Inventor Partnerships Can Be Made In Heaven (Sometimes)
Inventing is often a solitary job, and solitary can sometimes mean lonely. But partnering can be a costly way to cure loneliness if it's a bad match. Lost time can have a very negative impact on your invention; even more than lost money.
Having been in that situation more than once (ouch!), I don't partner unless I have a very sound business reason. Partnering with a funding source, a manufacturer, or a marketing professional might be a good business decision. I would do my due diligence: get referrals, conduct research on the company, interview the primaries, and speak with at least three references (see Find The Right Attorney For You!).
Before venturing into partnership, you should know yourself well, refresh your goals, (see How Do Inventors Go To Market? Part 5: Become An Entrepreneur! ) and determine the kind of company or individuals you need to work with. If you know these things before you start due diligence, you'll have a much greater chance of a successful partnership.
Inventors are a special breed....
First, we are always creating. We do not create just inventions, but virtually everything around us. If it's already been created, we recreate it in our minds. This makes it particularly hard to find a partner who, for example, has a special set of skills and knowledge, such as marketing, for example.
We shun the notion that the means of approach to an audience, let's say, is known and fixed. I refuse to believe, for example, that the current one-to-two minute infomercial is the only way to direct sell a product on TV.
One of my products, in the hands of a big "infomercial specialist," totally flopped. What was the $200,000 reply to the results? "The product doesn't sell well on TV."
Could it have been that the fill-in-the-blank, one-size-fits-all infomercial formula didn't fit my product? Why doesn't someone venture out and try a different script?
Inventors need partners highly skilled in their fields, but flexible in their approach. Good listeners. Adventurers. Partners who create a plan for the product, not squeeze a product into a plan.
Perhaps as a natural companion to creativity, we are optimistic. When we get an idea for a product, we are certain that it will work, and we persevere to make it work. We see endless possibilities. The public image of inventors is that we are dreamers, but if we were only dreamers, we would not create anything. We dream, and then we work to make our dream a reality.