If you want to turn your invention idea into a reality, chances are that you’ll need some sort of expert help along the way. The problem is trying figuring out:
- Do you really need an expert
- How do you choose the right expert?
Why do you need a expert?
- You don’t have the time to go out and learn new skills or make a ton of mistakes along the way.
- You don’t have the money. Let’s face it, most inventors don’t have the money to spend on mistakes or errors during the invention process that are caused by gaps in their knowledge or skills. Therefore, wouldn’t you rather have an advisor point out potential problems and issues with your invention idea before you are forced to spend a lot of money?
- You need a kick in the pants to get you moving in the right direction. All of us run into obstacles along the way during the invention process. Sometimes these obstacles appear so immense that there is no way we could possibly overcome them. When this happens, the process of getting our invention idea from concept to the store shelf stalls out. Finding an advisor to help simplify some of these hurdles may be all the motivation that you need to get off your butt.
- You need someone to give you an honest evaluation of your invention idea. Let’s face it, friends and relatives aren’t usually the best choices out there for evaluating your invention idea or it’s potential market. However, if you are asking for expert advice then you’ll also need to develop some tough skin too. It takes a lot of effort and courage to open up your invention idea to criticism by an expert.
What do you need expert help with?
- Write down a list of all the areas that you think you will need expert advice on. Once your list is complete, you’ll need to go back through your list and prioritize which area or areas are most important to you at that specific moment.
- As you travel through the invention process from generating idea to getting your product on store shelves, reevaluate what areas you need help with and then reprioritize this list as needed.
Choose your advisors well
- Are you looking for someone to bounce ideas off of or are you looking to create a long term relationship?Will it be an advisor with very specific knowledge or are you looking for someone with a set of general set of skills?
- It is typically easier to work with an expert that complements your area of expertise and skill set. If you are not yet ready to work with an expert on a completely unknown subject to you, work with an expert that has skills or knowledge that you are already familiar with.
- Find an advisor that you trust. Brutal honesty when it comes to inventing can be a lifesaver. However, getting incorrect advice from an expert can be even worse.
- Look for an advisor that shows passion and wants you and your idea to succeed as much as possible.
What’s in it for the expert?
- Chances are that if you are like most inventors you’re going to be strapped for cash. If you can’t pay an expert for help then what other forms of compensation can you provide? Here are a few ideas:
- Maybe you can help the advisor build their resume by putting down that they worked with you.
- Sometimes, all it takes is your passion for your invention idea to rub off onto the expert. What expert wouldn’t want to be on the cutting edge of developing the next ‘must have’ gadget?
- The best way to find gaps in your knowledge is to start teaching. Simply being a mentor is a way for not only you to grow as an inventor but also for your mentor to expand their repertoire of skills.
- If you have a website, come to an agreement that you’ll put a link to their business or personal website.
- Sometimes your advisor may also need encouragement with the projects that they are working on. Being willing and able to provide this encouragement when needed may be payment enough.
- Become the spokesperson for your advisor. If you stumble across people that are in need of a particular service that your advisor could provide, pass along your advisor’s name. Your client referrals can be extremely valuable to your advisor.
Trying to go it alone throughout the entire invention process can often seem like a monumental task. Therefore, finding an expert to help you along the way should be a crucial part of your invention development strategy. However, picking the right expert who is a great match for you will often be more of a challenge. Always keep in mind that great experts should be ones that are not only invaluable to you but will also be with you for years to come.