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Creative Inventor Gets The Cold Shoulder

The challenges of inventing and then selling your products

creative inventor -- the challenges facing inventors

I always like to read about inventors. There is something magical about someone using their creativity to make new products that benefit other people. Think about it. Often inventors are working away, all on their own, in their garages and workshops. It takes stoicism and courage to plow on. With limited resources, they throw all their creativity into generating brilliant new ideas. They struggle to overcome the difficulties. They invest hard, hard thinking. And when they do eventually make a breakthrough and invent something special, the hard work has only just begun. That's just what one of my readers has found anyway.

Here's Edward's story...


HELLO MR. WILY,

I'M REALLY INTERESTED IN WHAT I SEE IN THE EMAILS I GET FROM YOUR WEB SITE, BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE WHAT HAPPENS TO ME IS KIND OF NORMAL BECAUSE EVERY THING I READ BEFORE ON BIG MINDS,  IT WAS ABOUT SAVANTS. ALL ABOUT PEOPLE WHO CAN COME UP WITH  DATES, MATHEMATICS EQUATIONS, ADDRESSES, OR REMEMBER EVERY THING THEY READ; BUT NOTHING ABOUT CREATIVITY. MOST OF THEM THEY EVEN CALL "IDIOT SAVANTS" DUE TO, OUTSIDE OF THEIR SPECIAL TALENT, THEY CAN'T EVEN SUBSIST BY THEMSELVES.

IN MY CASE, EVER SINCE I REMEMBER, I ALWAYS TAKE EVERYTHING APART TO SEE HOW IT WORKS: TV, IRONS, RADIOS, WASHER MACHINES, MICROWAVES, AND SPECIALLY WATCHES. AND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING OUT THERE YOU MENTIONED, LASERS, ULTRA SOUND, RADARS, ETC, ETC, ETC; AND I HAVE OVER 100 INVENTIONS. MOST OF THEM (60%) IMPROVEMENTS.

I HAVE HAD SOME STOLEN FROM ME ALREADY AND THEY ARE OUT THERE MAKING MILLIONS, AND SOME WITH THE GEORGIA ETC, WHO THEY ARE VERY SURPRISED AND READY TO DEVELOP THE PROTOTYPES BUT I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT. SOME OTHERS, LIKE AN ELECTRICAL GENERATOR, WHICH GENERATES ENERGY BY ITSELF. AS INCREDIBLE AS IT MAY SOUND, I HAVE A WORKING MODEL.

I TRY TO CONTACT THE GOVERNMENT ENERGY COMPANY TO TELL THEM ABOUT THIS BUT THEY SAID ' WE ARE NOT INTERESTED  AT THE MOMENT.'

WHAT IS THIS?

I JUST TELL THEM I HAVE THE SOLUTION FOR FREE ENERGY AND I'M TALKING OF $$$$ AND THAT IT'S GREEN AS WELL ON THE POLLUTION SIDE, AND THEY ARE NOT INTERESTED?

IS THIS A CONSPIRACY?

I TRY FOX NEWS AND THEY SAID WE CALL YOU BACK FOR AN INTERVIEW AND GUESS WHAT? NOT A THING.

I'M ABOUT TO SELL IT TO CHINA, WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THE FASTEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, MAY BE THEN WE WILL BUY IT FROM THEM LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE!


WHAT YOU THINK? ANY THOUGHTS, OR ADVISE, EMAIL ME OR CALL ME.

THANKS,
EDWARD


Here is my reply:


Hello Eddie,
 
Thank you for your email -- it's great to hear from you.
 
Wow, it's very exciting to read about your inventions and all the great ideas that you have come up with.
 
It is sometimes difficult connecting with the right people to get your inventions to market. Sometimes you just need to get your 'foot in the door' with some starter products, and then escalate up to the bigger, more controversial products and ideas.
I was listening to a podcast interview with Michael Gelb, who's just co-written a book called 'Innovate Like Edison' and he was relating how Thomas Edison started out inventing.

One of the first things he came out with was a machine that counted votes really quickly. But he couldn't sell it. Politicians didn't want it. They wanted to be able to lobby one another to change the votes. Edison decided at that point to never invent anything that couldn't be sold!
 
I'm fascinated by your free energy machine. Ever since Tesla came up with his ideas on generating free energy, which were lost to us, various people have come up with systems they claimed could generate free energy.

(My father recently invested some money with a gentleman who believed he had come up with a free energy (perpetual motion) machine. But once they had made the prototypes the idea wasn't workable.)

Some of them seem to have attracted negative attention from the 'powers that be' or vested interests and some have even died in mysterious circumstances. Perhaps today though with so much concern over the environment you should have expected a slightly more hospitable reply to your contact with the energy companies and the media.
 
I think the reality is that these days you do need to be able to present your work in a very professional (media savvy) way.

You might benefit from teaming up with somebody with good marketing skills that you trust. That way you can concentrate on the inventions while the marketer gets on with the 'selling' of the idea. Edison was something of a showman, and understood the need to educate investors, the media, and the public to the value of his ideas. You might not be so comfortable with that role, and may prefer to team up with others that are strong in those skills.

The internet provides you with a very good outlet for becoming well known, demonstrating your products and ideas, and soliciting investment. Again, you may need to team up with someone who has good web design skills, and knows how to market online. I see quite a few inventors demonstrating their products and ideas on YouTube.
 
In most countries, there are organizations that are set up to help inventors go through the processes of getting investors, patents, marketing their products etc.
 
Here in the UK, the inventor of the wind up radio, Trevor Bayliss, is involved in helping other inventors succeed.
 
My father and his small home appliance designer partner sell the best-selling ------------  and have other related eco products coming on line. If you have any products/ideas that you think might be a fit with that market, perhaps I could put you in touch if that would be of help/interest.
 
Congratulations on all the ideas and inventions that you are coming up with. And thank you for writing to me.
 
Wishing you the best of the best,
Wily Walnut

 

Resources for Inventors:

WORLDWIDE: Invent Help:
http://www.inventhelp.com/
 
USA: The Inventors Assistance Center:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/iip/index.htm
 
UK: Trevor Bayliss Brands Help Inventors:
http://www.trevorbaylisbrands.com/tbb/home/home.asp?A455
 
PLUS: Check with your local business bureau for inventor help, or for your government sponsored inventor advice services.
 
BOOKS: Inventing For Dummies (a misnomer if ever there was one) but a good resource of info on getting your inventions to market and making money for YOU the inventor!

 QUESTIONS: Got questions? I'd love to hear from YOU. Email me: wily[at]wilywalnut.com

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