Wednesday, December 3
I went broke inventing!
No you didn't, you went broke entrepreneuring. In fact, in all the years I've been in this industry I can safely say I've never seen anyone go broke inventing.
Unlike it's close cousin Innovation, which we all know is the presentation of a hypothesis. Inventing is simply the proving of that same hypothesis. To accomplish this feat of daring we may spend some money on research, maybe make a prototype or two, even spend a little money on having some parts made to prove the functional reality of our theory.
However, when those tasks are completed, our point has been proven, and we stand victorious over the innovation - the inventing process is over. That's right, it's over. finished, ended, accomplished, whatever word you want to use - but inventing time is officially over.So how did you go broke, and why did you need so much money in the first place? Because you didn't know when inventing time ended and entrepreneuring time began.
You marched off into the world of business holding your shinny new invention and never even knew it. Simple really, like most independent inventors you never got a map of your journey before you left the shed, and you ended up lost.So how do we fix this problem? Well it's not so hard if you take the time to prepare. You need to understand the phases you will be going through on your way from the shed to the market and decide which of those phases you (and your family) should be going through.
Obviously the biggest jump is from inventing to entrepreneuring. It's where the real risks begin and where most inventors fail. To avoid being the next name on a very long list of broke inventors simply ask yourself these basic questions.Am I an inventor or an entrepreneur?
Do I know enough about being an entrepreneur to risk my family's treasure?Do I even know where the line is between the two?
Are there better ways to reach the market that allow me to stay focused on inventing?These are simple questions really. It's not even a very complicated subject. What makes it difficult for most inventors is that it requires honesty and a long hard look at ourselves. It requires us to face our shortcomings and put our emotions in perspective. It's not easy, but it is necessary.
Do it for yourself, do it for the society we serve as inventors, but most of all do it for your family. That small group of people who love you unconditionally and trust that you are being a good steward of their faith in you.