Let me start off by saying that I am an ordinary person like most and my degree is not in engineering but in psychology with a concentration in criminal justice. So, how did I get involved with creating an invention and bringing it to the market? It all started with an idea from my husband. On a Saturday afternoon, my husband came home from work and as usual I asked him how his day went. He proceeded to tell me that his day went well but that an idea came to him. The idea wasn’t earth shattering or a parting of the red sea. It was a simple idea to improve an existing product. I thought that the idea was great but how on earth would we be able to bring it to life? Also, maybe this idea already existed?
At that point in our life, we were newly engaged and had just bought our first home together. We were planning our wedding and all extra funds were going towards that. I was working full-time and in school finishing my degree. My husband was very busy in his trade and had next to no free time. We sat on this idea for a year or so before really considering if there was something to it. When we made the decision to look into this idea, we both went to work scouring the internet to see if our idea was already out there. One place that we searched was the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Our idea was nowhere to be found. Once we came to this conclusion, we looked at one another and said now what?
We didn’t have anyone to turn to for guidance so we turned yet again to the internet. I did a Google search such as “help bring my invention to life”. You will find many companies that will want to assist and you may choose to go with them. I would highly suggest that before moving on with any company, please have them sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. That company might already have an NDA that all parties can sign but if not you can go online and find one. There are plenty online that are free and can be formatted to whatever you need it to say.
Via the internet, we found a company near us that could “bring the invention to life.” However, the meeting left much to be desired. This company was going to source us out to other companies (piecemeal) and it was just too much. It made us feel more like a number than an actual person with an idea that needed help/guidance to bring the invention to market. We went back to the drawing board (Google) and found a company near us that manufactured in Mexico and wouldn’t piece meal our product. It was also more affordable than the first option. We signed a contract and away we went.
This process didn’t quite pan out the way that we had hoped. The company did not stick with the dates of the contract and the prototype given to us resembled an arts and crafts project from a daycare center. Needless to say, we ended the contract and were able to get our money back. So we struck out twice and lost 6 months of our time. Thankfully, there was a company in Orange County, California that came to the rescue. They had the means to helping us with the drawings, the production, the packaging, and the manufacturing. It became a one stop shop.
Thus, our journey developing our product with this company began and has been in the works for a year and a half. As you can see, our first 6 months could have stopped us but we chose to keep trying. This process has not been easy, not even the slightest. We have learned a lot and have made mistakes. We are about 4 months away from being able to sell our product and per our timeline we should have been selling last year Christmas. Timelines change due to many, many factors. Mostly, our timeline changing was out of our control.
If you have an idea that you want to bring life, there are three things that I believe that you should do.
There is so much to this process but it can be achieved if you are diligent. I wish that I had someone that could have guided us through all of this. For the next few months, I will be sharing our journey in hopes to give you answers to questions that you might have with creating a product and bringing it to the market.