The perfect order for a non-technical inventor
Step 1. A regular guy has a great idea for a product that will fill a need. Great!
Step 2. Ummm….
Not all great products are born in the R&D Department of XYZ Corporation by a guy wearing a lab coat and armed with chrome plated protractor. Countless products have started life on cocktail napkins and wide rule notebooks. I am one of those stories, minus the cocktail napkin.
I met Evan Anderson several years back when I had an idea for a product. I made an appointment, came to his office with my signed non-disclosure agreement in hand, and sat down for a meeting that would surely change the world.
He listened to my fantastic idea patiently, got out an erasable marker and walked to the whiteboard. I thought surely the design process was about to take off! Much to my disappointment, he politely and technically diagramed why my idea was not going to work, ever. It was surely the most politely and thoroughly explained rejection ever; not what inventors want to hear but necessary. I did appreciate him not demeaning me in any way for wanting to change the laws of physics. Darn science.
Being an inventor at heart, I came up with another idea a couple years later. This time it was something to make my life easier. Again, I called Evan. We set up a time for him to visit my house as the problem involved a tractor and some hard to move parts.
He showed up and I explained my issue including what I hoped to accomplish with a newly designed part to replace some original manufacturer equipment I believed to be cumbersome.
Again, he got out a pencil and legal pad. My first thought was, “oh no, not the whiteboard incident again!” To my surprise, in a couple minutes a rough technical drawing of my product appeared on his tablet.
A few more meetings and some time in his fabrication shop later, what was an idea on a yellow sheet of paper was now a steel prototype. After a nip here and a tuck there, he had it perfected, and it did exactly what is was supposed to! So well, in fact, that with his guidance, I choose to take the next step and make this into a saleable product.
With his help, I have released versions 2 and 3 of that product and even added another. The product has sold nationwide in the US, in Canada, and has even garnered the attention of the original equipment manufacturer (they make green tractors).
Invention and product development are, by no means, easy tasks. It would be uncommon for one person to possess all the skills necessary to design, draw, fabricate, self-edit, and patent a product. The average inventor is going to need help and a lot of it.
Having a skilled partner like Gizmonics is absolutely necessary at step 2 of the invention process and beyond. I highly recommend aligning with a technical partner like Evan early in your invention process. Just watch out if he gets his erasable marker out and approaches the whiteboard.