4 Common Mistakes that Inventors Often Make

Four Common Mistakes by Inventors

Innovation has always been a key part of what makes industry and civilisation advance. Through the centuries, a sequence of many innovations, large and small, each supported by previous innovations, have provided the accomplishments we enjoy today, especially in technology and medicine. At the same time, however, there is still much to accomplish and many more ways we can continue to progress.

Successful inventors are often seen as celebrities of innovation, especially where technology is concerned. However, it is helpful to look at common mistakes made by inventors, even successful ones, in order to avoid the same pitfalls. Learning from the past is key to optimizing our innovative potential. Here are a few common mistakes:

  1. Inadequate Distribution Plan – Inventors need to get their products noticed by the largest crowd possible, as soon as possible. Too many great products have languished or been lost because too few people knew about them.
    Ironically, getting the message out has become more difficult and easier at the same time. It is more difficult because there can be millions of inventions trying to make it to market at the same time. It is easier because communications technology enables almost anyone to announce their invention to millions at once. For a great new product to get noticed — and gain market share quickly — a good distribution system must ensure that it can be delivered as soon as buyers place orders. Inventors often neglect this aspect. They focus on getting the orders but neglect or underestimate the investment needed beforehand to ensure proper follow-through on delivery and distribution.
  2. Lack of Assistance from Industry Insiders – Inventors often try to go it alone. But around every successful inventor there are experts assisting, from developing a pricing strategy to defining the target audience. Their knowledge and insight can make all the difference in terms of the eventual success or failure of an invention.
    A brilliant example of this partnership in Canada is MaRS and Glint Innovation. Glint had an original idea and built a superior innovation platform. MaRS provided a community of experts to help make sure several supporting factors were addressed in order for it to succeed. Together, they ultimately made the product a success in the market.
  3. Spending Start-Up Capital Too Quickly – It requires money for an invention to gain traction and recognition. Naturally, if money can be raised quickly, the invention can make it to market quickly. What inventors often fail to realize, however, is that there will be some unexpected snags along the way such as necessary product modifications. If money runs out too quickly the invention could be stalled before it even gets off the ground.
  4. Trying to Reach Too Large a Market – It is great to be ambitious, but inventors need to be realistic as well. When identifying a target audience for a new invention, inventors should start small and gradually grow to develop the name for the product. Trying to entice too many people at the beginning can easily backfire.

By knowing and avoiding these classic mistakes, innovators will be in a much better position to see more of their ideas succeed.