Monday, August 20, 2012

Make Money Through Your Ideas

Da-Vinci's Airplane DesignWithin each of us lies the creative power to change the course of history.  With that in mind, it's important to understand that we as humans need to invent and create in order to reach our true potential.  Our taxonomic name of Homo Sapiens literally means "wise man", and our tool creating abilities have been what literally elevated us to greatness amongst the species.  Throughout history, those people with the greatest ideas have been the victors.  Nations and empires rose and fell on the unique and innovative ideas offered by their people.  Throughout this historical timeline of innovative greatness have been people of great wealth as a result of their ideas.  For that reason, I'm writing today's post.

Innovation in itself can be a daunting task.  Going alone with a good idea from ideation to production can destroy someone financially if they are not careful.  Legal fees, patent fees, design expenses, factory expenses, and more can bankrupt a would-be entrepreneur before they ever see their first dollar.  We can now avoid most of these nerve racking undertakings due to some great websites.

The first I'd like to mention is called Quirky and this is by far the easiest and most fun way of seeing your ideas come to life.  You start out like any site making a login and reading through the general process of how the site works.  Upon clicking on the "participate" section, you'll see a list of ideas that people are submitting and subsequent abilities to vote or comment.  For a nominal fee of $10, you can submit your invention idea in any digital form you like and have the chance for people to comment and make suggestions on the general design.  After you submit a design, your idea is "live" for 30 days in which your goal is to generate as much buzz as possible.  This may include social networking, word of mouth, or other informal forms of advertising. After your 30 days are up, you either stop there and have to decide whether to resubmit or (if you're one of the few lucky ones), your idea will be adopted by quirky and move on to the design, branding, and pricing stages of development.  If your idea then makes it into store, you'll enjoy a nice share of the project throughout the life of the product (around 12%).

I've had my own trials and failures with some previous inventions mentioned here and here.  I did learn a bunch about my potential products' prospects along the way.

Even if your not the inventing type, you can still take a share in the profits by earning "influence".  This concept is acquired through suggestions and voting on improving the overall product.  My experience is that if you get any influence, it will be around 0.001% of the overall product.  Needless to say, those are some slim pickings.

If you decide to buy anything from the site, I humbly request you click my referral link.

Another great opportunity lies with the interesting product site ThinkGeek.  This normally standard online retailer of fun and interesting products has just released their Idea Factory in hopes of cashing in on the ideas of others.  You will need a good idea and a pretty good design to submit anything, but once you do, Think Geek will decide whether to choose your product.  They will then pay you a certain amount for each sale they generate...not too shabby.

These two sites are just some easy ways for anyone to dabble in the inventing trade.  If you decide you actually enjoy the whole process, you could use those profits to invent something new and take it through the traditional method.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Getting some good constructive criticism on my writing style.

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