Even In a Bad Economy, Opportunities Abound!

29 Dec 2010

Stephen Key

Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed over 20 products in the past 30 years. He is a board member of Accudial Pharmaceuticals and has a new book "One Simple Idea: Turn your dreams into a licensing goldmine while letting others do the work" due to release in Spring 2011 from McGraw-Hill.
Along with business partner Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs InventRight, a company dedicated to education. Teaching inventors and entrepreneurs the skills needed to successfully license their ideas.

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Many inventors are convinced that licensing their ideas in our current economy is unrealistic, if not downright impossible. They believe that there simply isn’t any room for innovation in a recession, and that there isn’t enough money available to invest in new ideas.

But in truth, innovative products are needed more than ever. Opportunities abound in poor economies – you just have to search for them in the right places. I firmly believe that opportunities for inventors exist in every economy, including today’s.   

Companies might be more hesitant to take on a new idea, but let me assure you: they’re still out to make a buck. If you can show a company how your idea is going to make them money — with little risk involved — they’re going to be intrigued.

The type of products and industries that are successful right now are reflective of our economy; people continue to spend money, but on different products and services. For example, people are less inclined to go out to eat during a recession. So they’re staying at home and cooking more. And guess what? The kitchen and home appliance industries are soaring. Have a product that retails at a relatively low-price point, like $10.99 or $19.95? That sounds promising.

I recently read an article that described the growing popularity of products that actually save the user money, products that extract the last bit of whatever or maximize one’s use. That’s obviously in response to the economy.

Products that are advertised on television are also very popular, as evidenced by “As Seen on TV” aisles in Walgreens and the like. Check out the products that are being advertised on direct response TV.

Successful inventors never forget that they’re creating products for the market. The marketplace exists in any economy. How can you satisfy it? Get creative, not dismayed. Read and watch the news to read about the struggles people are facing and about hot trends. Attend trade shows and follow discussions in trade magazines – in what direction is your particular industry heading?