What’s your excuse?

Blues Brothers-excuses

I ran out of gas. I… I had a flat tire. I didn’t have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake. A terrible flood. Locusts! IT WASN’T MY FAULT, I SWEAR TO GOD!

Don’t get me wrong- these are top quality excuses.  But if your idea for that new product is as good as you think it is, someone else will bring it to market even if you don’t.

What’s holding you back?  What’s that one piece of information that you need to finally take that next big step forward?  Ask it over here in the comments and we can all help point you in the right direction.

Everyone has setbacks.  It’s what you do to get over them that separates you from the success you’re after.

Good luck, and keep at it!

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  1. Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

    What’s keeping your invention from becoming a product? How can I help?

  2. Posted by Melissa, at Reply

    What if your attorney says the product is too speculative?

  3. Posted by lulu, at Reply

    I’m afraid of running out of money.

  4. Posted by Nate Adkins, at Reply

    If my product is being made in China and shipped to me in its market-ready packaging. Must I have the country of origin (“MADE IN CHINA”) marked on the product, or just on the packaging? Thanks!

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey Nate,

      The purpose of product “marking” is “to inform the ultimate purchaser in the United States of the country in which the imported article was made.” My reading of the requirement and my personal experience was to only mark the packaging with the country of origin as that was how the final product was going to be sold to the “ultimate purchaser”. You can download the full Marking requirements document here: http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/publications/trade/

      Good Luck!

  5. Posted by Steven, at Reply

    Hey Ryan,
    I am at the point where I believed I had a design that would work but never took into consideration the tooling and production/assembly costs. When I started receiving quotes it lead to the need to make adjustments to make it more practical. I now have gone through a few versions and each takes a significant amount of time and some additional cost.
    Any advise you have to get through this stage would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hi Steven,
      Geting over this final production hurdle can be a big challenge, but there are work arounds. I found a buyer for my TraveLite Luggage Scale before I had the product finished. Sometimes your factory will give you terms to pay later for some of your manufacturing costs if you already have a purchase order in hand. A PO is a bankable asset and you can get a special loan called a Factor which if done right can cover your initial production costs. I’d suggest you watch the videos from the Manufacturing module “How to Find a Buyer” again.
      Regarding re-designs- find your best manufacturing company and see if they have in-house engineers who can adjust your design for manufacturability. Their work can be lumped into production costs and since they work for the mfg plant they intimately know what needs to be addressed.
      Good luck!

  6. Posted by john martin, at Reply

    I dont know how to get a hold of a manufacturer. I only have a prototype and thats it! I dont know where to go from here!

    • Posted by Nate Adkins, at Reply

      Hey John, if you want manufacturers to take you seriously, they will expect you to provide 3D CAD images. you might be surprised by how easy and cheap you can have this done. I found a guy to do mine for free just by posting on Facebook – “Does anybody know anybody who does CAD?” He was the brother-in-law of a friend…

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey John,
      Have you figured out whether to manufacture of license your invention? I ask because it’s a totally different path for one versus the other, and frankly 90% of inventors would be better off licensing. If you’re sure you need a manufacturer I use Alibaba.com for international factories and Thomasnet.com as a starting place for US companies.
      You might consider becoming a full member in Inventors Blueprint as well. You’ll have complete access to all the training videos that walk you through each step of the way, along with all the resources and custom tools. Plus, if you don’t see the value just cancel within 30 days and get a full refund. Best of luck with your idea and congrats on the prototype!

  7. Posted by Lien, at Reply

    Hi Ryan,

    What other options for Inventors do you have besides the video series, Ryan? I have my prototype although not to the quality that I want and even though I have a manufacturer in GA made it for me but I don’t know how to distribute/sell my product?
    Thank you very much, Ryan

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hi Lien,
      The way I most effectively help Inventors get their product to market is through the full Inventors Blueprint course. Unfortunately I don’t have the time available to work one-on-one with everyone, so I created the course to share my experience and also industry best practices.
      You can find out when your industry will next have a trade show here, and also reach out to the UIA. The United Inventors Association works with many trade shows to provide an inexpensive way to get access and exposure at many of these events.
      You can find other manufacturers in the US at Thomasnet.com to make sure your quality goals are met.

