“The Inventors Road Show™” launched this month at the new Microsoft Flagship on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The mission of the “The Inventors Road Show™” is to help inventors “Bring Their Ideas to Industry™”. One question that was difficult for the attendees to answer was “What Type of Inventor Are You?”. It was clear to me and my distinguished guest speaker Alan Brody, author of Are You Fundable? and founder of “Angel Week” that this is one of the major questions an inventor needs to answer before they can become successful.
Thomas Edison said “Genius is 9% Inspiration & 99% Perspiration”. An inventor needs to make a choice for themselves by asking these two basic questions “Am I someone who wants to take my product to industry by forming my own company and putting in the 99% perspiration being an entrepreneur or am I someone who would prefer spending their time inventing and giving my invention to a company through licensing or a sale?
These are two vital questions for any inventor to answer before they begin their journey toward commercialization of their invention. Most inventors do not take the time to think seriously about their personal answer. Which only results in making their road to success that more difficult.
As an inventor I too had to grapple with this question and it took me a long time to come to the right answer for myself. For inventors the products that are born out of their ideas are in many instances like a new baby. It takes the seed of an idea to be planted in the mind which is no more than a miracle and months in most cases for it to form fully before it comes out and turns into a proto-type. Once the inventor has the proto-type in their hand it is very hard to give it up even if they are not qualified to “Bring Their Idea to Industry”. Many inventors want to turn themselves into an entrepreneur. Running a business and being an inventor have two totally different skill requirements. In most cases inventors are not business people and vice versa. Of course there are always the exceptions to this that we know of or read in the media. However, the majority of inventors are not equipped to run a business by themselves.
It is important that inventors who choose to take the entrepreneurial route do some serious soul searching before they begin. It would be helpful for them to read books on business or take a course on what it takes to run a company. There are other options for inventors such as finding the right business person to join them instead of running the business themselves, licensing or selling their patents.
The road for most inventors is very difficult and it is even harder to navigate the rough terrain if their road map is wrong. Therefore it is imperative that they face their own personal truths from the start to achieve their dreams of success!