Pitfalls 5 & 6 Inventors Should Avoid

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Avoid Common Mistakes most inventors make

No one likes living in, or coming from a place of fear.  However, we often see inventors who are so scared to share their idea with others (including people who may invest or buy their products) that they never get the idea market-ready.  On the flip side, we also see inventors who want to do everything possible to bring their product to market, but burn thousands of dollars a day to do so – all of which is unnecessary. If you’re ready to let go of your fear and stop burning money, read on!


Many inventors are overly paranoid. They don’t trust anyone and won’t even talk to their friends for fear of having their idea ripped off. They insist on the all-powerful protection tool: the non-disclosure agreement (NDA).

No one likes the idea of being cheated, however, in my experience, idea theft is actually rare. The type of person who has the gumption and vision to drive a product idea all the way to market is rarely the same type of person looking to steal other people’s ideas.

You are going to have to talk to people to move things forward. Being too secretive and too rigid about an upfront NDA can stop the conversation before it starts.

So what can you do?

There is an awful lot you can say without giving away your secrets. You can describe the problem you are solving as well as any advantages to your innovation (faster, better, cheaper, etc.).

The best scenario is to have intellectual property, which is why we always like to have a patent-pending or issued before we set out to license a product. In lieu of IP, ask for an NDA when the discussion is ready to move along.

Do not insist on an NDA before any discussion about your invention. Once you have an interest in the high-level description, and the potential partner wants more detail, then it makes sense to ask for an NDA.


Developing inventions can be very expensive.

There are ways to try and license ideas without investing in proto-types, but most of the time a compelling prototype makes a massive difference in getting a deal and is necessary. However, product designers, engineers, and prototypes are expensive.

If there are electronics and software involved, watch out! Add patents and presentations to the mix and projects can range from a few thousand dollars to over $100,000+.

Inventing is a high risk, no matter how confident you are. I have believed in every one of the hundreds of projects I’ve worked on, but only a portion has made it to market.

Unfortunately, many inventors spend far more than they need to in order to take a serious run at successful commercialization. They hire large design firms, patent firms, and engineering firms that cater primarily to the B2B market, and can rapidly drive up costs. When searching for resources online, the larger, better-funded companies are the easiest to find, but often ill-suited to the needs and budgets of the inventor.

Investing in patents too soon also burns cash.

Finally, inventors will sometimes take expensive steps that are unnecessary. For example, investing in molds made to produce product samples when a 3D print would do.

Never bet more than you can afford to lose. I like to say, “You can bet a barn, but don’t bet the farm”

Avoid common pitfalls by working with trident

We’re here to help you succeed.  When you work with an invention submission agency like Trident, you’re getting the benefits of decades of experience as you get your idea for market.  We help you avoid and navigate the many pitfalls you will face effectively because we faced them ourselves, dozens of times!

Getting started with Trident is easy!  All you have to do is submit your idea to our secure inventor’s portal called the ThinkBank™.  The ThinkBank allows you to organize all of the information you have about your idea and product in one secure space.  Everything you upload is safe and is under your control.  Once you complete the submission steps, a licensing expert from Trident will review your submission and let you know if your idea is a good fit or not.  We accept all ideas and have worked with many different types of inventions – from kitchen gadgets to advanced nanotechnology.  If you’ve got a great idea, we want to help you make it a reality!

check back for more tips and common pitfalls to avoid

Check back next month for two more common pitfalls you should avoid as an inventor!  In the meantime, make sure to follow us on Facebook and sign up for our email list below to stay up to date on new, innovative challenges, as well as receive periodic tips and tricks.

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