When to Keep Trying or Stop Trying with Your Invention

If your invention gets rejected, do you keep going? Rejection is tough, but it’s an unfortunate part of inventing. You can show your idea to friends, family and coworkers and they may tell you it’s great, but they’re not manufacturers, retailers or business people. They probably don’t understand the intricacies of the market to see the value, or lack thereof, in the idea you’re developing.

But what would happen if you didn’t keep trying? Ponder this: the vast majority of the products we [Davison Design and Development] put onto store shelves were at some point rejected by someone. And because of that rejection, we went back to the drawing board and rebuilt it based on input from buyers, marketing executives and others. Oftentimes, this input makes a huge difference in the value of the end product. It’s amazing, actually. Once you find the right people who focus on innovation in the future, their input becomes paramount to the enhancements integrated into your creation.

We’re all familiar with the Edison adage, “genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” That quote holds true today. So my message is simple: Keep trying.

When we work with a client, we spend quite a bit of time taking their concept and turning into a product. Once that phase — which includes brainstorming, research, design, engineering, construction, etc. — is completed, we attempt to license the product to a manufacturer or company who wants to add it to their product line. On some projects, we’ll put our best foot forward for the first year with no results. invention idea Yet, years later we discover the invention was ahead of its time. We might find that the mindset of companies who said “no” in the past has changed, opening doors for that new product.

We’ve learned that rejection is just part of the process to get to your objective. So we keep trying, because in some cases it’s a matter of timing — in other cases, it’s simply waiting for the naysayer at a company to move on, giving the product a fresh set of eyes and ears, which may lead to the product being acquired and maybe even making it to store shelves.

So when do you stop trying with your invention? For me, it’s difficult to stop trying. I never like to quit, but here’s what I’ve found.

The first option you have as an inventor when your invention is rejected is to quit at the original design and regroup, but with the input from informed people in the industry. Always ask why your invention was rejected. invention idea Ask if there are things you could have done differently or things you can add to make it more attractive. Don’t ignore the data you’ll gather from this exercise, it’s a valuable guide. You should never have a problem with quitting on an original design when you have the right input to turn your project into a better creation.

However, there are cases where the further allocation of your time and revenue can be a complete waste. If you take your product to a presentation with a buyer or a major retail store and they reject the idea outright with no additional input, there may be reason for concern. At this point, you may want to present your invention to other buyers, preferably those that compete with the first one. If they confirm the sentiments from the initial presentation, push for more information to find out why they said “no.” Even though this idea may be your “baby,” that’s not a good reason to turn your ears off. Hopefully by the third “no,” it’s sinking in that the opportunity may not be there.

Not all is lost, though. Remember, a big part of life is learning to stand back up after you’ve fallen down. The Chinese say, “failure is the mother of success,” which means every time you fail, you’re sure to learn more about how to succeed.

Surely, you’ve found out things from this process to help guide you on your next project. Your goal is to become successful with inventions that benefit everyone. So keep on inventing.



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