  8. Posted by Wendy, at Reply

    My funders have absolutely incompetent people working for them and the constant delays and delays and delays have taken me now in to the second year when it should have taken 5 months to develop!

    All the other stakeholders are ready to go and the funding is just not there.


    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey Wendy,
      Ouch! Sorry to hear. Are you locked in or can you consider alternative funding options like crowdfunding?

  9. Posted by Jonathan Drake, at Reply

    I am not sure if a patent for a business process should be had or not.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey Jon,
      Business Process patents are tricky, and currently (mostly) must be tied to a technological platform for implementation. While I’m not a patent attorney I do suggest you check out IPWatchDog.com for a reliable starting point prior to seeking legal advise. Here’s a link to one of their articles discussing the state of Business Process patents.

  10. Posted by Kirk Goebel, at Reply

    I have developed a ‘Portable Work Station’ that offers many benefits for Artists, the Military and Handicapped people. I did many ‘Prior Art’ searches and can’t find anything quite like what I came up with (but everyone says that!) but my devise combines elements that have been patented in the past.

    I read an article in the Inventors Digest about the Stool, Chair and Rocking Chair. The 1st patent was on a ‘stool’ – a devise to sit upon. The chair offered a back support, so it was unique and got a patent. Then a guy added rockers to the bottom of the chair, also a unique devise and patentable. However, according to the article, the rocking chair can’t be sold without permission/licensing from the patent holder of the ‘Chair’ and the ‘Stool’ and the Chair can’t be sold without getting permission/licensing from the patent holder of the Stool.

    If I file for a Utility Patent and put my Portable Work Station into production and start selling it, how do I determine if I am infringing on someones patent? I don’t have deep pockets to go to court should any prior patent holder determine if I am using their ‘patent’ on my devise.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey Kirk,

      Patent confusion can can cause analysis paralysis. If your patent issues, anyone with a patent can sue you, just as you can sue others for infringement.

      Usually lawsuits are only profitable for the lawyers when it comes to individuals initiating litigation over another product’s potential infringement.

      If I were in your shoes I’d take my prior art search to a local patent attorney and ask their advice. Often they will meet with you at no charge for an initial consultation. Make sure you make it clear to them that defending a patent infringement lawsuit is not an option and ask how much risk do they see in proceeding.

      Next, go get a second opinion. Then and only then can you make an informed decision on whether or not to proceed. Good luck!


  11. Posted by Vernon K. Robertson, at Reply

    I have seen many of my inventions/ideas broadcast over the television but someone elses name on them. Don’t get me wrong, I know I could have taken a step but I didn’t. Now, I want to be that guy on television with an invention that changed history, or at least made It interesting for a while. I’ve sought invention companies before and gotten burned. Now I am ready to get the information. Q: What is the first move to make when seeking an idea? I have, in mind what I want it to be. I will need information on development. Thank You.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Many inventors either blindly move forward without understanding the pitfalls and best practices OR they place their faith and a big check in the hands of some ‘expert’ to only hope they get lucky and get licensed.

      Simply asking your question is actually key in moving down the right path of bringing a product to market. The first step is to learn a proven process that has actually worked for others.

      You can watch a free video I created that speaks in greater details about first steps here: http://www.inventorsblueprint.com/thankyou

      I know that horrible feeling of seeing an idea not pursued appear on the market as someone else’s successfully selling product. I’ve licensed and marketed several products on my own, and I created Inventors Blueprint program to share my process and the best practices of other inventors. You can learn more about what the program does (and doesn’t) do here: http://www.inventorsblueprint.com/ibp-open.php