling to see a person who has a idea that within seconds you can tell is not worth investing in and hear them say they have already spent $8,000 on with notiing to show for it. Or they are asking you should I continue to move forward and their idea is edible sneakers.
As you get more and more successful with your products you will find more and more people want to know the secret to your success. The problem is that most want you to hand them the golden egg and do not want to do the hard work that it takes to get the golden egg.
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Advice or Opinion

Post  Ready2Invent on Tue 19 Apr 2011 - 13:19

It's still so hard for me to explain to people how I ended up here.....I think I am still shocked myself Very Happy .

Upon leaving Texas headed to Chicago, I had no idea Mark was going to be there, and I remember when I found out he was there as well......I was nervous.......He was one of the very first people I contacted, and showed my very first product idea to. When I was introduced to him, and we began to talk, he said "Let's go see what you have done"!! So we walked over the the Lifetime Brands booth, and he said "Far cry from the first one you showed me" LOL and we laughed because he was SO RIGHT.

From day one, he was honest.....And I so appreciated it......I did not stay hung up on a product that would have honestly "Never Made It". At that point there was only one thing to do.....And that was to "Stalk" you guys lol. So that is exactly what I did, I stalked the mentors, and read every single post I could find. I asked questions, even if I thought "OMG they are going to think I'm crazy". But in the end, I did not spend thousands after thousands of dollars, or mortgage my home. I simply followed a few guidelines, and when the right product came, I knew!! I knew after a few weeks of research that this was the one!!

The point is......without my NO's from people who have been here before......I certainly would have never known what it took to find a product that was worthy of a YES.
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Quirky.com

Post  Ready2Invent on Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 12:44

Can someone please clarify that I am not crazy!! I had a lady contact me, and she submits ideas to Quirky.com, so I started reading (of course) and WOW.

I mean I am not even sure what to say for now except.......WOW!!

My question is this........If someone contacted you with an idea that had been submitted to Quirky.com, and they had put it through the whole process.....basically the product is tainted.....and by tainted I mean "Publicly Disclosed" correct??

Lots of things could go wrong there for the inventor.......Right??
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Contests, Product Promotion sites

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Apr 2011 - 15:05

There is always a risk when you show your product or idea on any website. I would ask them if they have filed a PPA or what form of protection they have for the product. They have one year to file once public exposure has happened, but that does not stop anyone from trying to beat them to the punch. You also have to consider how long the product has been in the public eye. If you go to youtube you can watch a number of product demo's and look at how long they have been online. My guess is most don't know they have started a clock. That is why it is so important to get the word out there about sites like this that are trying to educate Inventors to avoid these careless mistakes.

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