Advice for Inventors

By Melinda Martin | For and about inventors

Apr 15
advice for inventors

Advice for Inventors

This is an excerpt from an email from a consumer-product designer, who is also a repeat customer of AON Invent. His testimonial offers some great advice for other inventors…

“As an inventor myself, I have the advantage of being able to design and engineer my own innovations. That is a big help but I still struggle with all of the other costs of developing a product and taking it to market.  Even after the design and engineering is complete there’s the costs of tooling, manufacturing, packaging, freight, fulfilment and marketing, which add up fast. For years, I have watched my freelance customers invest millions of dollars for tooling for my designs. The big CPG companies can afford to do that but there is no way I can do it for my personal inventions. Added to this, I have done a lot of freelance engineering work for inventors over the years and always make sure they are satisfied with my services. Unfortunately, even though they are happy with work, they almost always hit a wall or run out of money before ever making a profit.

Having personally known and collaborated with members of the AON team for over 10 years, I can vouch for their skills and integrity.  As a matter of fact, before investing the time to CAD out on of my own concepts, I first run the ideas through AON’s Step-2 service to get their professional, unbiased evaluation. I look at it as very inexpensive insurance. Their evaluations have saved me many tens of thousands of dollars, by identifying critical flaws that would have doomed those products from the start… These flaws had nothing to do with design and engineering aspects of the products. My engineering was solid – as it should be. After all, I design products for living for a major consumer products company and I know how to create a CAD file that a factory can use for production. But none of that mattered after AON’s evaluation process identified major market-related issues that (once pointed out) made total sense to me. Bottom line? The design of a product is only one aspect of determining its success or failure” and I would never consider developing one of my own ideas without first getting the opinion of AON Invent’s evaluation panel. 

Jake H. – Consumer Product Engineer 

AON Invent’s protocol is to:

  • Show inventors how to vet their own innovations and product concepts before spending a penny with AON Invent or anyone else: (Step 1)   
  • Have a panel of consumer product experts evaluate the concept on the basis of commercial viability: (Step 2) 
  • Protect the viable innovations with the most appropriate strategy for the concept and market conditions (in some cases filing a patent may not be the best method
    • Create a brief presentation for marketing efforts 
    • Contact members of our  “Innovation Silo,” and other potential licensees in the applicable trade-channel for licensing purposes. (Step 3)

AON Invent is staffed with industry professionals who have played key roles in taking hundreds of products to market in both brick-n-mortar retail and direct to consumer channels. Our Evaluation Panel is one more thing that sets us apart from other services… We make every effort to identify flaws BEFORE they get expensive.

AON Invent has the experience and personnel to help see your product through from the concept stage to the retail launch.

Here is more advice from Shark Tank’s own Lori Greiner.

About the Author

Melinda is a blogger, graphic designer, and stay-at-home mom living in Palestine, Texas.