Updated: Aug 23
There is no pretty way to put this. Some inventions fail. In fact, many inventions that have become commonplace products very likely had a history of failure in their pedigree.
One fine example is WD-40. The cleaning solution name is a throwback to the failure rate that took place before the product hit its stride. WD-40 references “Water Displacement Product Version 40.”
So, they had 39 attempts that didn’t go so well. That was then, and this is now. Inventors have a lot of tools they can use to help them avoid costly and time-consuming failures by the time they reach the prototyping stage.
But what else kills an invention? Here are some reasons:
1. Misguided Expectations
Here’s a biggie. TV shows like Shark Tank do a great job of chopping the timeline to a user-friendly 2-minute sound bite to fit in the format of a television show.
As a result, there are a ton of details that end up on the cutting room floor that don’t tell you about the struggles, the long hours, the years of toil and well, you get the idea. The business of invention development is far more complicated, and detail driven than the snippet you saw on TV.
2. Poorly Executed Plan of Action
A piece of bad advice at the beginning of the developmental stage can send you on a path that could be incorrect throughout most of the rest of the process. Not only is it as useful as a wrong turn on a dead-end road, it can result in a costly recovery. Catastrophic is the word that comes to mind. That’s because following the wrong course can translate into thousands of dollars lost that will not be there when you could have used it most.
3. Low Balling Your Budget
This doesn’t mean you should invest everything you own so that you have a cushion in case your first 39 versions don’t fly. What this means is that you must have a large enough budget to cover all of your costs. Running out of money part way through the development stage of your invention is going to result in a screeching halt to your process. It may spell the end of your invention. But with enough of a budget to get you through, you can avoid this hurdle.
4. Too Complicated A Product
Any idea why the Pet Rock was so popular? No moving parts and an endless supply of inventory. If your invention is heavy on electronics, depends on various forms of connectivity to function or is just far too difficult to explain in twenty words or less, you may find yourself with a huge failure. Any product that has extremely high production costs to manufacture is going to be a problem. As an independent inventor, you need to simplify things as much as you can.
There is no doubt that when the inventors working on WD-40 got to about WD-22 or WD-28 they were far less motivated than they were with WD-01 or WD-10. It is extremely easy for an inventor to lose drive and enthusiasm as the business related to inventions seems to drag on. Plus, with failures along the way it is easy to start having doubts about the success of your product. Being able to stay positive to see the process to the end is not always easy to do.
Avoid A Fail When You Are Working for A Win
Any of these ‘speed bumps’ that can derail your invention plans can be costly in time and money. If you are able to avoid these hurdles, then you will be able to stay the right course with your product idea. Why not give us a chance to give you some encouragement? Call us today for your free, no obligation consultation. Let us look at where you are, the budget you have in place and plan of action. We may be able to give you that extra nudge to get your product made. Call us today at (305) 521-9080 to discuss more.