Nailing down the entrepreneurial drive – how to be a successful inventorBy David Ranger, WAYO
As an inventor and entrepreneur I’m constantly coming up with new ideas. Not all of them are great – in fact I’d say 99 per cent are rubbish. But it’s the remaining 1 per cent where lightning strikes, which is what happened when I came up with the idea for the WAYO board, a rechargeable, wireless digital sign board.
Image: the original WAYO prototype circa 2010
So what should you do when lightning strikes?
- Do your market research. This includes doing patent searches to see if anything similar to your idea exists. Doing market research might involve tapping friends and acquaintances to get their perspective, as well as talking to those you think are prospective customers for your idea.
- Challenge yourself. Just because you lightning has struck doesn’t mean your idea has legs. Challenge your own thinking, and approach your concept from different perspectives. This will lead to a more rounded idea, and something that will fit in the market better.
- Look at your idea from a customer’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to make changes based on the feedback you get. After all, customers are the end users, and they will come up with ways of using your idea or product in ways that you never thought of. Their feedback will make your product even better than it was before.
- Persist. Knock on doors, and even when you feel like you’ve been turned away a dozen times, keep knocking. I approached around 25 companies to partner with before finding the right partner to do the engineering and production of the WAYO board.
- Just do it. As an inventor I have a lot of ideas. Not all of them are good ideas, but I knew that when I came up with the WAYO board, it was an idea with legs. I dropped everything to pursue my dream because that’s the only path to success.
Image: the WAYO board circa 2015
If you’re an inventor, you too can use these five steps to bring your big idea to market. Good luck, and happy inventing!
David Ranger is the Founder and Creative Director of WAYO, and is a self-confessed inventor with more ideas than he knows what to do with. His latest idea has led to the development of the WAYO Board, what he believes is the world’s first mobile digital sign board that can deliver content in real-time via the Internet. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.